Top 10 Toxins in Your Home, Room by Room Written by Lacy Boggs Renner
If you're looking to rid your home of toxins, these top offenders in each room of your home are a good place to start.
1.Laundry Room: Dryer Sheets Dryer sheets were my entree into the land of toxin-free living when I learned that the substance used to soften clothes is often derived from animal fats. (YUCK!) But the fragrances used in dryer sheets can be even worse, containing chemicals like benzyl acetate, benzyl alcohol and terpines—all toxic, and some carcinogenic. Switch to DIY dryer balls instead and use essential oils for that fresh laundry smell.
2.Bathroom: Bleach-based Cleaners and Wipes Because of years of branding, bleach can seem like the only choice when it comes to disinfecting germy surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen, but the health risks of the toxic chemicals in bleach can outweigh the benefits. Chemicals in bleach are highly corrosive to the skin and lungs, and the chemical chlorine in bleach is used in the chemical weapon mustard gas. If bleach is mixed with ammonia (which is found in urine, by the way) it creates a deadly gas. And when mixed with wastewater, it's known to form numerous carcinogenic compounds. Switch to white vinegar, baking soda, or even boiling water for your disinfecting needs.
3.Kitchen: Oven Cleaner Oven cleaners sold in the store are chock full of toxins, including lye (also known as ‘caustic soda’), ethers, ethylene glycol, methylene chloride and petroleum distillates. They even release butane (a neurotoxin) when you spray them. Switch to a simple paste made from baking soda and water, and then line the bottom of your oven with aluminum foil to make future clean ups easier.
4.Living Room: Carpets Carpets are the No. 2 cause of air pollution in the home—right after cigarette smoke—because they're treated with all kinds of toxic chemicals, from flame retardants to stain repellents. Bare wood or tile floors are best, but swapping traditional carpets for natural-fiber carpets can make a big difference.
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