How Toxic Is Your Home?
Living a healthy life is often thought of as eating organic whole foods, drinking water, exercising, getting enough sleep, watching your weight and finding time to meditate...but what about reducing your exposure to toxins and chemicals?
Unfortunately, most of us don't think about it, let alone make the necessary changes to that aspect of our lifestyle until our health fails us and we are forced to, myself included. I hadn't thought anything of it until I was diagnosed with my third autoimmune disease and the penny dropped. Make a change now or be prepared for a greater decline in health and look for more medical intervention. I chose to make a change and I am so thankful I did. It is never too late to start. The best time to change was 20 years ago, the next best time is NOW!
The predicted numbers
Have you ever stopped to think about how many toxins and dangerous chemicals we use daily in our home? The average household has 62 highly toxic chemicals!! However, it has been suggested that 250-300 dangerous chemicals reside in most homes when you look at cleaning, gardening, personal care and skin care products. These numbers are frightening...so, do you know how toxic YOUR home is?
Where can I start?
In my experience and opinion, the best place to start reducing the toxicity of your home is by replacing the cleaning cupboard with safe, natural alternatives. These are the bench spray, window cleaner, bathroom products, washing powder, dishwasher, washing-up liquid, air fresheners and handwash. All of these can be replaced with an easy to make, affordable, natural alternative.
Is it really that bad?
Have you ever taken the time to read the label on your cleaning sprays, powders, liquids and creams? Even a quick glance will show you the warning symbols; hazardous (health & environment), explosive, flammable, oxidising, corrosive, acute toxicity.... Or phrases like 'fatal if ingested,' 'irritant,' 'hazardous to humans and animals,' 'danger!' 'toxic,' 'Do not use when pregnant' and 'poison.'
We assume that products wouldn't be on the shelf to buy if they were that bad for us, we trust "them" to have the best interests of the community in mind but unfortunately the number of chemicals in cleaning products is not regulated by governments. Companies are not required to provide a list of ingredients and less than 2% of the 72,000 synthetic chemicals produced since WWll have been tested for toxicity, mutagenic, carcinogenic, or birth defects.
It has been proven that environmental toxins are making us sick. A study was completed on 6,000 people over a 20 year period which showed that using the store bought (toxic) cleaning products was as bad for your lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes a day! Scary right? Studies have proven that using these toxic ingredients are linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, hormone disruption and neurotoxicity.
Why are toxins so bad?
When you're exposed to these toxins you might notice an immediate response such as a headache, nausea, sore throat, itchy eyes or skin. When you are exposed to chemicals through inhalation, ingestion or absorption through the skin they will enter your bloodstream and then head to the liver for detoxification and removal. This puts extra stress on the liver and supporting organs to filter out the toxins. Also, most of these toxins are fat-soluble meaning they can be stored in fat and muscles for years! With continual usage the chronic exposure to these chemicals adds to the body's toxic burden. The toxic burden is the number of chemicals stored in the body's tissues at a given time. This is the really scary part because that overload has the potential to trigger a disease outcome down the track.
Somewhere along the way humanity became obsessed with killing every bacteria, good or bad, despite the fact that 99% of bacteria found in the average home is actually beneficial. Then just like taking antibiotics, these toxic cleaners are killing everything and often leaving our environments out of balance.
So what can I do now?
Humans are exposed to toxins daily. No one can really avoid them completely in today's society but each of us do have a responsibility to become educated about the issue and try to reduce our toxic load or burden. I am passionate about teaching people how to replace these dangerous items with a safer, more natural product that still works just as well.
I'm not going to go into a list of all the "bad" ingredients and scare you with why they are so dangerous. If you can't pronounce the ingredient, if you need to wear gloves and a mask to use it or store it in a locked cupboard...then most of the time- it is not worth using. All of the recipes in my DIY Natural Cleaning Course online are natural and safe, even for kids and pregnant women to use.
It is time to take a leaf out of our ancestors book and make cleaning toxin free, natural, safe and easy again. All we need are a few ingredients like vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, water, salt, essential oils and castile soap. There is no need for thousands of synthetic ingredients to clean our homes anymore, let's step back into the good old days....but can I please keep my washing machine and microfibre cloths from modern society??