Create a Healthy Home

HomeDo you know how healthy your home is? Do you worry about toxins and air quality in the home? We spend the majority of our time indoors and it can have serious health impacts. The products we purchase can create an unhealthy home. In this article, we’ll discuss some ways to reduce toxins in the home and create a healthier indoor home environment.

According to the Children’s Environmental Health Network (www.cehn.org/ehcc ),
household chemicals can be toxic to our health and to the environment. Of the 85,000 synthetic chemicals in commercial use today, only a small fraction has been individually tested for toxicity on human health. A wide variety of toxic or hazardous chemicals are routinely used as ingredients for cleaning products. Household chemicals can make indoor air unhealthy to breathe, irritate the skin and eyes, harm the respiratory tract and endocrine system, and pollute the natural environment.

Safer cleaning products are not only less toxic and environmentally safe, but they also often cost the same as conventional cleaners. Green Seal and EcoLogo are non-profit companies that research and certify products that are biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Visit www.greenseal.org or www.ecologo.org to verify whether the products you use are safe, healthy and effective.

Keep aerosol spray away! Aerosol sprays – such as deodorants, hair sprays, carpet cleaners, furniture polish and air fresheners – spew invisible droplets of chemicals into the air. The invisible droplets are inhaled by children and can trigger both asthma and allergies.

Indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air. Off-gassing from paints and finishes is one of the main sources of poor indoor air quality. For years after paint is applied, low-level toxic fumes are released into the air. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are the source of these toxic emissions, and until recently, these chemicals were always used in paint and finish. Low-VOC paints can now easily be found in local stores. Be sure to purchase “low-VOC” paints to protect your health and the environment.

Resources:
Children’s Environmental Health Network (www.cehn.org/ehcc )
Keeping it Clean: A Healthy House (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy786 )
Enviroshopping: Buy Smarter (https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/he790 )