Are These 5 Common Household Toxins Harming Your Family’s Health?

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Did you know that when you clean your home with these toxic chemicals, you are leaving nasty pollutants behind that may be harming your family’s health? Here are 5 toxic products you should ban from your home, and 5 healthier, cleaner, greener alternatives to replace them with.

Having a truly clean home is more than just appearance. Cleaning your home doesn’t have to mean polluting the air or tainting your local water supply with potentially harmful chemicals.

Not only are there many safer alternatives that can help you achieve a clean house at a lower cost to the environment, but many of these all-natural options can actually save you money as well!

Check out these 5 household toxins you should banish from your home – and what to replace them with:

1. Coal-Tar Driveway Sealant

If you plan to seal your blacktop driveway, avoid coal-tar based sealants. They contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, which studies suggest can be carcinogenic, toxic, and mutagenic. When rainwater and other precipitation hit your driveway, the toxic chemicals run off into your yard and into your local drinking water supply. In fact, this situation has been compared to dumping quarts of motor oil right down a storm drain.

Better Alternative: Gravel and other porous materials are best for driveways, because they allow rainwater to sink into the ground, where it’s filtered and won’t inundate water treatment plants. But if you do seal blacktop, pick asphalt sealant and stay away from any product that has coal tar in its name (or products simply called “driveway sealant”)….

2. Synthetic Pesticides

Chemical weed and bug killers both fit under this category and should be avoided both inside and outside of your house. (And don’t fall for the ones that pretend to be “natural.”) Researchers link herbicides to various forms of cancer, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and insecticides have been connected to brain damage in kids….

Better Alternative: …If you’re spending big bucks on chemicals for a turflike lawn, reconsider. Pesticides and chemical fertilizers kill the health of the soil and create a lawn that allows for little rainwater absorption, which contributes to flooding. Try replacing some sod with plants native to your area; they don’t require as much water and maintenance.
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3. Antibacterial Soap

The antimicrobial chemical triclosan in antibacterial soaps is believed to disrupt thyroid function and hormone levels in people…. And health experts believe that overuse of this and other antibacterial chemicals is promoting the growth of bacteria that are resistant to antibacterial treatment.

Better Alternative: Good old-fashioned soap and warm water will kill just as many germs, studies have shown. If you must use a hand sanitizer, pick one that’s alcohol-based and doesn’t list triclosan or other chemicals on its label.

4. Synthetic Fragrances

Fragrance may be the most common type of chemical in your house. Used in laundry detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, cleaning supplies and disinfectants, air fresheners, deodorizers, shampoos, hair sprays, gels, lotions, sunscreens, soaps, perfumes, powders, and scented candles, fragrances are a class of chemicals that may take you extra time and effort to avoid. But it’s worth it. The term “fragrance” or “parfum” on personal care product labels can be a cover for hundreds of harmful chemicals known to be carcinogens, endocrine disrupters, and reproductive toxicants, even at low levels

Better Alternative: Go the unscented route whenever possible, especially with soaps and detergents. Avoid any kind of air freshener or deodorizer, including sprays, gels, solid disks, and oils…. “Instead of chemical air fresheners, freshen the air with better ventilation and by setting out some baking soda…”.

5. Harsh Cleaning Products

Isn’t it ironic that we actually contaminate our air when we use harsh chemicals—some of which are carcinogens—to “clean” our homes? Ammonia can trigger asthmatic attacks, and harsh oven cleaners and drain openers can cause terrible damage to children who come into contact with them….

Better Alternative: Take any cleaner whose ingredient list reads like a chemistry textbook to a hazardous waste disposal center in your municipality and replace the cleaners with ecofriendly ones that have simple, natural ingredients.

Better yet, save tons of money and pull out Grandma’s homemade cleaning concoctions….
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To read the full article, visit RodalesOrganicLife.com

 

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