It’s no secret that toxic chemicals are everywhere. We’re exposed to them in our homes and workplaces in the form of settled dust, off-gassing from building materials and furnishings, cleaning supplies, pesticides, and more. Studies suggest that there are currently 80,000 chemicals in use, some of which are unregulated.
These chemicals cause various health problems, including developmental issues and breathing difficulties. So, if you have kids at home, are trying to conceive, or just want a healthier environment, you must try to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals.
We have rounded some helpful tips for you in this post.
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Identify Sources of Toxic Chemical Exposure:
Do you realize that the pesticide you use to kill ants in your kitchen is classified as a carcinogen? Or are you exposed to asbestos, a leading cause of mesothelioma, at work? While you can’t avoid all sources of toxic chemicals, you can take steps to reduce your exposure. Therefore, awareness is crucial. It can help you take better steps to protect yourself and your family.
So, be diligent in reading the product labels and researching the ingredients before picking a product off the shelf. Similarly, look for resources to help you deal with a bad case of asbestos exposure at work. One such resource is www.mesotheliomahope.com, which provides information and resources for people affected by asbestos-related diseases.
Reduce Your Use of Synthetic Cleaning Chemicals:
Synthetic chemicals are those made in a laboratory as opposed to natural substances. Many of these chemicals are designed to mimic the properties of naturally occurring substances but are often much more potent.
You can reduce exposure to synthetic chemicals by making simple changes in your home. For instance, if you use bleach to disinfect your kitchen countertops and bathroom surfaces, replace it with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Bleach is a corrosive chemical that can cause skin irritation and is linked to life-threatening diseases.
You can also look for cleaning products certified by third-party organizations such as Green Seal or the Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment program.
Choose Non-Toxic Building Materials:
Modern housing and building practices have led to the use of various toxic chemicals in construction. Chromated Copper Arsenic in treated lumber, for instance, can leach into the soil and groundwater, causing health problems. Similarly, the polyvinyl chloride plastics used in pipes can release dioxins, which are linked to cancer. These are only two of the many examples.
You can protect yourself and your family by choosing non-toxic building materials for your home. Look for wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council or the Rainforest Alliance. When it comes to pipes, opt for stainless steel or cast iron. You can also choose to install bamboo or cork flooring instead of carpeting.
Increase Ventilation and Airflow:
Have you noticed that new furniture and paint have a strong odor? That’s because they release chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air.
VOCs are linked to various health problems, including headaches and dizziness. So, it’s important to increase ventilation and airflow in your home to eliminate these harmful chemicals.
You can do this by opening windows and doors, using fans, and investing in an air purifier. Make sure to choose an air purifier with a HEPA filter, as it can remove 99.97 percent of airborne particles. You can also ask an HVAC technician to install a ventilation system in your home.
Wear Protective Clothing When Using Toxic Chemicals:
As a professional, you may be required to handle toxic chemicals daily. So, how can you protect your lungs, skin, and eyes from these harmful substances?
The first step is to wear the proper protective clothing. It includes gloves, a face mask, and goggles. If you’re working with a particularly toxic substance, you may also need to wear a Tyvek suit. It creates a barrier between you and the chemical, so you don’t have to worry about coming into direct contact with it.
In addition to wearing the proper clothing, you should work in a well-ventilated area. Use a fume hood to suck the fumes away from you if possible. And last but not least, wash your hands and face as soon as you’re done working.
Filter Your Water:
Water is everywhere, from washing tomatoes at the kitchen sink to taking a shower. And while it’s essential for life, it can also be a source of toxic chemicals. The recent lead contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, and the relaxed regulations on industrial toxins that run off into waterways are only two examples of how we are at risk of contaminated water.
So, consider filtering your water. Different water filters are available, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. For instance, a reverse osmosis system can remove up to 99 percent of contaminants. Alternatively, you can install a whole-house water filtration system as the most effective way to filter your water. But if that’s not possible, you can use a faucet-mounted filter or a pitcher with a built-in filter.
Say No to Plastic Bottles:
We’ve been using plastic for decades, from oil and shampoo bottles to our kid’s sippy cups. And while they’re incredibly convenient, they’re also one of the biggest sources of toxic chemicals.
The problem with plastic is that it’s made from synthetic chemicals, including bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is a hormone-disrupting chemical linked to serious health conditions like infertility. So, it’s best to avoid it altogether.
The most effective way to do that is to say no to plastic bottles. Instead, invest in a reusable water bottle and fill it with filtered water. You can also use a reusable lunch box and stainless-steel straws.
Don’t Bring your Shoes Inside:
Do you often find yourself tracking dirt and mud into your home? If so, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that the average person tracks in about a pound of dirt daily.
While it may not seem like a big deal, all that dirt can be quite harmful. It can contain toxic chemicals, such as pesticides and lead. And when you track it into your home, those chemicals can end up in your carpeting and your floors.
The best way to prevent this is to take your shoes off before entering. If that’s not possible, make sure to clean your floors regularly. You can also put down a mat at each entrance to trap the dirt and chemicals before they have a chance to spread.
Toxic chemicals stand in our way of achieving optimal health. But by taking some simple precautions, we can protect ourselves and our families from their harmful effects. Sometimes the changes are as small as wearing gloves or filtering our water. Others, such as avoiding plastic bottles, require a bit more effort. But no matter what measures we take, they’re worth it regarding safeguarding our health. So, start today and make your home and workplace safe from toxic chemicals.