5 Toxins That Could Be Lurking In Your Home & How To Protect Your Family

It’s an instinct every parent comes by naturally — protection. Protection from bullies, from predators, and, just as importantly, protection from potentially harmful toxins. Could there be some that you’re not even aware of? Let’s look at 5 toxins that could be invading your home and how you can protect your family.

5 Toxins That Could Be Lurking Inside Your Home & How To Protect Your Family

1. Pesticides

True, bugs and weeds are major pests, but using pesticides to get rid of them may lead to bigger problems. Pesticides have been linked to cancer, such as non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, as well as to brain damage in children. In place of using these harsh chemicals, be proactive about keeping the little critters out of your home — seal food in airtight containers, clean up any crumbs, and fill in pest-entry points with caulking or wood shims.

2. Antibacterial Soap

Yes, cleanliness is important in fighting off germs and bacteria, but many brands of antibacterial soap contain a chemical called triclosan. Triclosan has been shown to alter hormones. One study performed by Tufts University even showed that, when this chemical is mixed with waste water, it has caused sexual changes in aquatic animals. It is far better to err on the side of caution by using classic soap and warm water, which kills just as many germs. If you choose to stay with antibacterial soap, find varieties that do not contain triclosan.

3. Synthetic Fragrances

While smelling nice is a desirable attribute, the cost may be too high. Synthetic fragrance can be found practically everywhere in your home — from laundry detergents to perfumes, shampoos, and air fresheners. Why are these so dangerous? The word “fragrances” on labels give companies the freedom to put whatever they want into their products because it’s considered a “trade secret.” Various studies have shown that many synthetic fragrances contain known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.

A better alternative to air fresheners is to simply set out a bowl of baking soda or vinegar, which will absorb any unwanted odor. Instead of perfumes, you may prefer to use toxin-free essential oils.

4. Harsh Cleaning Products

When cleaning your home, you may in fact be inviting more harmful substances to the party than you realize. Ammonia, found in many cleaning products, has been known to trigger asthma attacks. Drain openers and oven cleaners have been known to cause respiratory damage and burn any skin that comes in contact with them. A safer, cheaper, and just-as-effective product is vinegar. It kills 90% of germs and leaves surfaces nice and shiny. Just mix one part vinegar with 9 parts water in a spray bottle, and you’re good to go.

5. Flame Retardants

Surprisingly, many common household products nowadays contain flame retardants. This list includes carpet, carpet padding, electronics, and furniture foam. Why is this so bad? These products have been associated with a wide variety of health issues, including infertility, hormone disruption, and thyroid problems. When they do catch fire (which ironically still happens), they release high levels of carbon monoxide and soot. It is important that you avoid purchasing products that have these flame retardants in them. You can even call manufacturers directly and inquire if they put flame retardant material in their products.

Your family is your life — protecting them is your mission. Now that you’re aware of what’s out there, you’re more equipped to find alternatives in order to protect what matters.

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