How to Detoxify Your Home
How to Detoxify Your Home
Did you know, in the US, the average person is exposed to more than a hundred chemicals from cosmetics, soaps, and other personal products before leaving the house in the morning?1 Just imagine how many we’re exposed to by the end of every day. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), women use an average of 12 products a day, containing 168 different chemicals, and men use fewer products, but still put 85 chemicals on their body. Americans are exposed to many of the 80,000+ chemicals currently used in the US, few of which are adequately tested or banned for their effects on health. Toxic chemical exposures are associated with asthma, allergies, hormone disruption, neurodevelopmental problems, infertility, and even cancer.2 Toxic chemical exposure, especially chronic, may create or contribute to a wide variety of chronic disease – hence the terms obesogens (chemicals that promote obesity), diabetogens (chemicals that promote diabetes), and cardiovascular disruptors.
We are exposed to chemicals from infancy all throughout the lifespan. Personal care products are a primary source of toxic chemicals (we absorb them through our skin!), they include cosmetics, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, lotion, and hair and nail products. These products contain carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors, plasticizers, degreasers, and surfactants. 2 But personal care products are not the only source of toxic chemical exposure, others include food, water, air, cookware, plastics, furniture, old/sick buildings, home and body products, fragrances, electric appliances, and much more. Common toxic chemicals include BPA, glyphosate, asbestos, black mold, mercury, lead, formaldehyde, dioxins, PFAS, PCBs, parabens, and phthalates.
How are we exposed to chemicals?
Our world is overloaded with chemicals – in what we eat, drink, breathe, touch, and absorb – many of which are toxic and harmful to our health. Avoiding all toxic exposures would be near impossible in today’s society. However, it is possible to decrease total toxic load by making lifestyle changes to minimize everyday exposures and to prevent toxic accumulation in the body by supporting natural detoxification processes. The US will face growing health, environmental, and economic problems related to chemical exposures and pollution. It’s crucial that you start to become aware of what you and your loved ones are being exposed to and implement ways to lessen the toxic load. We recommend you start with detoxifying your home, a sanctuary where health and happiness should stem.
Here are 5 ways to detoxify your home from toxic chemical exposures:
Filter your Water & Air
To prevent ingestion and inhalation of pollutants in water and air
We recommend purchasing an air filter with a HEPA filter and VOC/gas filtration and a water filter with reverse osmosis and carbon filter
We recommend considering nearby toxic emitters when choosing a home (such as highways, construction zones, agricultural and industrial plants)
Resource for identifying pollutants in your local water: https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/
Buy or Create Non-Toxic Products
To prevent absorption of toxins in body and home products
We recommend using only natural products and checking product labels for toxicities
Resource for researching questionable ingredients in beauty products: https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
Resource for scanning products for rating and healthier alternatives: EWGs Healthy Living App and/or Think Dirty App
Resource for list of products that meet EWGs strictest standards for health: https://www.ewg.org/ewgverified/
Resource for DIY natural home cleansers: https://theherbalacademy.com/homemade-all-purpose-cleaner/
Use Non-Toxic Cookware
To prevent ingestion of toxins in food and water
We recommend using only glass or stainless-steel water bottles and food containers. We recommend using glass, stainless steel, or ceramic pots and pans. Avoid using all plastics (including utensils, water bottles, and Tupperware) and never heat food or drinks in plastic containers. Avoid using pots and pans made with Teflon, aluminum, copper, and ceramic coating.
Stock Up on High-Quality Foods
To prevent ingestion of toxins in food
We recommend eating organic (check for USDA organic label) and whole (unprocessed or lightly/consciously processed) foods as much as possible. Animal products should especially be organic, wild-caught, grass-fed, and pasture-raised. Fish should be low in mercury (SMASH fish: salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring). Hands should be cleaned before handling and eating food to wash away any toxins.
Make Green Renovations
To prevent toxic exposures from inside your home
We recommend choosing a newer home to live in, keeping windows open during renovations, choosing non-toxic paints and furniture, airing out new carpets, washing new children’s toys, cleaning furnaces, keeping humidity low and temperatures cool, choosing non-UV lighting, installing EMF protection, removing shoes before entering the home, vacuuming regularly, letting only positive people into your home, maintaining a low stress home environment, and testing your home for mold if indicated. Pro-tip: invest in an at-home sauna to promote detoxification of toxins from the body!
Note: there are plenty more ways to decrease toxic exposures to sources not listed here, these are just ones that pertain to your household.
This blog focuses only on minimizing environmental toxic exposures, however, optimizing toxin excretion through the body and supporting detoxification of the liver are also important approaches to decrease toxic burden. For more information on the latter two, please consult one of our naturopathic doctors at LIVV. We offer environmental exposure assessments and lab testing as well as detoxification protocols that may include food as medicine, supplementation, and IV therapy. For example, we offer a Detox IV bag that contains nutrients (such as B vitamins, glutathione, vitamin C, and more!) that improve detoxification pathways, improve metabolism, remove unwanted toxins, promote weight loss – giving your body a well-deserved internal cleanse. Call today to book your appointment!
Written by Jordan Valdez, RDN
- Harvard News
- NYS Health Foundation
- Dr. Tom Malterre, MS