Environmental toxins can be found all over our homes – in our furniture, food, clothes, personal care items, and household cleaners. Exposure to these toxins may be contributing to diseases like obesity, diabetes, allergies, and asthma. By breathing in and being exposed to toxins, there are several ways they are affecting our health:
- Interfere with glucose and cholesterol metabolism and induce insulin resistance
- Disrupt cell function
- Cause stress on the body
- Promote inflammation
- Alter thyroid health
- Impair appetite regulation
Fortunately, there are ways to recognize and reduce our exposure to environmental toxins:
- Remove food toxins. Stay away from processed and refined foods and try to stick to the EWG Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists to choose where you spend your money when purchasing organic since it is not necessary to purchase everything organic.
- Reduce the amount of toxic exposures at home. Choose non-toxic household cleaners, beauty, and bath products. Look for plant-based cleaners or even make your own.
- Minimize exposure to pesticides. Remove your shoes when you enter your home to limit tracking lawn pesticides throughout your home.
- Keep mold at bay. Mold, mildew, and fungal toxins can also cause a range of health problems. Keep air filters clean, try to keep humidity below 60% to reduce mold growth, and regularly clean and dry any areas where water may build up like showers and sinks.
- Avoid products that contain phthalates. This is a compound that is often found in plastics. Check the labels of products to ensure they are phthalate-free, avoid storing food in plastic containers, and look for natural fibers such as cotton, linen, wood, and bamboo when buying drapery, window blinds and shades.
We can’t control every environmental toxin from entering our home so it’s important to regularly clean, dust, sweep/vacuum, and invest in an air-purifier to keep our homes as toxin-free as possible to keep us healthy.