Environmental Toxins & How to Reduce Them Within Your Home

Environmental Toxins & How to Reduce Them Within Your Home

Environmental Toxins & How to Reduce Them Within Your Home

I remember when I first heard about natural cleaners, " a healthier way to clean '' the advertisements would say. Honestly I am pretty sure I assumed it was just another fad, a way to get people to spend money on their cleaning products, rather than there actually being a healthier alternative to clean our homes. I started to see that there were more and more "eco-friendly" cleaning products every time I'd go to the store and in time it sparked a curiosity in me. What exactly is in the cleaners I've been using all these years? Are the products I'm using harmful to my children or my pets? Does switching to a healthier alternative actually make a difference? Spoiler: It does.

So, environmental toxins, what exactly are they?  They are toxic chemicals found in our environment - in the water we drink, the air we breathe, even in the products we use in our homes. So many people assume, myself included, that if there are products out there that are actually hurting our health or that are potentially dangerous, that they wouldn't be allowed to sell them. Unlike the European Union, which has banned a list of 130 toxic chemicals, in America there is actually no federal regulation of chemicals in household products. It is also not a requirement to list the ingredients. So basically, it’s up to us to be vigilant in regards to our health in what we choose to purchase.

On the plus side, these products clean incredibly well. But at what cost? Some products release volatile organic compounds which have been linked to the contribution of: chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions, immune disorders, migraines or even boost cancer risk. All those little exposures to chemicals add up over time and this is when we begin to see it take a toll on our overall health. In one of the many independent studies regarding toxins in household cleaners, it showed that long term frequent exposure has shown to accelerate lung function decline comparable to someone who has smoked cigarettes for 10-20 years. 

Cleaning products to look out for:

  •  Aerosol spray products, air fresheners, chlorine bleach, detergent, dishwashing liquid, furniture and floor polish, oven cleaners, and rug and upholstery cleaners. Even products that are claiming to be “natural”, “non-toxic” or “green”, doesn’t necessarily mean the product is any of these things. A rule of thumb: Any cleaner that has more than ten ingredients in it, don’t buy it. If it has a warning on it stating it could be dangerous, listen to it. It probably is. Do a little research on the products you're eyeing from a reliable source. Or better yet, make your own cleaner! 

Natural Cleaning Alternatives

Air Freshener

Replace with an oil diffuser with essential oils like lemon, lavender or sandalwood. It smells lovely and is calming.


Instead, use hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice: 2 cups hydrogen peroxide and two teaspoons of lemon juice and water. 

Floor Cleaner &  Multi-Purpose  Cleaner

A staple in the household, vinegar and water. Does the smell bother you? Add some essential oils! I usually add lemon to my spray bottle and it smells nice and clean.

Degreasing Solution

Baking Soda. Spray some water, sprinkle with baking soda and rub off with a damp towel. 

Dishwasher Detergent

Castile Soap. You can also use this as a dish soap. It is biodegradable and non toxic. You can also add some baking soda along with it to get grease off of dirty dishes.

The more I learn, the clearer it becomes that the simpler we live, the better. Making healthier adjustments in regards to the way we live, doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. There are so many options we can take to reduce our exposure to toxins within our home.

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