Diet and exercise are a big part of healthy living, but what about the things in our immediate environment that can also impact our health? Modern day living comes with a lot of things that have become somewhat second nature to us. Cleansers, deodorizers, and appliances help us achieve a clean and comfortable home, but what are the risks associated with using some of these household items? Here are some things you should know in order to protect your family.
How to Achieve Healthy Living at Home
Gas Heaters and Stoves: Carbon monoxide can leak from any appliance that operates off of fuel. This can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. The CDC provides a list of things you can do to prevent this from happening in your home. To start, make sure your gas appliances are vented properly and only buy equipment that has a seal of a national testing agency.
Home Cleansers: When you clean your home with certain chemicals, they have nowhere to go except to stay on your surfaces or in the air that you breathe. These chemicals have been associated with reproductive toxicity, cancer, and other health effects. Products with bleach were also evidenced to cause chronic lung disease and birth defects. Thankfully, there are many more bio-friendly cleaning products on the market that you can use. When in doubt, a little soap and warm water can be used to clean many things.
Body Cleansers: An antimicrobial substance found in antibacterial soaps and shampoos has been tied to cancer and liver disease. This substance, called triclosan, is also used in a number of household products including toothpaste, baby wipes, clothes, cookware, furniture, and toys. Since there is no evidence that antibacterial soap is more effective than regular soap, you’re probably better off using plain old soap to clean yourself.
Pillows: Changing your pillows out frequently or purchasing hypoallergenic pillows is recommended. Why? Aspergillus fumigatus, a fungus commonly found in used pillows, can cause serious health problems to people with immunodeficiencies. There’s also evidence that children exposed to this fungus for an extended amount of time can develop asthma.
Deodorizers: As much as we love making our homes smell good, it might not be so good for us. Besides benzine found in incense-burning, reports have also shown that certain wax candles with lead core wicks can lead to dangerous amounts of lead, which can be detrimental to young children. A CPSC investigation found that despite a voluntary industry agreement in the 1970s to remove lead from candle wicks, a small percentage of candles sold in the past several years still contained lead-cored wicks. Why take a chance when there are many bio-friendly and natural deodorizers you can use such as eucalyptus oil, lemons, and cinnamon sticks?