Protecting Your Family and Earth from Toxins
We often think about keeping our home and family safe from toxins, but sometimes we forget that the chemicals in our household have a direct effect on the environment, too.
Take Inventory of What You’re Currently Using
Did you know items you already have on hand can be filled with toxins you didn’t know about? There are many common health and cleaning products that can have horrible impacts on the environment but also on your health. Taking some time to take inventory of what you are using and whether it is beneficial can be a game-changer for your home. Here are a few items to consider looking at more:
- Glass Cleaner - Ammonia is often used as the main ingredient in glass cleaners. It is a powerful eye irritant, a respiratory irritant that may trigger asthma or even chronic effects such as bronchitis.
- All-Purpose Cleaner - Most store-bought, all-purpose cleaners contain chemicals that can trigger asthma. Asthma attacks and other respiratory issues might be triggered as well.
- Hand Sanitizer - Alcohol-based sanitizers strip skin oils - instantly drying and damaging the skin. They are also intoxicating, flammable, and poisonous.
- Beauty Products/Nail Polish Remover - Acetone-based nail polish remover are highly volatile and flammable. They are easily absorbed by the skin and ingested by breathing vapors.
- Bleach - Chlorine bleach is a corrosive substance. When aerosolized bleach is inhaled, it may cause a variety of health problems. Bleach is very Irritating and corrosive to the skin, lungs, and eyes.
- Phthalates - These ingredients might smell good, but stay away. They are found in many items that have scents to them such as scented cleaners and air fresheners and are not safe for human inhalation, especially in enclosed areas like your bathroom. Ammonia - Ammonia is found in many cleaners and although it might seem to make sense that it would kill dirt and bacteria, think again as it might do more damage to you than the dirt and grime on the floor. Ammonia can cause a host of respiratory problems and can also contribute to kidney and liver damage.
- MEA (monoethanolamine), DEA (diethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine) - This unhealthy trio is typically found in many of the most common all-purpose cleaners you can buy at the grocery store. They are well known to be hormone disrupters and no one wants to throw off that balance in your body.
- Sodium dichloroisocyanurate dihydrate - If you think it’s natural for you to cough after you clean your toilet, think again. This main ingredient, found in many toilet cleaners, is the culprit behind coughing and permanent respiratory damage. Replace this with natural toilet bowl cleaners with less invasive ingredients. In fact, a good all-purpose cleaner can get the job done in your toilet bowl too!
Safely Dispose of Harmful Products
One of the biggest ways harmful products are introduced into our environment is through improper disposal. Making the switch to products that are safer for your family is an important step. It is also important to dispose of less safe products in the way that is best for the planet. Not all products can be disposed of in the same way. Here are a few tips for safely disposing of harmful products:
- Moisturizers, Sunscreens, and Shampoos - When disposing of shampoos, moisturizers, and sunscreens you will want to dump the majority of what is inside of the container into the garbage. After you have emptied the container, the container can be moved to your recycle bin to be disposed of.
- Makeup - You will want to dump all of the actual makeup out of the container into a garbage bag. Sadly these items can not be recycled. Once all product is out of the container you can then recycle plastic or glass makeup containers with your local recycling collection.
- Hand Soaps - You will want to dump the contents of the container down the drain. You can then rinse out and recycle the containers that these items come in.
- Drain Cleaners - Many drain cleaners can be dumped directly down the drain. After completely emptying the container, you can send the containers away for recycling.
- Cleaners, Sprays, and Soaps - Many cleaners and soaps can be dumped down the drain. The containers can then be recycled. For aerosol cans, you will want to ask your local recycling agency if they accept aerosol. If they do not, these items will find their way into the trash.
- Laundry Soaps - You have two options here. You can either dump out the laundry soap in a drain with plenty of water to wash it down or you can wait for a hazardous waste pickup. If you dump it down the drain, make sure to recycle the container.
Switch Out Your Products for Safer Alternatives
Once you have taken the time to take inventory and dispose of the harmful items, it’s time for a switch to better-for-you products! Switching home care cleaning products can feel daunting with all the potential toxins implied. However, there are companies with a focus on health-friendly and earth-friendly products. In fact, there are many products that will work as well, if not better than what you were using. Here are a few tips for making the switch:
- Laundry Soap - Changing out a traditional laundry soap for an eco-friendly option doesn’t have to be hard. Healthier Home Products Ahh…New! 12-In-1 Laundry Detergent which offers a safer choice for your home.
- Bathroom Cleaning Supplies - There are a few different eco-friendly cleaning options. For an eco-friendly option that really works try Bathroom Magic 6-In-1 Hardwater Stain Cleaner.
- All-Purpose Cleaning Products - There are some DIY options you can make yourself. However, Healthier Home Products has the All-Purpose 5-in-1 All Purpose Cleaner that is not only safer for your home and family, but for the environment, too. This can be an option if you don’t want to make your own.
- Personal Care Items - Items like shampoo, body soap, lotion, and even hand sanitizer can be switched out for safer alternatives. Spend some time researching ingredients to find a product that is better for you and the environment.
- Deep Cleaning Products - Cleaning products for getting stains out of carpet, removing carpet odor, and even mold and mildew removers can be important for some homes. There are healthier alternatives for many of these products on the market that can handle tough jobs without harmful chemicals.