When we become parents, we become hyper-aware of the many threats and dangers in the world. We want to wrap our children up in cotton wool and teach them everything they need to know about crossing roads, avoiding strangers, never running away, not playing with fire, etc. However, while not as immediate, parents are often not conscious of the potential safety threats in their own homes. Often, the homes we live in are far more toxic to our health than the air outside thanks to all the synthetic materials we surround ourselves with.
Here is a guide to reducing toxins in the home to create a safer environment for your family.
Clear the air
The air we breathe at home can be improved in several ways. The simplest is to open the windows in the home to allow fresh air to circulate. Lots of modern windows can be opened just enough to ventilate the home without letting in a noticeable breeze or rain. You could also bring live plants into the home as they emit oxygen. Installing an air purifier will be more costly, but it is arguably the most effective way to ensure the air you breathe is free of allergens, toxins, and dust.
Choose non-toxic cookware
A lot of modern non-stick cookware brands contain PFCs which can contaminate food when pans are scratched. Choose non-toxic cookware and ensure that you are baking with oven-safe tins, ceramic dishes, cast iron or steel pans or eco-friendly non-stick cookware. Food storage boxes can also include harmful chemicals like Phthalates, Bisphenol A Plastic or Bisphenol S Plastic. When these boxes are heated, the toxins can contaminate food, so opt for glass whenever possible.
Switch to natural bedding, soft furnishings, and toys
The sofas we sit on and the beds we lie on at night are usually made with materials that give off toxins, attract dust mites, and aggravate allergies. With natural materials in your furniture you and your family can sleep soundly at night. It is best to choose natural cotton, wool, or wood rather than plastic.
If you cannot afford to buy brand new furniture, consider buying secondhand items. The toxins emitted by furniture decrease as time passes, so the older a piece of furniture or toy is, the less toxic it is likely to be.
Choose natural fragrances
A lot of commercially popular air fresheners and scented candles emit hundreds of different toxins and chemicals into the home including VOCs (volatile organic compounds). You can still keep your home smelling fresh and inviting but choosing diffusers of natural essential oils or making homemade scented sprays and candles is a much safer option.
Use natural cleaning products
Many of the strong chemicals added to standard cleaning products have not been approved by the FDA. There are lots of non-toxic alternatives in stores nowadays, but when you consider that many natural substances are just as effective as homemade cleaners and often cheaper, it makes sense to create some alternative cleaning products of your own.