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Reduce Chemicals in Your Home
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Reduce Chemicals in Your Home
Many of the items and products we have or use in the home and garden emit harmful toxins which have been linked to a range of common health problems. Carpets and floor coverings, paints and finishes, furniture and fabrics, cleaning, personal care and pest control products as well as heating and cooking appliances can all contribute to a toxic environment in our home. The following information will give you tips on how to make your home chemical free.
Improve your Indoor Air Quality
• Good ventilation is the best way to combat household pollutants.
• Open your windows and doors to flush the pollutants out and let the fresh air in. If you live on a busy road or are concerned about the quality of the air you are letting in, an air filter might be a better option.
• Indoor plants can help remove pollutants from the air.
• Choose natural products that have low chemical emissions.
Here are some examples to start you off:
o Beeswax polish and linseed oil for wood finishing.
o Plant or mineral based paints instead of petrochemical paints and finishes.
o Sisal, coir or jute floor coverings instead of synthetic carpets.
o Essential oils or fresh flowers instead of artificial air fresheners.
o Cleaning, personal care (soaps, shampoos, deodorants, unbleached tampons etc) and pest control products that are made from natural ingredients.
Clean your home with Natural and Healthier Products
Don’t be influenced by all the advertising you see. Many of the germs out there won’t hurt you, in fact the chemicals you use to ‘kill’ them may do us more harm than the germ itself. Save money and the environment! Why use toxic and potentially harmful chemicals to clean your home when lemon juice, vinegar, eucalyptus oil and bicarb soda are equally as effective - and much cheaper?
Using non-toxic chemicals around your home is better for your health and for the environment. Use natural products such as vinegar, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), eucalyptus oil, pure soap and lemon juice and the recipes below.
Fridge Cleaner Bicarbonate Of Soda mixed with water can remove stains, mould and odours in your fridge.
Non-toxic Oven Cleaner
Mix 1/2 a cup of table salt, 1/4 cup of borax, 1/2 cup of baking soda and enough warm water to make a paste. Apply liberally to the interior of the oven. Leave it for at least an hour and then wipe it down with a cloth soaked in vinegar and then with a clean rinsed cloth.
White Vinegar cuts through grease, disinfects, bleaches and deodorises tabletops and sinks.
Fizzy Bathroom Cleaner
Mix 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1/4 cup of baking soda. Apply with a scrubbing brush or a cloth and leave the solution for 30 minutes before one last scrub. Finally rinse the area in warm water.
Windows, Glass and Mirrors
Combine 1 cup of white vinegar and 5 drops of eucalyptus oil in a spray bottle. Spray and then wipe down with a dry cloth. Be amazed as this recipe prevents mirrors fogging up.
Specialised cleaning cloths and gloves are also a great way to clean without chemicals. These products are now readily available in supermarkets and are machine washable, so can be used over and over again. Try to avoid the disposable cleaning cloths as they just add to your household waste! Miracle Wash Laundry Balls are a fantastic alternative to washing powder. The clean and freshen clothes without harsh chemicals, artificial perfumes and are much better for the environment.
Be aware of chemicals from things like;
• Plastic storage containers especially the takeaway containers – try Pyrex or ceramic instead. If you regularly carry a plastic water bottle around invest in a stainless steel (not aluminium) one like Sigg.
• Teflon® coated cookware – yes, it’s handy but once it starts peeling or getting bumpy throw it out! The nonstick coating used in Teflon® pans has been found to release one or more of 15 different toxic gases when heated to certain temperatures. Which chemicals are released depends on the temperature of the pan.
• Fire retardants on childrens clothes
• Beauty products – Most commercial makeup is full of unnecessary and sometimes harmful ingredients such as artificial dyes and fragrances, synthetic preservatives, oils and fillers.
All of these things can wreak havoc on the delicate skin of your face. Mineral makeup is made from naturally occurring minerals such as titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide is naturally anti-inflammatory and a natural sunscreen. It is perfect for acne, rosacea, eczema or dermatitis as the natural minerals can help reduce irritation and redness. Mineral make-up is ideal for sensitive skin and is suitable for all skin types.
Cosmetic manufacturers are not supposed to claim that their products penetrate our skin. If they did (the products would then be labelled a 'drug' and henceforth be governed by much stricter regulations. This is both good and bad. Good because it means your skin can be nourished from the outside with some wonderful ingredients. Bad because it means some cosmetic manufacturer can put into their products that would never be allowed to be taken orally, but are still absorbed into our system, through our skin.
“With the exception of colour additives and a few prohibited ingredients, a cosmetic manufacturer may, on his own responsibility, use essentially any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without approval.”
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Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.