Children are at the greatest risk because their bodies are still developing. Pound for pound children absorb more toxins, breathe more air, absorb more radiation and spend more time on the floor crawling and putting their hands in their mouth where toxic dust can settle.
The Good News:
In most cases exposure levels can be lowered or eliminated without sacrificing convenience or product effectiveness. You have the power to limit toxins on, in and around your space. I have worked with so many families curating Whole Home Health Reports complete with specific non toxic product and home good recommendations tailored to their specific tastes and needs.
Don’t be overwhelmed if your “to do” list is long. Start small and over time little changes can add up to BIG results for the health of your family.
Let’s get started!
What’s your IAQ?
- DO remove your shoes as dirt, pesticides, and other chemicals are brought into your home on the bottom of your shoes. Keep a floor mat outside to wipe your feet and a shoe tray or shoe storage.
- DO open your windows for an inexpensive way to air out toxic indoor air which the EPA reports can be 5-100x more polluted than outdoor air.
- DO buy a HEPA stand alone air filter to filter allergens, odors, gases and chemicals from your bedrooms. (Austin Air Filter and IQ air are top rated.)
- DO buy MERV 11, 12, 13 or 14 air filters for your air return system. Follow replacement recommendations
- DO buy pure essential oils for pure smelling goodness
- DO keep your humidity levels below 50% to discourage mold growth and dustmites. (Whole house dehumidifiers are available as well as stand alone units for problem areas.)
- DON’T buy heavily scented cleaning or home products. Laundry and cleaning products contain VOC’s, chemicals and fragrances which can be endocrine disruptors and agitate allergies.
- DON’T use dry cleaners that use perc or petroleum based dry cleaners.
- DO choose incandescent or halogen (or tested low EMF emitting LED) bulbs with full spectrum lighting that mimics natural sunlight.
- DON’T use CFL’s in high use areas as they are a nervous system stressor, contain mercury and transmit EMFs.
- DO avoid blue light from your devices 2 hours before you go to bed for optimal sleep. (Blue blocking glasses and (Iris software can help)
- DO filter your drinking and cooking water. Counter top filters are preferred like Aqua Tru and whole house filters from Environmental Water Systems or Radiant Life are good choices.
- DO remineralize your filtered water with high quality minerals like Original Quinton Sea Minerals and store your water in glass.
- DO choose glass if buying bottled water and make sure it is a high quality Spring Water like Mountain Valley.
- DO buy a glass water bottle with silicone for on the go water storage (stainless steel can leech and there can be concerns with the what type of metals are used.)
- DO buy a shower filter (or whole home water filtration system) to reduce chlorine and chemical vapors and skin absorption.
- DO go hardwired, it’s faster, more secure, reliable and lowers your exposure to wireless radiation a 2B carcinogen.
- DO put your router on a timer if you need wi-fi during the day.
- DO opt out of your “Smart Meter” if your city gives you the option.
- DO opt for a battery operated clock next to your bed.
- DO unplug electrical devices within 6 feet of your bed and no live extension cords or power strips near or under bed.
- Do be aware of what is on the other side of a headboard wall as building materials do not block magnetic fields.
- Do eliminate electric blankets and pads.
- Do Check your work space for cords and plugs and move as far away as possible. (Bonus points for shielded cords and grounded (3 prong) plugs.
- DON’T put your laptop on your lap and use a work desk (extra bonus points for a laptop shield.)
- DON’T leave your devices on at night.
- DON’T carry your phone on your body (fine print warning) unless in airplane mode.
- DO use glass and tested ceramic cookware (Pyrex, Le Creuset and Xtrema)
- DO use naturally microbial resistant cutting boards like solid wood (no toxic glues) or glass.
- DO use your stove vent hood when cooking for gas and food fumes.
- DO throw out your microwave as radiation is known to leak.
- DON’T use aluminum or non-stick cookware to avoid nasty chemicals
- BEWARE of stainless steel which can leech with acidic foods or cast iron which may have been seasoned with chemicals or allergenic oils
- DO use glass storage like Pyrex
- DO use non chlorine wax paper or non treated parchment paper (most brands use non stick PFOA chemicals)
- DON’T store food in plastics or heat food in plastics (one of the top 3 ways to NOT get cancer according to the Presidents Cancer Panel Report.)
- DO go organic (especially for EWGs dirty dozen list of the most highly sprayed fruits & veggies)
- DO educate yourself on what crops are sprayed with round up as a desiccant and avoid unless organic (wheat, soybeans, peas, potatoes, cereal grains and beans)
- DO look for BPA free canned foods – BPA is a hormone disruptor
- DON’T fall for the BPA- free marketing promise in plastics…the replacements such as BPS may be worse.
- DO buy organic fibers (conventional cotton is heavily sprayed with toxic pesticides and fibers.)
- DO pay attention to strong smells with products and do not bring into your home.
- DO buy a HEPA vacuum for your home and vacuum frequently (Don’t forget the drapes, furniture and mattresses.)
- DO dust frequently to keep chemicals (like flame retardants), that settle in dust particles away from children
- DO clean up water leaks immediately to avoid mold growth.
- DO use your bathroom ventilator fan and buy one that has a 60 minute timer.
- DO choose real wood/materials to avoid off-gassing formaldehyde in pressed particle board.
- DO avoid stain and water resistant fabrics, furniture and carpets to avoid PFC’s
- DO avoid products with foam which are usually treated with chemicals.
- DON’T use herbicides or pesticides on your lawn and don’t let your children play in recently sprayed areas. www.beyondpesticides.org has many non toxic solutions including diatamacous earth, boric acid and sticky traps and a database to vett your lawnkeepers products.
- DON’T buy cleaners with the words, Danger, Warning or Poison on the label.
- DON’T store chemicals or paints in your attached garage and think about not parking your car in the garage if there is a room above or nearby as vapors seep into interior spaces.
- DON’T buy product with flame retardants. TB1117 label means it most likely contains these toxic chemicals as well as foam upholstered products manufactured between 1970-2005.
- DO refer to EWGs Guide to Healthy Cleaning where the homework has been done for you for safe products!
- DO make sure children’s pajamas and underware are 100% organic cotton (or at least free of flame retardants and 100% cotton)
- DO purchase strollers, high chairs and car seats that are flame-retardant free.
- DO make sure you are not bringing phthalates or PVC containing toys or teethers into your home. Choose natural materials like wood and rubber.
- DO avoid stain and water resistant clothing, furniture and carpets to avoid PFOS.
- Do use non-nano mineral based suncreens like Badger which are free of harmful chemicals and are NOT spray-on to avoid inhalation dangers.
- DON’S use anti-lice treatments with lindane, malathion or other toxic pesticides.
- DON’T use anything on their skin you could not eat (try coconut oil, emu oil or shea butter. Use EWG guide for safest shampoos )
- DON”T use fluoride or SLS toothpaste or use fluorinated water for drinking or making infant formula
- DON’T use an electric blanket or heating pad and opt for a rubber hot water bottle.
- DO invest in a non-toxic organic mattress made of cotton, wool, kapok, horsehair or latex without springs that might attract EMF’s
- DO choose a bedframe without metal which can distort the earth’s natural magntic field and may lead to a restless sleep.
- DO look for the following third party certifications so you know your mattress has not been treated with chemicals: GOTS, GOLS or Greenguard
- DO encase pillows, mattresses and box springs with non-toxic 100% organic cotton dust-mite proof covers if a new mattress is not in the budget and/or for dust mite prevention
- DO buy chemical free natural fabrics for all bedding. Organic is best.
- DON’T buy synthetic materials which can result in unbalanced air ionization. High levels of positive ions can increases anxiety and can depress your mood.