Hidden Environmental Pollutants in Your Home
Hidden Environmental Pollutants in Your Home
Find Out What’s Lurking in Your Home…
Fridge – Just because you’re fridge preserves food, doesn’t mean food doesn’t still spoil naturally over time. You shouldn’t wait till you see mold before you decide to throw food out. If food hasn’t been eaten in 2 days, toss it out. The time span for left overs is even shorter if it’s take out.
Plastics – Plastics can leach chemicals into food, especially if they’re heated or worn. Instead of plastics, opt for glass or stainless steel. Unwanted chemical leaching is magnified when food is placed in plastic heated in a microwave. While microwaves don’t pose a radiation risk, consider warming up food in ceramic or glassware.
Indoor Air – What you can’t see can harm you. This is especially the case when it comes to indoor air. Aside from pet dander/odors and possible indoor smokers, there are a number of radical elements floating through your home. The kitchen is one of these places, where a number of gases and chemicals infiltrate the air. Crack open a window and get a room air purifier as a must-have kitchen appliance to filter the air and make sure you’re not inhaling indoor pollutants.
Nonstick Pans – Nonstick coatings on pots and pans can release toxic fumes at high temperatures. If you use nonstick pans, try to use only low or medium heat. However, if possible, use ceramic ovenware, cast iron or stainless steel cookware
Drinking Water – While our water filtration systems are some of the best in the world, your pipes may not be. If you live in an old building with lead pipes, let your water run for a couple of minutes each morning. While most people turn to bottled water thinking its more pure, statistics show bottled water is actually far less regulated for contaminants than tap water. If you don’t want to use tap water, consider buying a filter and invest in a reusable bottle.
Detergents – Phosphates in some detergents can contribute hand-washing. Phosphates in some detergents can contribute to water pollution when they go down the drain, so choose phosphate and chlorine-free biodegradable detergents. If you use a dishwasher, check to see if it carries the Energy Star label. The same principles apply for your laundry detergent, through which you may be exposing yourself to harsh chemicals. Try using fragrance-free and dye-free detergents.
Toxic Cleaners –You may be doing your best to clean your home, but if you’re using cleaners with toxins in them, you’re actually causing more harm than good. Conventional cleaners can contain toxic chemicals that aren’t necessarily highlighted on the label. End of the day, all you want to do is get rid of the germs and bacteria. Fortunately, natural ingredients work just as well to do this. Try using baking soda to scour and vinegar as an antibacterial agent. Also, try looking for natural cleaners that are both eco-friendly and effective.
Canned Foods – Most homes have pantries or at least pantry cupboards. Most cupboards are racked with row after row of canned goods. However, Bisphenol-A, a chemical linked to a variety of health issues and diseases, can leach into food from the lining in cans.
Natural Air Purifiers – Indoor house plants act like natural air purifiers. The foliage and roots work to absorb chemical pollutants released by synthetic materials. Ferns, for example, are ideal plants for homes with pets and kids. However, if you don’t want to deal with plant maintenance and care, you can always opt for a real air purifier. Whatever you do, don’t use air fresheners, as they can irritate lungs, cause headaches, and numb your nose to odors.
Reduce Allergen Magnets – Upholstered furniture, such as chairs and sofas, can harbor allergens like pollen, dust mites, and mold. However, there’s an even bigger trap for indoor contaminants, and that’s your wall to wall carpeting. Your exposure to this is event more threatening if you have kids, especially younger kids that crawl around the carpet all day. One way you can eliminate this problem is by getting vacuum with a HEPA filter; another way is by getting wood flooring. If you decide on wood flooring, consider bamboo flooring, which is much cheaper and far more environmentally friendly.
Lead Exposure – A new coat of paint is the quickest pick up for any home. But before cracking open the paint container, take a moment to check your home to see if any of the previous layers of paint contained lead. Some homes built as recently as 1978 are known to carry lead in their paint. A low lead level is not any less damaging. Even low-level lead exposure can affect brain development in a fetus, newborn or young child. And when buying paint, look for no-VOC products.
Dry-Cleaned Clothes – Dry-cleaned clothes may come back with unwanted chemicals, some of which have been tested to cause cancer. Try hand washing or steaming your clothes instead.
Mattresses Health – Mattresses are wrapped in plastics and treated with flame retardants. If you have a synthetic mattress, air it outdoors before bringing it in your home. Cover the mattress with a wool or organic mattress pad.
Cosmetics – It’s daunting to know that 99% of personal care products, such as cosmetics and hygiene products, have never been tested for safety by the Cosmetics Ingredient Review Panel, the FDA, or any other institution. Some common ingredients have already been linked to adverse health impacts. Your option here is to either use fewer products or use natural one.
Stir Up the Air – Bathrooms are havens for mold due to the high humidity levels. An exhaust fan can help clear the air- both of the humidity and of fumes from vinyl shower curtains and cleaners. Try using an exhaust fan that vents outside or crack the window when you bathe.
While our homes are our castles, it’s important to be aware of what dangers are lurking in them. Most of these listed pollutants can be eliminated or prevented with proper care and guidance; and while a few chemical fumes off of plastics may not seem like a big deal, over time it can add up.
Get Started on a Pollutant-Free Environment
Shireen S. is a green expert working with www.air-purifier-home.com to help them maximize consumer awareness. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author
Jeff has been the CEO of Senior.com for 12 years. Senior.com has grown under Jeff’s leadership, in fact when the website was first launched, the member base grew form Zero to over 700,000 in less the 3 years. Current, has over 1,600,000 registered members.
Jeff received his MBA degree in Managerial Finance and Investor Relations from the University of Phoenix and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Corporate Finance and Accounting from California State University, Fullerton.View All Articles