MAY / J U N E 2 0 1 4 45 health + we l l n e s s Living Your Best (Napa Valley) Life by Dr. Sharon Ufberg, D.C. Though each of us has a different level of genetic and allergic sensitivity to our daily accumulation of toxins, it is well known that many common household cleansers, body care products, and makeup products are being increasingly found to have harmful and negative health effects. DE~ TOX YOUR home Have you ever stopped to count the number of different chemical products you are using in your home and garden? There are way too many harmful chemicals that we are exposed to on a daily basis—some of which have no visibly offensive smell or taste. It is truly frightening to learn about the real danger that daily chemical exposure in our homes has on our bodies. The increasing levels of harmful toxins we are in contact with regularly have detrimental effects on our immune, nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, reproductive and endocrine systems. And while you may think that toxic chemicals are required to keep your home, body and garden clean and comfortable, it’s possible to do so with organic and natural options. You can make a huge difference in the level of chemicals in your home by making a few conscious and healthy decisions—starting right now. So what exactly can you do? Here are some easy tips to help “clean up” your home and make it a safer and healthier place for you and your loved ones. 1. LEAVE THE DIRT OUTSIDE. One of the easiest ways to clean up your home is to leave your shoes at the door. Tracking in all the pollutants from the street onto your floors and carpets adds to the heavy toxic load accumulated in the home. 2. VENTILATE YOUR SPACE. Open your doors and windows and let the fresh air in. Indoor air gets stale and has been found to have much higher levels of toxicity than the air outside. Sweep your floors and dust regularly to remove the dust particles that collect, and vacuum your rugs and carpets frequently. 3. REDUCE YOUR USE OF PLASTIC. Get rid of as much of the plastic in your home as possible. Never microwave in plastic containers, and switch up your storage to glass, ceramic, or cardboard containers. Try to eliminate plastics such as cling wrap, plastic bottles, and styrofoam. These products leech potentially harmful chemicals into your food. 4. CHANGE UP YOUR POTS AND PANS Use only iron, stainless steel, glass, or porcelain-coated cookware. Those magic nonstick pots and pans are coated with harmful chemicals that no one should ingest. 5. SWITCH YOUR LEANING PRODUCTS. Most of the traditional cleansers on the market are full of chemicals you do not want to put in contact with your food or body. Look for greener, nontoxic and more natural products, and avoid any products with bleach, chlorine, or ammonia. Many people are switching to vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and natural soaps to clean their homes. 6. REVISIT YOUR BATH AND BODY CARE PRODUCTS. Your personal care items most likely need close inspection. Unfortunately, they too are loaded with chemicals that are not healthy for your skin, hair, or face. Makeup is one of the worst offenders; regulation is weak. Check out your favorite products on the Environmental Working Group website section called Skin Deep EWG.org/skindeep and be prepared to look for safer choices. 7. SAY NO TO GARDEN PESTICIDES AND FERTILIZERS. The chemicals used for gardens and lawns are some of the worst on the market today. Try and find natural alternatives that are more environmentally friendly and safe. 8. GET A WATER FILTER. Tap water is full of unwanted chemicals, and putting a filter onto your home water tap is definitely better than drinking bottled water from plastic bottles. 9. AVOID PEST CONTROL AND TOX IC PET CARE PRODUCTS. It should be obvious that the chemicals used for exterminating pests are not safe for humans, either. Take care when choosing pet care products, as many are toxic for you and your pets, too. 10. LOSE THE DRY CLEANING BAGS. Have your dry cleaner leave your clothes out of the plastic or discard it as soon as you get your clothes home. The plastic traps the chemicals on your garments and delivers them to your closet. Go to the Environmental Working Group website for lots more information and ideas!
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