Your home is your castle. It's where you retreat from the world to relax, get comfortable and feel safe. But, thanks to years of misleading marketing and a lack of product oversight, unseen health risks are lurking in every corner.
From building materials that give off VOCs (http://www.ecomii.com/dictionary/science/volatile-organic-compounds), to personal products that contain known carcinogens, we're being bombarded on all sides by chemicals that are bad for our bodies and bad for the planet.
Luckily, protecting yourself and your family from these health threats is as easy as reading ingredient lists and choosing safer products; you just have to know what you're looking for.
Below are 5 of the most effective ways to fight these health risks and create a safer, more eco-friendly home for you and your family.
1. Choose Non-Toxic Household Products
Ever wonder what all those warnings and scary symbols on your cleaning products mean? They mean they are dangerous to your health. In fact, most conventional cleaning products contain toxic chemicals that put humans and the environment at risk.
The so-called "smell of clean" is a marketing ploy to make us associate the smell of chemicals with cleanliness. In reality, every time you inhale the scent of "ocean breeze" or "fresh pine," you're filling your nose with a cocktail of industrial chemicals. These ingredients range from mild irritants to full-on poisons and can cause respiratory tract irritation, skin inflammation, eye irritation, nausea, headaches, dizziness and even vomiting. Some are known or suspected carcinogens.
Luckily, there are safe alternatives to the caustic brews that have become so mainstream, so we don't have to trade a clean house for a safe house. Nontoxic products are now widely available-and are as effective as they are safe. You can even make them at home for cheap. (http://www.ecomii.com/healthy-home/basic-formulas)
Click here to find some healthy, effective alternatives to conventional cleaners. (http://www.ecomii.com/parenting/earth-friendly-cleaners)
Click here to learn which harmful ingredients to watch out for. (http://www.ecomii.com/healthy-home/chemicals-in-you-home)
2. Choose Safe Finishes and Furnishings for your Home
You know that new carpet or fresh paint smell? That smell is not a good thing. In fact, what you're sniffing are harmful chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemicals that can cause various health problems, including nausea, tremors and headaches.
When you paint (http://www.ecomii.com/building/wall-materials ) or install traditional insulation (http://www.ecomii.com/building/hidden-in-your-walls), the binding agents in the product begin to evaporate and release these VOCs into the air, which results in that familiar odor. Even after the odor goes away, though, these materials continue to release VOCs.
One of the most common VOCs is formaldehyde (http://www.ecomii.com/ecopedia/formaldehyde); the same chemical scientists use to preserve dead bodies. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen (cancer-causing chemical) and is found in the adhesives used all over our homes, from kitchen cabinets, to insulation, to furniture finishes. Small particles of formaldehyde continue to be released into the air years after these products have been installed.
Luckily, with a little research, it's easy to find non-toxic, eco-friendly alternatives to all of the products mentioned above.
Click here to learn more about conventional finishes, furnishings, and find healthy products. (http://www.ecomii.com/building/traditional-finishes)