Toxins are Everywhere
At the risk of sounding like a complete downer, it’s an unfortunate fact that our air is polluted. What many of us don’t realize is that common household products emit toxins. Everything from our furniture, carpeting, paint, candles, hair gel, cosmetics, and more, contain dangerous pollutants. Fortunately, there are ways to combat the toxicity—which also includes collecting indoor plants.
What’s in the Air?
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services added formaldehyde to our list of known carcinogens. Believe it or not, this toxin is used a variety of products. Formaldehyde is used to treat wood flooring, particle board, and some furniture. It’s also found in carpet, paint, and building glue. The smoke from cigarettes emits the chemical’s fumes. Even in some fabrics, formaldehyde is used to make “wrinkle-free” clothing. And let’s add nail polish to this as well.
So, although there are known carcinogens, somehow they are still allowed in products we consume daily. And unfortunately, we’re not always aware of an item’s true ingredients. Hence, in order to combat potential health risks, here are some tips to help keep your family toxic-free.
What to Do
If you smoke cigarettes, quit now. Nothing good health-wise can come to you or anyone else from the emissions. Speaking of emissions, your clothes dryer can infiltrate your home with dangerous pollutants. Avoid fabric softener and dryer sheets. They contain “fragrance” with includes toxic chemicals. Try plant-based detergents or even hang clothes to dry.
Mood lighting is lovely, but scented candles can be poisonous. Synthetic candles emit benzene, which is another known carcinogen. Opt for pure beeswax if you love candles. For a nice scent, try organic essential oils for aromatherapy.
Ventilation is key in your home. Fresh air can help dispel toxins coming off your furniture, walls, and even from your shower. Our water is full of chlorine, which is essentially toxic in large amounts. Get a filter for your showerhead to reduce airborne gases from spreading through your home. Additionally, that will reduce chlorine from entering your body through your skin.
Green is Good
Recently NASA made some incredible discoveries about indoor plants. They’ve been studying plants’ effect on air quality for about two decades now. As it turns out, many of these common household plants remove formaldehyde, benzene, and other dangerous pollutants from the indoor air. Here is a list of 20:
Aloe Vera, areca palm, elephant ear philodendron, lady palm, bamboo, rubber plant, dracaena, English ivy, dwarf date palm, ficus, Boston fern, peace lily (dangerous to cats), golden pothos, Kimberely Queen fern, chrysanthemums, Gerbera daisy, dragon tree, red emerald philodendron, parlor palm, and the spider plant.