You might not think of your home as a toxic chemical dump, but a lot of the products we use every day contain hazardous substances that can shave years off our lives. And can cause asthma and allergies, and even damage our hearts, lungs and livers. So, here are 4 of the top hazardous home chemicals to be careful of:
- Chlorine bleach. It’s great for killing germs and whitening clothes, but the active ingredient in bleach can irritate your nose, eyes, throat, skin, and lungs. So, you might want to consider a non-toxic bleach alternative, like baking soda, white vinegar, alcohol, or peroxide. And never mix bleach and vinegar together – because that creates a deadly, toxic cloud.
- N-P-E. It helps liquids like oil and water mix, and makes cleansers and detergents more effective. But studies show it can also drastically upset our body’s hormonal balances and makes it harder for couples to conceive a baby. Good substitutes include baking soda and vinegar. Or try steam cleaners, or high-tech microfiber mops that can reduce or eliminate the need for harsh chemicals.
- Toluene. It’s a solvent found in things like nail polish, polish remover, paints, and paraffin candles. But the fumes can cause tiredness, confusion, memory loss, and temporary hearing loss. And high levels can cause unconsciousness and even death. And the toluene molecule is so small it can be directly absorbed through the skin and nails. You’re better off with nontoxic candles made from soy or beeswax and paints, nail polish and thinners labeled “toluene-free.”
- Air fresheners and other synthetic fragrances. Skip these because the chemicals can irritate the eyes, and damage lung tissue. Here’s a simple fix from the experts: If your house is clean, you won’t need fragrances, because you won’t have any odors to hide.