We always think that our homes are a safe place to be – a refuge from the stress of our jobs and everyday living. Yet sometimes, some of us will be exposed to chemicals in our own home that can be hazardous to your health and your family’s health.
I do a lot of Environmental Inspections and am amazed by what I see during these inspections that people do to themselves without thinking. The good news is, not everyone does naive things to harm themselves. Example: Mixing Clorox with ammonia.
It is important to understand every product you use in your home home depot health check . Have you ever read the label of the product you are using? Your first thought is that all products are safe because they are in the grocery store. The answer is a definite no because some people have allergies to certain substances and not to all. They need to know that there are safe alternatives to help us out.
The following are the ten most common products I find in homes that people are allergic to and finding an inexpensive safe alternative is easy.
o Mothballs do not belong in your home. The chemical agent in them is paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene. It is a chemical that can cause blood disorders. Children have a habit of finding them and ingesting them. Use an alternative such as cedar chips.
o Ammonia can cause eye and respiratory problems. Mixed with Clorox, you have “Mustard Gas” from WWI.
o Carbon Monoxide is produced from improperly vented hot water heaters and stoves. I have tested many of these systems and found them to be unsafe especially when the unit is located inside your home. Drafting the exhaust can be a problem in a closed up Air Conditioned house. If you think you might have this problem, contact your local gas company dealer to have it checked. All homes with gas appliances should have a Carbon Monoxide detector available at Home Depot, Lowe’s or your local hardware store.
o Detergent based soaps are a petrochemical derivative. Use natural soaps around the home. These soaps can be found in the Green-Wise Dept. of your local grocery store or Health Food Store. Bronner’s Soap is a good example of a castile soap which has been around for a long time.
o New clothes have a fabric sizing on the cloth materials to make them look good to the consumer. Wash your clothes prior to wearing them. Some individuals have an allergy to this product. This will prevent any respiratory problems people have with this product. Buy as much all natural cotton clothes as feasible, including your sheets.
o Pesticides-never spray pesticides in your home. Remember the bugs are smart and know where the poisons are located. We did an experiment with roaches and watched them go around or jump over a line of sprayed pesticides on the floor. Always bait and you will be safe from pesticide exposure. Remember, there is no such thing as a safe pesticide. If it kills them, it can affect you too.
o Cooking: try to cook as much organic food as possible. Organic vegetables taste better than non-organic. Try the taste test, you will be surprised. They are available in the Green-Wise Dept. of your local grocery store or Health Food Store.
o House Plants: they are beautiful to look at but if you do not take care of them, they will become a breeder of mold. Overwatering is mainly the cause of this. Buy one of the soil moisture indicators to monitor the soil moisture content.
o Chlorine Allergy: Chlorine in municipal water supplies can be removed using a whole house system. Chlorine can be damaging to your hair and skin over long periods of exposure. It can be worse when your municipality super chlorinates the system due to a break in the system. This is common problem in all city municipalities. We have several clients who get ill when this happens due to their allergies to Chlorine.
o Bottled Water: it is better to use glass than plastic due to the water’s ability to absorb the chemicals from the plastic. The substance is called BPA or Bisphenol and is a hormone disrupter. Have you ever left a bottle of water sit in your car and it heats up? Notice the difference in taste, that’s the chemical in the water due to leeching of the plastic into the water. Never drink water that has been heated in a plastic bottle. The same is true about your baby’s bottle; heat the ingredients in a glass baby bottle, not plastic.