What Toxic Chemicals are in Your House?

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What Toxic Chemicals
are in Your House?

Ever wonder what toxic chemicals are in your house? Want to get rid of them? This webpage is for you.
Many Toxic Chemicals are known to cause cancer. They are also implicated in other diseases which are not life threatening, but threaten one’s quality of life - aka long term illnesses.

When you start reading through this list, you may start to think that everything in your house is toxic. Everything in your house may be toxic, but there are levels of toxicity. The EPA is probably not going to declare your house a hazardous waste zone.
The good news is there are simple solutions/replacements for most of the toxic products in your home, some of which are much less expensive. You can start clearing toxins out of your home one room at a time - I suggest starting with the room where you spend most of your time (often the bedroom). And you can take this one step at a time.
Which toxic products are should you replace/eliminate first? I would start with the ones you use the most or most often. Another method is to start with those that are nearest your nose and mouth - shampoo, mouthwash, toothpaste, face soap, makeup. Also nail polish/remover and hand lotion, since your hands go near your nose and mouth the most often. Another item you might want to replace first is chlorine, since it combines easily with other chemicals. Or you may want to start with those which will save you money.

Cleaners: Any household cleaner, unless it was bought at a health-food store, probably contains toxic chemicals. Furniture Polish, Tub & Tile Cleaner, etc. Most of these can be replaced by Borax, Baking Soda, Vinegar, Lemon Juice. Even though these natural cleaners are not “toxic”, they can harm you if care is not taken when using them. Vodka makes a great glass cleaner.
Chlorine is one of the most common and most toxic cleaners around. While Chlorine by itself is not that toxic (it’s toxic enough), when it combines with other cleaners it becomes much more toxic.

Air Fresheners: Air fresheners (including car air fresheners) and anything containing fragrance (whether so labeled or not) has a high likelihood of containing toxic chemicals. Essential Oils are not toxic, but can overwhelm those with fragrance senstivities. When burned, as in candles, essential oils produce toxic chemicals (according to some). Unscented beeswax candles and salt lamps will clear the air. Cedar will help clear the air, but some people become sensitive to cedar when exposed to too much of it for too long. Air Filters will also clear the air. The least expensive solutions are tea bags and/or coffee. Some use a mixture of spices.

Laundry Products: Many Laundry Products contain toxic chemicals, including those in their fragrances. Many fabrics (clothes) are made to retain these chemicals so that your clothes keep smelling “fresh”. At least that’s what I gather from listening to the commercials. It also sounds like the laundry products are made to cling to the clothes. This is like walking around with soap in your clothes.
Borax, Baking Soda, and Vinegar can be used in your laundry. Non-Toxic Fragrance-Free Laundry Detergents can usually be found in health food stores or online.
Dryer-Sheets contain toxic chemicals. Gaiam and others offer non-toxic alternatives. But if you don’t mind a few wrinkles or have the time and desire to iron your clothes, dryer-sheets are unnecessary.

Deodorant: Try a fragrance-free one from your health food store.

Soap: Ditto.

Hair Care Products: Shampoo and Conditioner - try fragrance-free versions. You hair is near you nose, making it easier for any toxic chemicals in your hair care products to enter your body (at least it seems that way to me). If you have headaches, you might want to focus on replacing your hair care products. There are natural alternatives to hair care products. Lemon Juice can be used to bleach your hair. Henna hair dyes are available.

Nail Polish, Make Up: Try natural versions of these.

Insecticides, Herbicides, Pesticides, Fungicides, ...icides. Pesticide-Free

Paint: Use No-VOC Paint instead. While low-VOC paint contain less toxic chemicals, there are plenty of good No-VOC paints and stains around, so that you might as well use them and eliminate all the toxic chemicals.

Gasoline, Car Products: You might have some gas and oil around for your lawn-mower. Consider an Electric or Reel Mower instead. You might also have some Transmission Fluid, Brake Fluid, etc. around for your car. If you can’t completely eliminate these, they should be kept in an air-tight container away from living beings.

WD-40: This is often considered essential. Jojoba oil works just as well. Vegetable Oils also work, but may go rancid.

Fertilizer: If you ever watched MacGuyver, you probably know that chemical fertilizer can be used as an explosive. If you aren’t composting, consider starting. You may need to add other natural ingredients to compost to make a good fertilizer, but compost is a good start.

Your Bed: Unless your bed is made with organic cotton or wool, there’s a good chance it’s made with toxic chemicals. And, there’s a very good chance that it’s made with toxic fire retardants. Some companies use borax, but even though that’s natural, it can be toxic to breathe. And, even if a company uses borax as their fire retardant, is that the only thing they’re using as a fire retardant.

Furniture Padding: See Your Bed.

Carpet: Obtaining toxic-free carpeting is getting easier all the time. While your carpet may not be toxic, it will retain any toxins you bring in on your shoes which have been on the street or in your neighbor’s yard – the one who uses toxic chemicals on his lawn. Carpet padding is most likely toxic and the glue which is used to hold the padding and carpet down is probably very toxic. Then there’s the sealer which is also toxic. Carpet Cleaners are almost always toxic. Hardwood and Ceramic Tile floors are good replacements. Vacuum Cleaners, Brooms, and Mops should be used to clean your floors. Swiffer Pads often contain fragrance and may contain other toxic chemicals.

Your Clothes: Unless they’re organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, or silk; they probably contain toxic chemicals. Wool, unless it’s organic contains toxic chemicals. Flax/Linen may or may not contain toxic chemicals.

Shoe Polish: Fortunately there are a few without toxic chemicals.

Food: Unless it’s organic (whether certified or not), it’s been grown with toxic chemicals.

Water: To meet code, cities, municipalities, counties, and other water sanitation bodies, must put toxic chemicals in your water. Usually this means at least adding chlorine. However, some cities use salt or other non-toxic processes such as UV to treat the water instead. You want your water treated to rid it of microorganisms and germs, but you may not want it treated with toxic chemicals. Most sanitation bodies add flouride to the water. Flouride supposedly helps reduce cavities. The side effects may be worse than having cavities and some are not convince that flouride in water does prevent cavities. There’s a lot of controversy over whether flouride is good or bad for you. For me, I’ll take my chances without flouride. To remove the toxic chemicals that were added for your safety, you should either use a whole-house water filter or have a water filter on every faucet. You may take in more toxins in the shower than from the water you drink.


School and Office Supplies
Highlighters, Glue, Crayons can be toxic. California has the strictest standards for school supplies. Germany has even higher standards. Very non-toxic versions of school and office supplies can be found on the web

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Please make a donation to support this work. You may use the below. Minimum amount is $5.00. Any amount that is at least $5.00 is accepted. If you want to make a donation for more than $5.00, just increase the amount.