February is the traditional time for focusing on hearts– whether it is time to think of “love” or “heart health” is a personal decision. I always use February to think of my home’s health in general, especially if I have been able to hold up my January fitness resolutions and stick to my regular gym visits.
While everyone knows we’re surrounded by chemicals, we don’t always realize we’re being exposed to them via innocent seeming everyday items. Consider making these changes to improve your home’s environment and live healthier.
1. Clean up your shower
Relax, I am not advocating a can of cleanser and a grout brush. Get rid of your polyvinyl chloride (PVC) shower curtain, even if it still pristinely clean. PVC has been linked to developmental delays, respiratory problems, and liver damage. Replace it with either a PVC-Free option made of EVA or use a polyester liner on the shower side.
2. Stop helping to create antibiotic resistant bugs
Change your soap to regular, non-antibacterial soap. Not only is this likely to be cheaper, it is safer for us all and is effective against the dirt that begrimes us. Antibacterial soap’s main ingredient, triclosan, interferes with liver function. Scientists also believe it is contributing to the creation of super, drug resistant bacteria.
3. Throw out your pots and pans!
And buy new ones. Sorry, if you were hoping for an end to cooking. Some non-stick cookware leaches a chemical called PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) which scientists link to cancer and birth defects. Replace your non-stick items with cast iron, ceramic and stainless steel pots and pans.
4. Find out the dirty details on your dry cleaner
I don’t mean you need to air her dirty laundry, just find out if she uses Perc. Perc, short for perchloroethylene, can also cause organ damage and headaches. Some options for a greener clean are to find a “green” dry cleaner, clean your clothes only when absolutely necessary, buy clothes that can be laundered, and air out traditionally dry cleaned clothes before storing them in your house. (If your clothes have that “dry cleaner” smell, they definitely need airing first, as what you are smelling is Perc.)
5. Swap out chemical clean for something green
Common household cleaners our mothers used are probably not the safest thing to could bring into our home’s environment, since manufacturers are not required to list every ingredient. Great grandmother had the right idea with baking soda, white vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide.
Source: Terri Bennet, McClatchy-Tribune News Service