5 Ways Your Home Is Affecting Your Health

Oftentimes it seems like the focus is only on how to support your health through what you eat, but your overall health is greatly affected by your environment and this includes your home. We are spending more time at home and there are MANY ways the “things” in your house affect your health. These 5 things are known to contain endocrine disruptors that can have a direct impact on your hormones and general health. 

#1- Household cleaners, laundry detergent & all artificial fragrances

The “green cleaning” product craze is not going away. Conventional home cleaners are known to contain many harmful chemicals. But even many cleaners that are touted as “green” are not as clean as you think. Most of these products contain glycol ethers which are found in everything from toilet bowl cleaners to facial cosmetics. Candles and air fresheners contain some of the highest concentrations of artificial fragrances and have known links to miscarriage, asthma, and allergies. 

What are your options? 

Homemade cleaners using products like baking soda, vinegar, borax, or castile soap are ideal. But here are some off the shelf options for products that do meet our high standards. 

Charlie’s Soap- Laundry detergent

ECOS All Purpose Cleaner

Beeswax Candles

#2- Plastics

This is a very difficult one to avoid in the modern world. Most things you purchase in modern society are plastic or come with some sort of plastic packaging. We understand it might be impossible to entirely avoid but reducing the amount of plastic in your home can begin to create an environment that is free of things like BPA, PVCs, and other petrochemicals that off-gas. BPA is found in cans, plastic bottles, and most things labeled as #7 plastics.  BPA is known to mimic estrogen and can wreak havoc on male and female hormones. Other off-gassing plastics are phthalates/PVC which is found in shower curtain liners, children’s toys, cosmetics, and plastic food packaging. And then there’s the perfluorinated PFCs in Teflon that’s a carcinogen known to damage sperm, kidneys, and the thyroid.

What are your options?

Ditch plastic water bottles completely! Use glass, metal, or wood as alternatives to plastic in your home. Eat fresh or frozen food as much as possible instead of cans. Cook on enamel, ceramic coated or stone cookware. Skip the plastic toys as much as possible and get wooden instead! Some of our favorite non-plastic household items.

Ceramic Cookware

Grimms Toys

Life Without Plastic

#3- Synthetic clothing and linens

Fabrics made with petrochemical fibers are constantly off-gassing. It doesn’t matter how old they are, they’re always going to be degrading into the air, and onto your skin. Even natural fibers can retain chemicals like glyphosate from the chemically-intensive farming practices, and other chemicals like formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the processing and dying. Some synthetic materials are also coated with perfluorinated chemicals to make them more stain and water resistant. They’re often found in furniture, and things like drapes, rugs and carpets. Regular washing of synthetic fiber clothing is known to release microplastics into the water and are found in heavy concentrations in fish and even humans!

What are your options?

Wear and buy organic cotton, wool, silk, linen, or other natural fibers. Furnish your home in the same organic and natural fibers, everything from towels and sheets to throw pillows and rugs. These are some of our favorite organic lines as well as an option for safely washing the synthetic clothing you already own so they don’t end up in the ocean. 

PACT

Coyuchi

GuppyFriend

#4- Mattresses, furniture

Mattresses are one of the worst places to have these chemicals. We spend ⅓ of our life laying on them! And the vast majority of mattresses are made with many of the chemicals we already mentioned, plus some others like flame retardants. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) mimic thyroid hormones and are linked to lower IQ. Formaldehyde is also a common chemical in particle board furniture like much of the furniture found at Ikea.

What are your options? 

Purchase natural fiber and latex mattresses, couches, or other furniture. If you have carpeting with flame retardant padding, you may want to consider changing it or at least using a vacuum with a HEPA filter to better eliminate the harmful dust. Purchase natural wood furniture with low VOC varnishes or stains. As many of the chemical free furniture options are very pricey, consider quality second hand furniture to ensure less off-gassing. 

ABC Organic Latex mattress

Holy Lamb Organics

Room Doctor furniture

#5- Lawn Care

Chemicals used to create that perfect lawn end up in our bodies (or our pets). Research shows, especially glyphosate, leaves residues in plants and can last up to a year in the soil. This is especially bad news if you have a water well that these chemicals can easily seep into and contaminate. Glyphosate is a well-established endocrine disruptor that also disrupts liver enzymes important for metabolizing other toxins, vitamin D and alcohol.

What are your options? 

Skip the pricey chemical lawn care routine, options like zero-scaping, and natural grass mixes are great options and require minimal inputs. Use natural and organic fertilizers. If you are grown any sort of vegetables or fruit in your yard DEFINITELY keep it organic! 

Compost Tea (Fertilizer)

Organic Grass Seed

This list doesn’t even totally cover all the hormone disruptors that are found in everyday beauty and personal care products. We’ll cover that next time!

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