I always thought of toxins as those products to 'keep out of reach of child' or I would end up calling poison control. Recently, I have begun to realize that toxins are those chemicals that disrupt our bodies natural processes, cause a plethora of ailments and could cause long term serious health issues. Thinking back, I was always grateful that in my family of many children, didn't have to deal with food allergies. What a pain for those other families!
And then my youngest was born. It was those allergies that took our family on a journey into an awareness of food ingredients and house hold toxins and helped us take back our health.
Over the past three years, we spent time focused on changing our eating habits. It took a couple years but we have eliminating 99% of processed foods stopped all fast food. Our meals, snacks and treats with are made with local,organic and fresh foods. Do not pity my children however. My baker in the making has discovered ways to allow us to enjoy organic brownies, homemade ice cream, HOMEMADE PEPPERMINT CHOCOLATE, home made pretzels and cakes galore! We still save up 'out to eat money' to visit our favorite french fry shop in town that sources its potatoes and cooks them safe for our family.
So, this past year the focus has been products. What we put on our skin and hair and what we are surrounded in our home.
I am amazed at the significant health improvements of our entire household.
Common Household Toxins
This was a real eye-opener when we first saw it so we began to read labels on the stuff in our own home and confirmed what this is showing. In some cases toxins were NOT listed on labels due to inconsistencies in government regulations.
Healthy Home checklist printable
Items We Replaced:
- Air Fresheners
"Fragrance" is a scary ingredient. According to the FDA, "fragrance" can be any combination of natural or synthetic chemicals (300+) to create a desired scent. The chemicals used in "fragrance" do not have to be disclosed on ingredient labels because of "proprietary secrets." Many of these ingredients are carcinogenic, endocrine disruptors, and neurotoxic. Many air fresheners even cause respiratory ailments too!
- Cleaning Supplies
Cleaning supplies really anger me. Many of them are guilty of "Green Washing," which is where they claim to be environmentally friendly and "nontoxic," but they aren't. Check out the EWG databases and see how your cleaning products measure up! It was a massive eye opener to me that products I grew up using was actually poisonous! Many cleaning products list "detergents," but not which kind - which I find to be very misleading and dishonest. If people truly knew what was in their cleaners, popular companies would be out of business or executives jailed for false marketing and public endangerment!
- Personal Care Products
You wash your hair, your body, your face, with the intention of cleaning. Surprisingly, if you get your personal care products from local department stores, like Walmart, Target... etc... chances are, they contain dangerous or potentially dangerous ingredients
Disturbing fact: Since WWII, there have been over 80,000 new synthetic chemicals created. 10,500 of those are regularly used in the cosmetic and skincare industry. 10% of those have safety data available, not all have fully sufficient safety data. 1,500 have safety data that indicate they are toxic to humans.
It only takes 22 seconds for your skin to absorb what you put on it. From there, it is absorbed into your blood stream. From the time you slather a lotion or cream on your skin, it takes less than a minute for the components to reach your brain.
We replaced: Window cleaner... kitchen cleaner... bathroom cleaner... floor cleaner... stove cleaner... oven cleaner... toilet cleaner... soft scrub... tub and shower cleaner... heavy duty cleaner... carpet cleaner... laundry detergent... laundry fabric softener... stain remover... dryer sheets..We don't buy cleaners instead use products that are safe enough to eat. Yep. Vinegar and Baking soda take care of 99% of our cleaning needs.
I threw out several shampoos and conditioners... deep conditioners... hair masks... hair spray... body wash... soap bars... liquid hand soaps (bye bye triclosan!)... lotions... face creams... deodorant... and a drawer full of makeup. We read labels closely and make as much of our own as we can.
At this point, we have completely eliminated our pharmaceuticals from the medicine cabinet. We use essential oils, and herbs instead.
We have shifted what we were once spending on synthetic drugs and man-made detergents and health and beauty products to natural alternatives.
The girls are learning to make their own makeup and cleansers. We make toothpaste too.
We purchase environmentally friendly dish and laundry soap but in a pinch washing the clothing and even the dishes with vinegar and warm water has been pretty successful too!
We notice that costs are the same or less but we now have the peace of mind of knowing that we’re taking care of our bodies and the environment.
What We’ve Found After a Year of Reduced Toxins
So now that we’ve eliminated most of the toxins in our household what have we observed?
Less colds and when we get them, they are shorter duration than ever before.
We are aware that we don’t sweat as much and don’t need antiperspirants;
Less respiratory congestion; indigestion (bloating and gas), joint/body aches and pains eliminated; eliminated much of our skin issues, rashes, peeling nails, flaky and dry skin.
Arguably some of these improvements could also be from the result of a mostly organic diet, increased multi-vitamins and ferments.
One of the most recent noticeable changes has been attitude. Mood swings and impulse control have improve greatly. Our diet change has been solid for over a year and just recently we modified our detergents for laundry and clothing, we saw moods improve. I am amazed at how sensitive our household was to the residues of chemicals on our plates and our clothing.
How hard was it to change?
Not as disruptive to our busy lives as we expected. We just kept at it and over a gradual process of months we were able to make the change-over. There were times I felt guilty after realizing I was exposing my kids to some pretty toxic stuff. But, I know better and do better. They are learning what a difference it has been in their lives and health and will be able to make better choices because they have seen how yucky their skin, hair and even mood was when we were surrounded by so much synthetic chemicals.
What have you done to reduce toxins? Do you have products that you specifically use and find effective for your family. Please share.