Many of us pay attention to what we eat and we do regular exercise in order to stay healthy. But how many of us pay the same amount of attention to our environment and to what extent it is healthy for us?
Your home is the environment you spend a lot of time in, so isn’t it perfectly logical to keep it free from toxins, dirt, and other factors detrimental to our health? Our homes are places where we should feel comfortable and at ease the most, and keeping them safe for us is a way to do it.
Of course, we all clean our homes, dust them and wipe them but the truth is that many of us don’t know which things pollute our environment and air. There are more things you can do to turn your home into an allergy-free, toxin-free, clean and safe space.
1. Get air purifier
The air quality in your home is extremely important; you breathe it in every couple of seconds, so make sure it’s clean. A connection has been made between fine particulate matter and lung issues, as well as heart disease.
Invest in a quality air purifier that will reduce the risk of these particles damaging your health. Just be aware that some particles are too small to be filtered out by the air purifier.
2.Test for radon
Shockingly, one in 15 homes (including apartments) has a high level of radon, which is a radioactive gas that naturally gets released when uranium in soil and rocks breaks down. This gas is believed to be the main factor in the development of lung cancer and it is extremely dangerous because we can’t see it or smell it.
The good thing is that you can test your home to it by buying an affordable test kit available in any home-improvement store. Follow the directions closely, leave it be for as long as it’s necessary and then come back to check the results. If the reading shows 4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L) or even higher, it is unsafe for you and your family. In this case, you should hire a certified radon mitigation contractor who will install a piping system, which will vent out the gas.
Even if the test was negative, repeat it every two years or after you’ve done some renovations on your home.
3. Prevent allergens and irritants
There are many ways to prevent allergens and irritants pollute your air and cause allergic reactions in your family members, especially babies.
To prevent mold inside your home, use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom, and also place a dehumidifier in the basement so that humidity over there doesn’t go through roof.
Next, every water-damaged furniture or carpet should be immediately removed from your home. Whenever you lay a new carpet, clean your home or paint a room, open all the doors and windows. Furnace filters should be changed according to the instructions.
The bathroom is full of potential irritants for the skin, so pay attention to what you use to wash your clothes and to bathe. Some detergents and body washes contain chemicals that could cause a skin rash, redness, and other skin issues. Use hypoallergenic products that are also free of synthetic fragrances and aggressive chemicals.
4. Install insect screens
Beside keeping insects out of your home, incest screens help you keep our home hygienic and clean. You don’t have to worry about leaving the windows open if you have food on the table – there will be no flies spoiling the food but there will also be fresh air flowing uninterrupted because quality insect screens are made of perforated mesh construction.
5. Wipe down the bathroom regularly
Too much humidity in our homes leads to many health problems. When there’s too much humidity inside your home, it’s a perfect environment for mold and mildew growth. Too much humidity also leads to dust mite production and a higher amount of toxins and VOCs.
Bathrooms are particularly prone to high humidity due to numerous activities in it connected to water. Taking a shower or a bath will produce a great amount of moisture that will evaporate and stay in the air for long. It will lead to a humid environment that won’t dry out in time before someone else takes a shower or a bath.
However, it doesn’t have to be like that – a few tricks will prevent humidity from achieving high levels in the bathroom. First, wipe down all surfaces after you’ve taken a shower or a bath. You can also wipe down the base of the tub or the shower to help it dry up faster. Lastly, run a bath fan during taking a shower and some 20 minutes after that, and hang up the towels and rugs to dry up more quickly.
6. Purchase mindfully
To prevent toxins from accumulating inside your home, it’s necessary to think about which products you buy on an everyday basis. Plastic is highly present in many home products and things, including children’s toys, food containers, even vinyl shower curtains. Effects of plastic on our health in connection to hormone imbalance, changes in behavior and cancer have been proven.
There are other materials detrimental to our health, which are present in carpets, paint, and furniture. Even synthetic materials present in clothes can irritate your skin.
Of course, you don’t have to be paranoid when it comes to buying things for your home but it’s important to make conscious choices. Natural or organic fibers are much safer for your health, glass or ceramic food containers are a better alternative to plastic, while home-made or organic cleaning products are a smarter choice than chemical products.
7. Safe protection from bugs
Bugs and pests like cockroaches, ants, and mice are annoying, for sure but they are not as nearly dangerous as the toxins people use to get rid of them. Pesticides contaminate the air and all the surfaces inside your home, increasing the risk of cancer and neurological problems.
Instead of using pesticides, it’s safer to seal off crevices in the floors and walls and keep the house (especially the kitchen) clean of food particles.
If you really need to use pesticides, then opt for gels or baits instead of sprays and use them to a minimal amount.
8. Filter your tap water
If you usually drink tap water directly from the sink, then it would be good to use a water filter to make sure the water isn’t contaminated. Even though your local water company filters the water, substances like chlorine, lead, pesticides, and E.coli are still present in the tap water. Whether you opt for a filter that attaches to the faucet or for a pitcher that’s kept in the fridge, it will remove these harmful contaminants.
9. Switch to soy candles
Scented candles may give away a beautiful smell inside your home but the problem is most of them are petroleum-based paraffin wax candles. Candle types like those can lead to cancer, asthma, and allergies. 100% soy candles don’t produce harmful chemicals like petroleum-based candles, so you better use them.
10. Monitor carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide is highly dangerous because it doesn’t have any color or smell, and it causes symptoms that don’t seem threatening (flu-like symptoms but without any fever). However, as the level of carbon monoxide in the air increases, the detrimental effects increase and can be deadly. What this gas does is that it prevents oxygen from reaching your heart and brain.
So, you must install carbon monoxide alarms inside your home, especially in rooms where you sleep. Otherwise, you won’t be aware of the danger during the night until it’s too late.
A way to ensure there’s no carbon monoxide in your household is to check if all your fuel-burning appliances are working properly. Your heating system, as well as the chimney and flues, should be inspected every year. You may not know this but portable generators, lawn-mowers, cars, and power washers can also create carbon monoxide because they are powered by an internal combustion engine.
11. Keep electronics away from the bed
If you look closely, you’ll probably notice that your phone, smartphone, and tablet are all close to your head, sitting on the nightstand. The fact is that all of these electronics interrupt your sleep, causing you to sleep less or not getting quality sleep as you should.
The reason is the waves emitted by these electronics, which act as stressors to our bodies. They raise the cortisol levels in our bodies because that’s how our bodies protect their internal organs from the waves. A higher level of cortisol in our bodies wakes us up, causes night walkings or makes it difficult to fall asleep in the first place.
The same level of care and nurture you provide to your body through food and exercise should be provided to your home. After all, your home is your sanctuary, so it should be a healthy, safe, and stress-free environment. By taking these steps. you will ensure this environment becomes truly beneficial to your health and health of your family.