Every year, over 2 million Americans seek help for poison exposure from poison control centers.
No matter how safe you try to make your home, there are often poisonous substances lurking about. And they may not be in the obvious places, like under the kitchen sink or in the bathroom cabinet. These toxic substances may be sitting out on your kitchen table.
Fortunately, there are now lots of alternatives to harsh household chemicals. There are even some natural alternatives that work just as well.
In this article, we’ll give you 4 of the most common toxic household items and some healthier options to try instead.
1. Air Fresheners
Many people love a beautiful, flowery fragrance in the air. The problem with chemical air fresheners, though, is that they spread chemicals into the air. And those chemicals end up in our bodies through our lungs.
Most air fresheners contain icky stuff like aerosols, petroleum distillates, and even formaldehyde. They irritate the skin and can cause asthma attacks and headaches. And in solid form, they can be lethal to pets and small children if eaten.
A great, natural alternative to using chemical air fresheners is to use essential oils. You can use a diffuser to diffuse the oil into the air. Or you can make your own room spray by mixing the oil with water.
Teflon is commonly found in the coating on non-stick pans. The coating is not harmful when it’s intact. But after many uses, it starts to break down.
When Teflon breaks down, it releases harmful fumes. Plus, the coating comes off on your food, meaning you ingest more of it over time. Your best bet, if you have an old set of pans, is to recycle them and get something new.
Consider cooking with more oil to eliminate the need for non-stick pans. Many oils, like nut oils and coconut oil, are considered a safe and healthy part of a good diet. You can also consider non-stick pans made out of other materials, like ceramic.
3. Toilet Bowl Cleaners
Many of us know that without a hard water filter, our toilet bowls can get pretty rusty looking. And if you’ve ever cracked open a bottle of toilet bowl cleaner, you know how strong the fumes are.
These cleaners contain bleach and hydrochloric acid in strong concentrations. They’ll burn your eyes and nose. And they can even burn your skin.
Opt for a homemade toilet cleaner recipe. There are plenty available on the internet. Most use essential oils, baking soda, and vinegar to get your bowl sparkling clean.
Many of us have used mothballs before to keep bugs out of our storage containers. But you may not know that these little balls pack a big chemical punch. They’re full of harmful pesticides and deodorants.
Exposure to mothballs is thought to cause eye problems and even liver cancer. And they can irritate the lungs and nose. Plus, they’re really dangerous if ingested by pets or children.
Opt for a small satchel full of cedar chips instead. Cedar does the same job as the mothballs by discouraging our little eight-legged friends from taking up residence. And it smells good, too!
For a more vibrant smell, try a satchel full of lavender. Or a few cotton balls, each with a drop of your favorite essential oil. They’ll have your wardrobe smelling like roses without the nasty pesticides!
Replace Your Toxic Household Items Today
Chemical awareness is growing more and more each day. And by removing a few toxic household items, you can make your home a lot safer. These are just a few ideas, but there are a ton of other options available in stores and online.
For more ideas on how to improve your home, check out our “For the Home” section. We offer lots of great tips, from gardening to construction and everything in between!