Saturday, February 8, 2014
by A. Grano
Our home is supposed to be our safe haven, a sanctuary from daily stressors and a place to restore and refresh. However, with environmental toxicity on the rise, our homes may not be very healthy habitats, and we may actually be compromising health with some of our common household practices and habits.
How do you clean?
Particularly for allergy sufferers, keeping a clean home is of vital importance to remove dirt and airborne particles such as pollen, dust mites, and animal dander that can cause sneezing, coughing, congestion, and itchy, watery eyes.
Unfortunately, chemicals found in many household cleaners as well as laundry detergents and pesticides can cause bothersome symptoms such as skin rash, hives, eye irritation, wheezing, and itching of the skin.
Many cleaners are now available that contain natural plant-based ingredients and provide a sparkly clean without harsh chemicals. A simple mixture of white vinegar and baking soda is another good option that you likely already have for quick cleaning. Washing soda has also increased in popularity, which is in the same family as baking soda and cuts grease, removes wax or lipstick and neutralizes odors.
Skip the scents
While heavily fragranced candles and air fresheners are readily available, they typically contain synthetic scents and a myriad of irritants and potentially even carcinogens. They also coat the nasal passages, actually diminishing one’s sense of smell, and may lead to conditions such as rhinitis.
To help neutralize and reduce odors, add houseplants to your home. To freshen and add fragrance, place potpourris of dried herbs and flowers around your rooms. Pure essential oils used on a diffuser reed can also add scent. To help reduce cooking odors, grind a lemon rind in the garbage disposal.
Once you arrive home, leave your shoes at the door. This simple practice can significantly reduce the amount of dirt and toxins that enter the home.
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