July 20, 2012

How To Identify Hidden Toxins in Your Home

Toxins are hidden in many a number of products that we use every day. You can find them in face wash, shampoo, deodorant/antiperspirant, nail polish, baby wash, laundry soap and more.

We will discuss items you may have/ use in your home that contain "hidden" toxins so you can learn what contains harmful (possibly even cancer causing) ingredients. Well equipped with the information,  you can decide if it is worth the risk or not. We will focus on a highly dangerous toxin: Formaldehyde. Why? Because it is a very serious one that has a range of hiding places from our furniture to our nail care and hair care products. 

Try to search for personal care and home care products that are toxic-free. A good place to shop for such items is at Health Food/ Home stores.

Unfortunately, formaldehyde has many other names, so one can't just pick up a product and find "formaldehyde" listed as one of the ingedients. There are many chemicals listed on our household items that contain a form of formaldehyde that is still dangerous for us. Common places to find these hidden toxins:

  • Air Fresheners can release a chemical that reacts with the ozone to create formaldehyde also

  • All purpose cleaners/ Disinfectants

  • Hair Care products use preservatives that may contain formaldehyde. The effects can be minor like irritation to eyes, headaches, sleep disorders, irritant to skin, lungs and throat or irritant to respiratory system or major like cancer and neurological system disorders. Now that you know where formaldehyde is lurking, how do we abolish it from our homes.

Search and Remove

  • Air Fresheners: Safe options for freshening your air include an air purifier or using safe air freshening alternatives. Some safe alternatives are 1. Eliminate aerosols 2. You could boil vanilla on the stove top for a soft vanilla scent. This can also be done with cinnamon sticks. I burn pure sage leaves all the time! Works wonders. 

    Sage Herb, really helps neutralize odors and leaves your space smelling clean. Its also toxic free! 
  • All Purpose Cleaners: I use vinegar and water or another reputable green cleaner. It is best to use a super concentrated green cleaner and mix with your own water so you help the environment as well. Disinfectants: That may sound funny but the point is don't use a disinfectant that is more harmful than the germs that it is cleaning.
  • Hair Care: Look for companies, such as YAMERRA, that don't use formaldehyde as a preservative. Some of the chemicals that can contain formaldehyde are DMDM hydantoin, and bronopol.; A few safe brands are Aveda, YAMERRA, and Georgia NY; These are jut a few so it is relatively simple to find one that fits your hair care needs. 

    Formaldehyde, Toluene and DBP free. Yamerra recommends living sustainably, yet ultra fashionably! Use toxic free nail polish that's ultra fashionable yet sustainable for you and the environment.  Image from Sephora.com
Some known aliases for formaldehyde are as follows: Formalin, Oxy Methylene, Methanol, Methaldehyde, Methyl Aldehyde, Methylene Glycol, Methylene Oxide. 

As you can see, formaldehyde is lurking in many areas of our homes. Great thing that now that you know where it is hiding, you can remove it/ avoid it and protect your health and your family's health.

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