Have A Healthy Home: Cutting Out Dangerous Chemicals

Some chemicals and compounds we thought were harmless way back when can actually cause a range of serious health issues. While this has led to tighter regulations in food and household product standards, there are many harmful chemicals that are still found around the home. Here are a few you need to keep an eye on…

Pesticides

While this one may seem like a no-brainer, be sure to be responsible with pesticide use. Commonly sprayed on lawns and around the house to get rid of infestations, they can often seep into the groundwater supply or simply be absorbed through breathing and pores in your skin.

If you’re going to use pesticides, make sure you’re taking steps to minimize harm. Make your children wait a while before playing on any lawns that have been treated with pesticides, and keep pesticides out of the home wherever possible. If an infestation is getting out of hand, there are alternatives like Green Tech Bug Heat which cut out the chemicals. Here is an article I wrote for CNET on how to get rid of bugs without chemicals

Fluoride

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Although fluoride is great at preventing tooth cavities, getting too much of it can cause some serious health problems. Pits in tooth enamel and discolored teeth have all been linked to ingesting too much fluoride. Both myself and my oldest daughter were exposed to too much fluoride growing up and we have what the dentist calls fluoride caps on our teeth. While they help prevent decay, they also disfigured our teeth. This condition is called dental fluorosis.

While fluoride is good for teeth in small amounts, kids can get too much. Here’s how to limit the amount they receive:

  • Until you know your child has got the hang of spitting out toothpaste, try to avoid giving them any high-fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash.
  • Go online, or call your municipal water supplier, to determine how fluoridated your tap water is. It’s pretty hard to get too much fluoride, but it can happen.
  • When making formula for your infant, the American Dental Association recommends using fluoride-free water.

Lead

Most of us know that any amount of lead can be extremely dangerous to humans. Lead poisoning can lead to stunted growth, kidney damage, damage to the nervous system and other terrible health issues.

While governments around the world have cracked down on the issue, lead was a common additive to paint and other products for centuries. If you live in a home that was erected before 1978, make sure that no painted surfaces are getting flaky, and that you’re cleaning hard floors and surfaces a little more often than you usually would. If you’re planning on any renovations, be sure to use a certified “lead-safe” contractor, and keep the whole family away from any work that’s going on. You can find more information on the EPA website.

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