How to Reduce Toxins in My Home

Our bodies are under attack in our modern world today.  It can feel like your body is working against you no matter how hard you try to get your health on the right track.  It may seem like an uphill battle but there are action steps you can take over time to reduce your exposure to the toxins that are a part of living our everyday life.

You don’t have to work in a job that has a high risk for exposure to chemicals and pollutants to be impacted by them.  

You are exposed daily to toxins in:

  • The air you breathe (exhaust from vehicles, industry, farming)
  • The water you drink and bathe with (fluoride, chlorine, other toxic heavy metals)
  • The food you eat  (pesticides, insecticides, heavy metals in animals and fish)
  • The products you use in and on your body  (phthalates, aluminum, fragrance, estrogen-disrupters)
  • The products you use in and outside your home (cleaning products, pesticides, insecticides, insulation)

Connecting the dots of your current health issues to toxic overload can be a long journey. More often than not people attributed their symptoms to other things going on in their life that have nothing to do with their environment.  Many people will even say, “My parent had the same problems so it must be genetic”. But, the list below isn’t something you should ignore or chalk up to bad genes.

Symptoms of toxic overload:

  • Chronic Low Energy – waking up feeling tired, seeking caffeine, drained constantly
  • Mood Swings – easily frustrated more than normal, anger outbursts, unusual anxiety/depressions
  • Brain Fog – your mind isn’t sharp, you search for words, you can’t seem to remember things 
  • Accelerated Aging – you notice more wrinkles, hair loss, skin changes, aches and pains
  • Stubborn Weight Gain – you can’t lose weight even with focused healthy eating and exercise 
  • Immune System Compromised – you are sick more often & have difficulty recovering, feel rundown

This article isn’t meant to scare you!  It’s here to give you simple action steps to help make your environmental toxic load lower.  Let’s face it, we aren’t going to be able to eliminate all of our toxic exposure but reducing it on a daily basis can help keep balance in your body and support your bodies amazing efforts that were designed to keep you healthy.

For just a minute lets go back to biology class and remind ourselves how our bodies try to keep order from within.  What specific organs do we have that detoxify?

  • Liver – the master detoxifier, filters blood for toxins, bacteria, and viruses and sends it out through your stool
  • Lungs – filter the air you breath before it even enters the body, makes you cough to help prevent the toxin from entering
  • Kidneys – filter your blood and keeps important nutrients your body needs and sends the garbage out via your urine, a urine test can tell many things about your toxic load
  • Lymphatic System – an amazing garbage transport system within the entire body including the brain, it is the pathway or “river” your body uses to transport waste, toxins, etc. to the organs that can dispose of them.  When the lymphatic system is overrun and gets backed up or clogged, toxins buildup and this build-up can be tied to many illnesses including cancer and Alzheimer’s.
  • Skin – this is one of our bodies largest organs and it is one of the most abused.  Your skin can absorb just about anything good or bad.  So being very selective and educated on what you’re coming into contact with is the key to protecting yourself from toxic overload via the skin.

As you can see, keeping the bodies detox systems in good working order is imperative to good health.  It can handle the load only for so long and then the body begins to break down even before symptoms arise.

So, now that you know all the bad stuff lets get to the good stuff.  How can you decrease your toxic load?

Air

We all need it and it’s everywhere but, it isn’t always the best quality.  So what do you do?

  • Toss out the spray air fresheners, scented candles, fabric softeners, items with artificial smells
  • Use a good quality filter on your heating/cooling system, stand alone air filter system, open the windows and doors to “air-out” the house when it’s been closed up, use a diffuser with only quality essential oils if you would like a scent
  • Be vigilant at cleaning up any water damage areas so mold doesn’t grow.  If you smell mold or mildew you must have it investigated to be sure there isn’t hidden toxic mold in your environment
  • Become aware of outside pollution levels in your area especially if you live in an urban environment where there will be more smog.  Take precautions and pay attention when there are higher levels.
  • When making purchases like paint and carpet, look for low VOC products and put new items that gas off in a garage or outside before you bring them into the home

Water 

We can survive many days without food but we can only survive a few days without water.  Water is critical for our bodies and is involved in many different processes within the body.  A good rule of thumb is to drink at a minimum of half your body weight in ounces per day to stay fully hydrated.  Here is a list of things to implement as your budget allows when it comes to your water consumption:

  • Installing a reverse osmosis drinking water system in your home really improves the quality and taste
  • Filtering your shower water is also a good option to reduce the fluoride and chlorine that gets absorbed by your skin
  • Better yet, check out a whole house water filtration system
  • Ditch drinking out of plastic cups and bottles, use glass or metal when transporting your water
  • If you’re concerned, have your water tested so you know what’s in it, especially if its a well
  • Check with your town, village or city regarding their water report and what to be aware of

Food

We all know that food can make us sick especially if it’s stored or prepared incorrectly.  You’ve heard about purchasing organic foods but does it really matter?  The answer is YES for many food items, and here’s why:

  • Many foods are sprayed with pesticides and insecticides which have a huge impact on the human gut.  We weren’t meant to ingest those chemicals and our bodies aren’t able to process them.  They damage our gut and poke holes in our intestinal walls making them leaky.  See my blog on What’s a Leaky Gut to learn more.
  • Many foods are genetically modified.  Changing their DNA to withstand stronger pesticides and be more resilient to insects is not something our bodies can handle and the ramifications of what the the DNA changes do to us once we eat the GMO foods isn’t well known yet either.
  • The soil in todays world has much less nutrients in it than decades ago.  Because of this, the foods grown in that soil are also less nutrient dense.  Foods begin to deteriorate once they are harvested so buying local is key in order to obtain the highest quality possible.
  • Lastly, purchasing certified organic foods is one of the BEST ways to reduce your toxic load.  The Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org) puts out two lists annually of fruits and vegetables.  One is called the Dirty Dozen and the other is called the Clean 15.  Even if you just followed the Dirty Dozen list and only purchased organic if it’s on that list, that would significantly lower your exposure to pesticides and insecticides.

Personal Care Products

As I mentioned before, the skin is our largest organ.  So, our personal care products are a huge part of our toxic load.  You many have heard that if you can’t eat it you shouldn’t be putting it on your body.  Getting in the habit of reading labels for ingredients is a great start.  Not just food is organic, there are organic personal products too.  Use the www.ewg.org website and their App “Think Dirty” to help you with reviewing your personal products.

  • Choose organic and natural ingredients that you can read
  • Avoid fragrances as they can be hormone disruptors unless they’re made with high-grade essential oils
  • Review your Cosmetics and all of your lotions and potions, as your skin absorbs 10x more than if you eat them!

Home Care Products

One area of your life that can be easily adjusted is the products you clean your home with and the products you use outside on your home and landscape.  Glyphosate the weed killer chemical found in Round Up has been under heavy scrutiny that it has been linked to cancer.  Harsh cleaning chemicals to rid your home of germs can significantly elevate your toxic load whether you touch them, breathe them in or dry off with a towel that was washed in detergent full of harmful chemicals.  Here are some suggestions or ideas to help you decrease your exposure at home:

  • Make your own cleaning products for your glass, countertops, mirrors and laundry detergent.  There are many resources online to assist you that use tried and true items like white vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, and citrus juices.  They work well, are cheaper on top of being non-toxic.
  • Avoid air fresheners as most contain a number of toxic chemicals that contaminate the air we breathe.  They can contain carcinogens, hormone disruptors, respiratory irritants, neurotoxic chemicals and a lot more.
  • Be mindful of what you put on your lawn.  It ends up on your feet and your shoes and eventually in your house.  Look for organic products and soil composting mixes.
  • Think about investing in an Air Purifier.  There are small ones all the way to large whole house ones for your HVAC system as mentioned under the Air portion of this article.

Reducing toxins you ingest, breathe, wear, or rub on yourself or clean with is a big job but it can be a game changer for many people.  It could be what is contributing to your poor health or symptoms you’ve had for a long time that you can’t seem to figure out why you have them.

Take it slow, take your time and be mindful that it is a process and doesn’t have to be done in a weekend.  I can help you get educated and then together we can make a plan on where you want to start and then slowly make changes that you can stick withContact me for a FREE-20 Minute Consultation. Over time you will notice those changes can support a healthy body and a healthy household.  You are worth the time it will take to reduce your toxic load!

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Bobbi McGrath, Ace- CHC

I assist individuals on their journey to wellness by providing health and fitness education and resources to inspire them to make concrete lifestyle changes that will impact their lives forever. 

I have a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education, a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and a certification as a Health Coach through ACE. My life experiences have been indispensable with regard to the wisdom and challenges that have shaped how I relate to people. I know firsthand how valuable good health can be, especially when you don’t have it. 

I embrace assisting my clients in filtering the abundance of information, so they feel in control and educated.  Using my passion for health, I help fuel and inspire my clients to take action to be their best self. I enjoy working one on one, in groups, and online through virtual tools with my clients.