Invisible dangers in your home

Are you aware, how many toxic chemicals you have in your house?

Of course, no one knowingly brings toxins into their home. But everything we eat, drink or use for personal care or cleaning has a very high impact on our health. It’s easy to see the connection between what we eat and our health, but most of us — including me until a short time ago — do not realize what an impact things like soap or shampoo can have on our health and environment.

Yes, I am talking about household products and personal care. We all know how dangerous chemical pesticides are, but did you know that you most likely have many toxic chemicals in your kitchen and bathroom right now?

Over 84,000 chemicals have been registered with the Environmental Protection Agency in the last 30 years. On average 700 are being added every year. You can find some of the toxic substances that you may have in your home at the US Department of Health website householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov — although they have only tested 500 chemicals for toxicity (out of the 84,000 registered).

Some of the most commonly use household products you may need to beware of include:

Antibacterial cleaners. They may contain ammonia, detergent, chlorine, Triclosan, lye and phenol. They can irritate eyes, throat, damage kidneys and affect the central nervous system, causing depression.

All purpose cleaners. These can contain ammonia, ethylene glycol monobutyl, acetate, trisodium phosphate, diethanolamine and triethanolamine, 1,4-dioxane, suspected carcinogens (substances that cause cancer). They can damage skin, eyes, kidneys and brain.

Many studies have linked auto immune diseases, asthma, ADHD and many more diseases to household chemicals and non-natural fragrances.

And when you look at the bottles, don’t be surprised when most of them write only one or two ingredients on the labels, and 97 percent other ingredients. The reason for this is that they are self regulated, so they don’t have to show everything on the label.

If you want to know what the healthy alternatives are, you may like to visit www.ewg.org.

Remember, we are living in a highly toxic world. We are all part of it, and everything is connected — for example birds eat pesticides in one place then bring them into our gardens, and fish spend their lives in water that’s full of chemicals. We must start to get our responsibility, and take action with at least what we can do ourselves in our home.

Start changing one at a time and choose eco-friendly products. You will be surprised to see they’re cheaper and more effective.

Let’s keep our homes clean, and help create a cleaner environment.

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Ayda Ersoy is a nutrition and fitness director at The Diet Doc Hawaii. She can be reached at DietDocHawaii.com, Ayda@DietDocHawaii.com or (808) 276-6892

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