Are toxic products in your home hindering your health?

Exposure to toxic products in our homes are harmful to our health and wellness. BPA, Dioxins, Perchlorate, PFASs and Phthalates (to name a few) are found in our food, cosmetics, clothing, furniture and food packaging and are all thought of as endocrine disruptors.  

An endocrine disruptor is a chemical compound that interferes with the normal functioning of the endocrine system, including the reproductive and other biological processes regulated by it.

As we age, the impact of toxins gets harder on us, especially if we’re heading into menopause and beyond! Perimenopause is already a time of hormonal fluctuations, so exposure to endocrine disruptors found in your home and food won’t be very helpful.   

Most of us are exposed to toxins in micro doses, however scientists suspect that even low doses can add up over time and affect all of our physiological systems (including respiratory, reproduction, nervous, endocrine, circulatory etc.) which can lead to other health problems down the line.

Our exposure to chemicals in toxic household products/food can occur in three ways; inhalation, ingestion and contact with the skin. Once the body has been exposed to chemicals it could reach the liver via the blood stream. The liver and kidneys will do their best to excrete any harmful substance, however the body may not be able to remove all of the toxins, causing them to build up over time.

HOW CAN YOU REDUCE TOXINS IN YOUR HOME? Read onwards to my 3 steps to eliminate toxins in your home!

Environmental toxins are all around us. From the food we eat and water we drink to the products and energy we consume. Toxins have been found in beauty products, household cleaners, carpets, furniture, mattresses, house dust...Being surrounded by chemicals on a daily basis can have some harmful effects on your health.

What toxic products are lurking in your home?

According to a report by the David Suzuki Foundation, most chemical ingredients in cosmetics have never been tested for their effects on human health and the environment and although Health Canada has created a list of many prohibited or restricted ingredients it does not enforce it.

CBC did a fabulous collection of articles recently including a documentary about the cosmetic industry and its affect on our health including 5 surprising facts that you probably don’t know! According to an article written in the Guardian, there are many ways we can reduce our toxic exposure.

What's in your cupboard?

Take a look at the household products that you use every day, such as conventional toothpaste, personal care products, hair products, skin care/cosmetics, laundry/dish detergent, household cleaners and air fresheners.

In addition to toxic household products, we also have to consider the toxins in processed foods (including conventional oils/margarine), off gassing from new clothes or furniture, conventional produce that contain pesticides/herbicides, medical devices, non stick pans and more. Those micro doses now seem a little bigger than they were before, so let’s start with what we can control – replacing household products with non-harmful ones. More on that further down.

Check out Adria Vasil, Canadian eco blogger with some great suggestions for how to reduce toxins in your home.

3 Steps to reducing toxins in your home

STEP 1 – Identify the Products

Write down the products you use daily or weekly, such as:

  • oral/hair/skin care
  • cosmetics
  • dish/laundry soap
  • nails
  • room fresheners
  • household cleaners

STEP 2 – Research the Products

This can be done super quickly so don’t shy away from this step. The Environmental Working Group has created a huge database for home and health care products. All you have to do is plug in your item and find out more.

STEP 3 – Find Better Products

Shop your local health food store, get to know local businesses who make healthy homemade products or make it yourself. Here is a sustainable guide to cleaners!

Once you’ve cleaned up your cupboards it’s time to go back to supporting your health as you age.

Once you’ve cleaned up your cupboards it’s time to go back to supporting your health as you age

  • Reduce stressors – avoid, eliminate or find strategies to get through challenging times (talk, write, breathe)
  • Eat smaller meals more often – reduces stress on the digestive system
  • Minimize time spent on the computer – get up and move when possible
  • Get outdoors and breathe the fresh air – don’t rush, walk and enjoy the journey
  • Add more exercise to your week – this can be as simple as going for a nice brisk walk
  • Drink good quality water or beverages (herbal tea) through the day – keeping hydrated is important for healthy skin and weight
  • Set a good sleep pattern – important for repairing and rejuvenating the body

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About the Author
Picture of Cindy Willems

Cindy Willems

Cindy is the owner/creator of My Fit Over 50. She is a registered acupuncturist, certified Pilates instructor, holistic nutritionist and educator. She takes a holistic approach to achieving whole body health and she believes that it is important to keep challenging the body and mind safely and efficiently as we age. Cindy also has a busy clinic called Women's Health Centre in Toronto, Ontario.