Expert advice from bestselling authors and qualified professionals, Dr. Michael Roizen and Dr. Mehmet. C. Oz, on preventing exposure to certain toxins around your home:
AT THE FRONT DOOR
Leave your shoes here. You can track in toxins such as lawn-care pesticides, which can get trapped in the carpet and contaminate children. Wash your hands as soon as you enter the house.
IN THE KITCHEN
Don't microwave plastic. You'll get small amounts of it in your food when you heat it. Cover food with ceramic, glass, a paper towel, or waxed paper instead.
Throw away your sponges and replace with dishcloths that you can clean with bleach weekly.
Don't store foods in open cans for a long period.
Filter your drinking water.
Use dishwasher soap without phosphates or chlorine or nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE), which is called a gender-bender and feminises fish in the waters where we humans dump our waste.
IN THE BEDROOM
Use products that protect your pillows and mattresses from dust mites (1-micron pore sheets and pillowcases). Their excrement, which totals two pounds every two years in pillows, can lead directly to asthma.
Use nontoxic products to clean your home: peroxide, alcohol, baking soda, and vinegar. Baking Soda is an excellent sink and tub cleaner and vinegar in a spray bottle cleans glass, windows and mirrors.
Don’t create an uber mixture of bleach and ammonia, the combination creates toxic hydrogen chloride and without proper ventilation it can be lethal.
IN THE BATHROOM
To protect your skin, filter your water with a carbon filter to remove the chlorine and other bad stuff. Do it especially for water that is in contact with your skin for more than a few seconds.
Use deodorant instead of antiperspirant, since sweat is normal and blocking your pores is not. Especially avoid aluminium which is found in high levels in brain plaques linked to Alzheimer’s disease. And with deodorants avoid phthalates, which are plastics used to help the fragrance stay on our skin and block endocrine function especially in the male foetus. Parabens which are used as preservatives in these products should also be avoided since they could be linked to breast cancer.
Avoid air fresheners which have gaseous chemicals. They can become toxic when combined with the ozone. Use natural essential oil sprays instead, they alter the molecules in the air and actually create pleasant aromas rather than masking smells.
OUTSIDE THE HOUSE
Living near the highway increases respiratory complications.
Use organic, toxin-free products for the lawn and garden. Garden and lawn pesticides and herbicides often contaminate groundwater, as well as indoor air.
The best air filter for your home is a high-efficiency particle air filter (HEPA). Replace air conditioner filter yearly.
Replace your air conditioner filter yearly and clean your air ducts every three years. A partial clean will make the air you breathe worse so make sure a good job is done with the clumped up material.
Check and clean humidifiers because they can harbor toxins.
IN THE GARAGE
New car smell is ripe with chemicals. It's best to air out new cars.
Don't store any old chemicals, like paint that contains toluene, a potent reproductive toxin. Buy what you need then get rid of it when you’ve finished your project.
Remove the plastic from your dry cleaning immediately because the wrap used to protect your clothes traps in the chemicals used to clean them.
Air them in a ventilated room or outside and only dry clean what is absolutely necessary. Use dry cleaners that have stopped using either trichloroethylene or perchloroethylyene (PERC).
These chemicals have been linked to kidney and nervous system damage as well as cancer in the person wearing the clothes as well as the person cleaning them.
Moth balls contain carcinogens so use cedar chips or lavender pouches instead.
ON THE PATIO
Reduce exposure to charred meats, which have PAH’s (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). Marinating your meat, chicken or fish for 15 minutes beforehand in a vinegar and olive oil mix reduces the danger by over 90%.
Use Lemongrass in various sprays, oil burners and candles, this is effective as the neurotoxins often used as insect repellents
Indoor air quality has plummeted because our homes are more airtight and we’re using more products to freshen the air, sanitise the home and treat fabrics. Your favourite “clean” smell is often caused by toxic chemicals used to mask odours and 15% of us are allergic to common fragrances. To make matters worse we are spending more time indoors.
The home has 3 to 4 times the pollutants and particles that are most dangerous to us compared to outside. So if you don’t air it out you increase the build-up of pollutants, so open your windows often to bring fresh air in at least once a week and even in the height of summer or the cold of winter.