Reducing Environmental Toxins in the Home Part 1

Melissa Martin, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Certified Pilates Instructor |

As we kick off a 3-part series, I want to discuss the importance of reducing the environmental toxic exposure in our homes and offices. The goal here is to reduce, not eliminate, as it would be impossible to do so in our toxic world. You may wonder what the point of doing that is if you can’t fully eliminate harmful substances from your home environment. As more research comes out, we are learning about the harmful effects of many toxins on our health and wellbeing. Many of our products and foods are banned in other countries for a reason. In fact, they are actually illegal in many parts of the world. With cancers, reproductive issues, autoimmunity, and chronic health conditions on the rise, supporting our systems as best we can and taking some of the load off is one very effective way to mitigate your personal risk.

The first place I recommend starting at is adding water and air filtration to your home. These will give you some of the most bang for your buck as you begin detoxing your home. Since water and air are vital to our survival and there is no way around consuming both, it is very important to get these things right.

You may remember the movie Erin Brockovich which told the true story of a very large lawsuit over water contaminants that had caused cancer, death, and very serious health issues in a town that had been exposed. This is very real and there are a wide variety of toxic chemicals in our water that are linked to cancer, infertility, and other chronic health issues. It is important to look up your area at to learn what your personal exposure is based on the area you live. I personally recommend installing a reverse osmosis (RO) system in your home or even outside connecting to your main water line. If you can filter straight from your water line, then you will have filtered water coming out of every faucet in your home. If this is not an option, installing a unit under your sink would be the next best option, with a countertop RO system being the next best option. You should also add a filter to your shower and bath, where you will be fully submerged in water. Many people, including myself, report an improvement in hair and skin health after installing these filters in their showers and baths. I also suggest installing filters under all your sinks throughout your home so you never have to worry about the toxic exposure from your water.

For your drinking water, I highly suggest drinking only out of glass, stainless, or silicone. Ditch the plastic! Throw out every single plastic water bottle you own and never buy them again. You will also want to add trace minerals to your RO water, as essential minerals are stripped out in the filtration process, but we can easily add those back in. Make sure to give your pets and children RO filtered water, and all their bowls and cups should be plastic-free.

Indoor air pollution is said to be even higher than outdoor air pollution in many cases. Sounds crazy, I know. The easiest place to start with this is to get a high quality air filter. I personally like the Air Doctor, especially because it filters out volatile organic compounds (VOC). It will self-adjust based on your current air quality. For example, say you are cooking dinner and your filter picks up on some smoke, it will automatically kick itself into high gear to filter the smoke out of the air and then go back down when it’s done. You can also add plants that naturally filter the air. I love this option as it doubles as both decor and nature’s air filter. Opening your windows everyday even for 5-10 minutes will help improve air quality as well. I try to crack my windows open for as much as the day as possible, letting the fresh air from outside clear out anything lurking around inside. Also, be mindful of what you are putting into your air, such as aerosol room sprays, candles with synthetic fragrances, and plug ins. These do so much harm to your endocrine system and is best to avoid them at all costs. You can easily replace these with natural beeswax candles and diffusing essential oils. Both options also help clean the air.

In part 2, we will look to more ways to reduce household toxic exposure. This is a great starting point and an easy fix. All you need to get started is a good quality air and water filter, and to make a few of the healthy swaps we discussed. As always, please feel free to contact me at HFG with any questions, as I am happy to help support you on your wellness journey. See you next month for part 2!