Reducing Environmental Toxins in the Home Part 2

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

Last month we kicked off our series of detoxifying our homes and getting started with a high-quality air and water purifier. This month, I would like to look at the top common household toxic exposures and non-toxic, healthy swaps. Remember, we can never fully eliminate toxic exposure, but we can greatly reduce it as well as our risk to their damaging effects.

Top Household Sources of Toxic Exposure

1. Fragrance. Fragrance is an umbrella term used by companies to disguise almost anything they want to put in them, and they aren’t required to disclose the contents of the substances placed under this label on products. Anything scented with artificial fragrance is something you want to remove from your home. These products contain phthalates, which is a serious endocrine disruptor. It is best to remove scented and conventionally made candles, plug ins, room sprays, and anything else that has a scent to it. This also includes perfumes and colognes. Luckily, there are many great non-toxic swaps. Laundry detergent and dryer sheets are probably some of the most toxic products when it comes to fragrance, especially because we end up wearing these chemicals all day on our clothes.

What I like to use in my home instead of scented candles are pink Himalayan salt lamps, beeswax candles, and essential oil diffusers. All of these options help to cleanse the air as well as release negative ions, which has a relaxing and calming effect. I especially like using these in the evenings for this very reason.

2. Chemical cleaning products. Conventional cleaning products that use synthetic and harsh chemicals are another big offender in our environment. You may believe you need the strongest chemicals known to mankind to effectively clean your home, but this simply isn’t true. These cleaning products are also full of endocrine disruptors and can irritate those who suffer from allergies and asthma. Luckily, there are so many wonderful product lines that are very effective at cleaning and won’t irritate you. My personal favorite is Branch Basics. They have an entire cleaning line based on one single cleaning concentrate that you use to refill every product. It’s super easy and the best clean I’ve ever had in my home. You can also use this concentrate in your laundry.

3. Non-stick cookware. These items are really sneaky because they are in both the cookware we use everyday as well as common kitchen gadgets. Non-stick cookware is made from teflon and is not only incredibly toxic to our systems, but is also considered a “forever chemical”, remaining in our bodies for years. It is best to switch to stainless steel or cast iron for both your cookware and kitchen appliances.

4.  Plastic. Plastic continues to be the bane of our existence because it is in everything. In fact, research has shown that we even consume micro-plastics when we drink tea from a tea bag or eat food that is wrapped in plastic. I recommend buying food and drinks in glass as much as possible, as well as storing your food in glass and stainless steel. This also applies to canned foods that contain BPA and BPS, which is found in plastic and a very well known endocrine disruptor. Last month we discussed the importance of eliminating plastic drink ware for this same reason. Avoid plastic like the plague!


Next month we will wrap up our series and explore detoxifying our personal use products. In the meantime, focus on one thing at a time to implement. You don’t have to swap every single item in your home at once. Of course, some people may choose to go that route, and you certainly can. You can also slowly replace each product one-by-one as you run out of items in your home. As always, you can contact me by reaching out to HFG with any questions. Happy detoxifying!