LOW TOX LIVING 103 -YOU ARE WHERE YOU LIVE
It is a known fact we live in a world of chemicals. Things like car fumes, gases, food chemicals, factory emissions, building materials, paints, mattresses and even things like our personal care and skincare. We simply cannot avoid it. It is part of living in the modern world.
But Did You Know Your Cleaning Products Could Be Making You Sick and Fat?
Many of the chemicals we are bombarded with are environmental toxins not only causing illness and disease, but they are also linked to things like skin conditions, brain fog and weight gain. Yes weight gain.
Have you ever known someone who has taken a pharmaceutical drug and quickly put on weight in a matter of months? Sadly for many weight gain is a side effect of a number of medications. And it just so happens many of the chemicals in our environment that we come into contact with daily, do the same.
They are called ‘obesogens’. These are chemicals that have the ability to alter fat metabolism and promote fat retention.
Many of these chemicals that we are exposed to on a daily basis are linked to conditions like: thyroid disease, infertility, early onset of puberty, allergies, leukemia, heart disease, neurological disease, autism, cancers, fatigue, learning disabilities and weight gain and obesity.
As you can see weight gain and many other metabolic issues are only just the tip of the iceberg in terms of health impact from chemicals. And it begs the question what can we do about it?
Whilst we may not be able to reduce the amount of car fumes in your neighbourhood, or the type of paint used in a shopping centre you can help to reduce your exposure to many chemicals with choices you make in your own home. You can opt for safer more natural skincare and personal care products avoiding many of the chemicals mentioned above and any of the chemicals mentioned here on our additive free card:
Three quick action steps you can take to avoid over exposure to many chemicals in the home is:
1. Ideally drink only filtered water
2. Avoid all products that have ‘fragrances’ in them
3. Do not use non-stick food, packaging and cookware
And another area where you definitely have more control is with your home cleaning products. There are so many products on the market making claims like 99% antibacterial effective, or the strongest bathroom cleaner ever… And in all seriousness the more you see marketing lines like this you can be assured there are a mountain of chemicals, most of which would be questionable and harmful.
You may have grown up with things like an abrasive cleaner, strong bleach and a highly effective spray and wipe and therefore feel they are the things you like to use in your home. But the chemicals in here are really not good for the environment or your health.
Ingredients like benzene, toluene, xylene and methanol are common chemicals used in disinfectants, tile cleaners and toilet cleaners. The scary thing is these have been linked to reproductive damage, increased risk of cancers, brain fog, memory loss and neurological damage. Bleach is one of the most potentially dangerous and reactive substances on the planet and can be incredibly harmful to the eyes, lungs and skin. Formaldehyde is used in carpet and upholstery cleaners, as an antibacterial agent and in air fresheners. This is a known carcinogen. And the word ‘fragrance’ is on most household cleaners labels and can be made up of over 200 chemicals alone. Often can cause allergies and is a known hormone disrupter like phthalates.
Now here’s the good news. Did you know the most effective household cleaners are also the most cost effective and the easiest to get your hands on! These are the most natural cleaning products I have in my home:
~ Baking Soda (as your abrasive cleaner replacement)
~ White Vinegar (as a wonderful disinfectant)
~ Microfibre cloths (I quite like the Enjo brand personally)
~ Spritzer bottles (for spray and wipe cleaners and air fresheners)
~ Salt (mixed with vinegar makes a good general purpose cleaner)
~ Eucalyptus (natural germicide and good for stains and cleaning glass)
~ Tea Tree (for all highly antibacterial and antiseptic needs)
~ Lavender (natural antibacterial and for washing clothes, surfaces and floors)
~ Lemon (highly antibacterial and antiseptic)
~ Orange (one of the best for cutting through grease)
~ Peppermint (refreshing and antibacterial)
A Cleaning Paste: Mix a few tablespoons of baking soda, vinegar and a few drops each of three essential oils. Use this for most surfaces and areas needing a good clean. Remove with warm water and microfiber cloth.
Oven Cleaner: Make up a paste of baking soda, salt, water and essential oils and spread over the bottom of the oven. Leave for a few hours then wipe clean.
Spray & Wipe Cleaner: Fill a 50ml Spritzer bottle with water. Add 20 drops in total of us to three essential oils mentioned above and shake before use. Use a wet microfiber cloth to wipe all surfaces.
Window Cleaner: Fill a bowl with water and add 2 tsp of vinegar and 10 drops of eucalyptus oil. Agitate the water and use a microfiber cloth to wet the glass and then use a dry microfiber cloth to dry the eucalyptus water leaving it streak free.
Sink clearer: Into a glass jug of boiling water add ¼ cup of vinegar, 4 Tbsp baking soda and 20 drops in total of eucalyptus, orange and tea tree essential oils. Pour down the sink. Leave 5 mins then pour another 6 jugs of boiling water one after the other down the sink.
Stain remover: Place a few drops of eucalyptus oil over the effected area, add a tsp of baking soda and leave to soak for 10mins. It may require a little water and rubbing to gently lift the stain. Then wash as normal.
Wooden board cleaner: Cut a lemon or orange in half, remove the fruit. Place a small handful of salt onto the board and use the peel of the fruit and rub it in. Rinse with hot water.
Floor cleaner: Half fill a bucket with water and add 10 drops each of eucalyptus, tea tree and orange. Wash the floors using an Enjo mop or microfiber cloth.
Air Fresheners: Fill a 50ml Spritzer bottle with water. Add 10 drops in total of up to three essential oils mentioned above and then place in each bathroom. Just make sure you shake before each use.
The other very effective air cleaner is simply using your vaporizer or diffuser in the room. Fill the crucible with water and add 6-8 drops of your chosen essential oils in total. Then either light the candle or turn the diffuser on. The highly antiseptic and antibacterial qualities of essential oils will help purify the air naturally.