By: Dr Mariah Mosley, who recently joined our practice at Nature Cure Family Health!

Two hundred years ago, our ancestors weren’t using Pine-Sol to mop their floors, personal hygiene products that are linked to cancer, or harsh chemical detergent on their dishes or clothes.  It comes as no surprise they also didn’t experience as much body burden or toxicity as we do today.  Many of the supplies we use in our home and on our bodies are considered toxic. And once our bodies can’t handle it anymore, the toxic overload can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, chemical sensitivities, headaches, emotional changes, and the list goes on…

This list is to help you decrease the amount of toxic chemicals and solvents you use in your home environment.  Please don’t be overwhelmed: even if you start with just two or three small changes, it is helping decrease the toxic load on your body!

Cleaning Supplies

  • Dr Bronner’s Castille Soap is a great product line that is non-toxic and effective for cleaning. Try to minimize (or get rid of) the harsh cleaning chemicals. Bleach is highly irritating and corrosive to the skin and your lungs! 
  • Homemade surface cleaner: mixing vinegar (white or apple cider), water, and a drop or two of lemon essential oil is a great way to disinfect your countertops and floors.
  • Use baking soda to get out bath tub rings, or for cleaning those stove stops.

Yardwork

  • While chemical fertilizers help our gardens grow, they unfortunately have hidden dangers, aka chemicals, that can increase the risk of cancer, affect fetal brain development, and compromise the immune system. Buy organic fertilizers or make your own with compost!
  • Roundup has been in the news lately, on trial due to the causation of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (a severe blood cancer of the immune system). The chemical in Roundup that is linked to this cancer, and many other illnesses, is Glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the United States. We have to protect ourselves against this carcinogen by using alternatives: manual weeding, flame weeding, steam weeding, natural herbicides with high percentage vinegar and botanical oils, mulching or permaculture, salt based herbicides, or electric weed control. 
  • Ask your HOA to opt out of the neighborhood’s chemical grass /weed killer program.
  • If you have a dog, remember that after you take him/her out on walks, if you don’t wipe off his feet, whatever he was walking on is about to go directly onto your lap!

Kitchen

  • For both food and beverage containers, use GLASS!  On Amazon there are compartmentalized glass containers for meal prep, at a good price.  Or you can even re-use your store-bought food jars: I wash my pickle jars out, and use them to bring soups or oatmeal to work! 
  • Ditch the plastics and say no to receipts.  BPA (bisphenol A) in many plastics (and your store cash register receipts) is proven to be an estrogen-like hormone disruptor. It has been linked to infertility, fetus defects, endocrine issues, and male reproductive dysfunction, and now there are studies that suggest a correlation between BPA and irritable bowel disease.
  • Instead of buying a package of 16 oz water plastic bottles that leach chemicals into your water, buy a reusable 5 gallon glass water container, and fill it up for 25 cents/gallon at a participating grocery store.  You can also get a water filtering system installed, and carry a metal or glass water bottle.
  • Ditch the Saran wrap and please do not microwave anything in plastic or styrofoam!  The heat allows more chemicals and unwanted toxins to leach into your food directly.
  • Remember to try to eat organic as much as possible, especially with the Dirty Dozen!

Laundry Room

  • You may not know that our skin is our biggest organ, and we absorb SO MUCH through it!  Regular laundry detergent has phenols like BPA, phthalates, and other carcinogens. Try to buy natural laundry detergent like Mrs Meyer’s Laundry Detergent, Suds of Love Laundry Soap, or Biokleen Citrus Laundry Liquid. Or you can make your own laundry detergent with hot water, washing soda, baking soda, Castile soap, and essential oils.
  • Instead of dryer sheets, use wool dryer balls with a couple drops of Lavender essential oil, or another natural EO you may like.
  • Instead of laundry softener, you can add 1/2-1 cup of vinegar into the rinse cycle.
  • Wrinkle releaser: mix vinegar, water, and a drop of lavender essential oil into a spray bottle.

Personal Products

  • Looking at the ingredients in fragrances, perfumes, and colognes, we can see there are many added chemicals and toxins. Current law does not require FDA approval before cosmetic or fragrance products go on the market, so there is no outside regulator making sure these products are safe… Try to discontinue use of these fragrances, they cover up your natural pheromones anyway!
  • Deodorant:  Phthalates found in many deodorants disrupt your hormones and your thyroid!  Try Schmidt’s Deodorant (lavender sage smells great), Botanik organic Natural Deodorant, or Crystal Mineral deodorant stick.  Also, one way to help decrease the stink is to make sure to wash your arm pits everyday and shave the hair under there that bacteria like to hang out on! 
  • Toothpaste: fluoride is a known neurotoxin, which means it is poisonous to your brain and nervous system.  Try to use fluoride free, non-toxic toothpaste like Tom’s Toothpaste or Desert Essence.
  • Whitening: Instead of the toxic Chest Whitening, making your own whitening paste will be better on your mouth and wallet!  Try swishing coconut oil mixed with a small pinch of charcoal powder, ‘oil pulling’, or brushing your teeth with baking soda.  Also know that coffee will stain your teeth quite fast!
  • Cosmetics:  much of the makeup we use today has chemicals like formaldehyde and parabens, that are linked to cancer and reproductive harm.  Search for non-toxic natural makeup. Lush is a wonderful store that sells all-natural, vegan personal care and bath products. I particularly like their shampoo bars and lavender lotions.
  • Sunscreen, because we do live in Arizona.  Currently only 2 out of the 16 chemicals in most sunscreens are considered ‘safe’ according to the FDA!  So instead of regular sunscreen, try to use alternatives, like Badger All Natural Sunscreen, or limit time in direct sun to 15-30 minutes and after that time use a long sleeve shirt and hat. Or consider making your own sunscreen:  Coconut oil (SPF of 4-6), Zinc Oxide (10-20 SPF), and Carrot Seed Oil (SPF of 35-40).

But they Smell Soooo Good….

    • Glade wall flowers and scented candles fans: these are highly toxic. You can get the same effect with natural, organic essential oil diffusers.

If you are worried about a personal or cleaning product being toxic, look at the list of ingredients —> if you don’t know what it is, it is safe to say it may not be the best for you.

*** Visit the Environmental Working Group at www.ewg.org to see a more comprehensive list of non-toxic supplies, cosmetics, etc. ****

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