SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Did you know that the EPA estimates that indoor air pollution can be between two and five times higher indoors than outdoors?
That's because powerful disinfectants cleaners, scented air fresheners, soaps and other similar items contribute to the pollution that is being trapped in our homes, schools and offices
Megan Evans shares a few alternatives that she uses at home to help reduce some of the indoor air pollution for her family. For more information on clean and safer products for the home and more check out the Environmental Working Group.
Laundry: While a fresh load of clean laundry smells nice, most detergents use synthetic fragrances and there’s a direct correlation between your health and the air you breathe.
Synthetic fragrances are known endocrine disruptors, which can cause an imbalance in hormones, among other health issues. They’ve also shown to suppress the immune system after long term use. Fun fact: Laundry products are not required to list ingredients.
So what you can do is look for detergents that are “fragrance-free” or “perfume or dye-free” to reduce exposure to chemicals in laundry products.
Think about it, the detergent you use is surrounding you all day long from the clothes you wear, to the sheets you sleep on and the bath towels you use. If you like having a scent, try adding essential oils to a fragrance-free detergent.
Bathroom: Bleach is one of the oldest cleaners, but also one of the harshest. It can cause irritation and even burn the skin. Bleach also effects your lungs. Studies have shown links between respiratory issues and disinfectant use in general, so it’s not just bleach — harsh chemicals that affect lung function are in lots of mainstream cleaning products.
A cleaner and inexpensive alternative is good old vinegar and baking soda! Vinegar has shown to kill germs just as well as harsh cleaners and it’s not toxic to breathe. When you use it with baking soda it will help get your tub, sinks and toilet squeaky clean!
If you’re fighting mold in the bathroom, hydrogen peroxide works better than bleach and is much safer for your health.
Kitchen: Using non-toxic products in the kitchen is especially important because it’s around the food we eat. If you’re trying to eat cleaner and organic having toxic chemicals around can negate that.
I like to use vinegar in the kitchen as well since we can actually consume vinegar. A kitchen and household cleaner can easily be made using white vinegar and essential oils.
If you’d prefer to buy, Aunt Fannie's is a brand that uses just vinegar and essential oils. This is my go-to kitchen cleaner.You can find it at Raley’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Nugget Market and Whole Foods.
Garden: With so many chemicals already in our environment, gardening with cleaner products is one more step you can take for your family and the environment. For a non-toxic weed killer, fill a sprayer with vinegar and two teaspoons of dish soap.
Love this article? Catch more of Megan Evans on Morning Blend: Extra Shot, weekdays at 11 a.m. Read more about Megan, here.
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