In today’s Nutrition Bite, we’re talking all about a surprising source of everyday toxins.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), you spend 80-90% of your time in a location that can be 5-10 times more polluted than being outdoors…
Where is that?
Reports published by this federal agency reveal that you and most Americans spend around 21 hours indoors, every day… and without knowing it, you are exposing yourself to literally hundreds of toxins that build up, concentrate and compound, and which can end up seriously compromising your health.
But there’s another shocking statistic: The worst offender is your home.
The EPA also reports that some homes can be up to 100x more toxic than even polluted outside air.
Experts say the air quality in your home can deteriorate simply because of small things you do on a daily basis.
But it’s not ALL about the air. Toxins take many forms. For example, did you know that the average woman applies over 168 chemicals to her body every day!?
That’s a high number of toxins absorbed directly through your skin… but it doesn’t take into account hundreds of other toxins that come from your home environment—household cleaners, furniture, carpets, floors, paint, building materials, fragrances, organic matter… even your food.
All these toxins can have a combined effect. In 2004 the British Medical Journal reported, “It is clear that environmental and lifestyle factors are key determinants of human disease, accounting for perhaps 75% of most cancers.” Some experts estimate that the majority of Americans hold approximately 400 and 800 chemicals stored within their bodies, usually in their fat cells.
The effects of exposure to environmental toxins can be difficult to identify, which is why it can be so easy to dismiss them as the source of chronic or intermittent illness.
In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), does screen some products, but the limits of their standards and regulatory authority (largely controlled by Congress) mean that consumers are left with the burden of responsibility to become self-educated, and read product information, consumer reports, and any other resource available.
So how do you know where YOUR home falls on the scale of indoor pollution and toxins?
Chemicals like the following are just some of the common toxins that are present in most indoor spaces:
- Phthalates and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
- Heavy metals
- Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
These chemicals are a cause for concern as chronic exposure and accumulation within the body can cause a variety of health issues such as respiratory irritation, developmental problems in children, increased risk to diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and alzheimers to name a few.
It’s important to educate yourself on the sources of toxins that are likely within your home.
Paint, varnishes, cleaning aids, shower curtains, wallpaper, plastic items, and even toys contribute to indoor air pollution. As innocent as they may seem, many mainstream home products are made with or coated with toxins that leach into the air within your home.
With that said, as basic chemistry goes, it’s the dose that makes the poison. What does this mean for indoor air quality?
It means that you can take charge of eliminating or minimizing as many hazardous chemicals as you can to optimize air quality.
Look for non toxic alternatives to minimize or eliminate sources of pollution. Non-toxic cleaning aids, toiletries, and home maintenance products are healthier alternatives.
Additionally keeping your windows open, utilizing house plants, and being diligent with keeping your home free of dust and mold can greatly improve indoor quality.
Air filters are a particularly effective way to maintain optimal indoor air quality.
Air filters like Air Doctor filter and purify the air within your home using technology that has measurable proof of minimizing harmful particles and chemical pollutants within an indoor space.
As an affordable, quiet and easy-to-maintain air filter, Air Doctor’s 3-stage filtration process effectively removes ultrafine particles and captures 99.99% of the smallest and most dangerous ultra-fine PM2.5 particles.
AND, they are super quiet. We have these at home!
With some research and simple changes, you can significantly improve the air quality within your home and start breathing easy. 😀