L'Association pour la santé environnementale du Québec / Environmental Health Association of Québec

4 Ways To Reduce Your Exposure To Chemicals

We spend 90% of our time indoors. The USA Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that indoor air can be 10 times or more polluted than outdoor air. Long-term exposures to chemicals may cause a variety of health risks.

The impact of living with a cocktail of chemicals found in household air and dust is now scientifically proven to be harmful to your health.

But how exactly can you reduce your exposure to these toxic chemicals?

Here are 4 ways…

  1. Select Safer Products

‘Natural’ doesn’t necessarily mean safe. Don’t be fooled by pretty logos or slogans. There are no legal definitions for words such as ‘natural’, ‘fresh’, ‘green’, or ‘botanical’. Read labels carefully to identify all ingredients in a product. Organic products must be certified and make sure the ingredients mention organic.

Additionally, be sure to carefully read labels. Use labels that mention the hazards of key ingredients to evaluate products. The first ingredient makes up the greatest amount in the product and the last ingredient, the least.

However, not all ingredients are listed. Components that are harmful to health may not be listed at all (e.g., manufacturing by-products of toxins present in personal care products). There are easy-to-find alternative products, but you need to read the labels and stay informed.

Avoid parabens, which are derived from petroleum. They are used in personal care products and have endocrine-disrupting properties. A chemical name in the paraben family is usually preceded by the prefixes methyl-, ethyl-, butyl- or propyl-. Look for these in the list of ingredients.

  1. Improve Indoor Air Quality

Never allow smoking indoors.

Be sure to also avoid scented products. ‘Fragrances’ may contain phthalates, which are endocrine disruptors and may cause obesity, reproductive, and developmental harm. Choose products that don’t contain ‘perfume’ or ‘fragrance’ on the list of ingredients.

Also remember to keep your house well-ventilated, leaving windows open in the summer. Install air purifiers/air exchangers equipped with a HEPA filter to remove pollutants and make sure to clean the filters regularly!

Some household plants such as spider plants, dracaenas, philodendra, common ivy, aloe vera, and rubber plants are natural air purifiers. Be sure to wipe them with a damp cloth periodically to keep them filtering efficiently. Make sure there is no mould growth on the soil. If there is, remove the topsoil and replace with fresh potting earth.

Finally, choose renovations and construction materials with low VOCs and that are the least toxic.

  1. Eat The Right Foods

There are methods or reducing your toxic intake. Stay informed of the ingredients in your food, beverages, personal care and cleaning products, bedding and clothing, furnishings, and just about anything else you expose yourself to.

It’s also important to support your body’s natural detox pathways. You can do so by eating cruciferous vegetables, sulfur rich foods (like onions and garlic) and selenium rich foods (like Brazil nuts), and fiber.

  1. Include Detox Habits In Your Routine

Daily intermittent fasting gives your body a change to break down decaying cells, build new proteins, burn fat, and better regulate your immune system. In order to correctly practice intermittent fasting, leave a 14 to 16-hour window every day in which you don’t eat to give your body the chance to detox.

You can also use an infrared sauna to sweat out toxins as sweat contains lots of chemicals and heavy metals.

It’s also a good idea to incorporate detox binders. Active charcoal is one of the best general binders. Take it 1 hr before or 2 hrs after meals.

So those are 4 effective ways of reducing your exposure to chemicals but there are many more we can share with you. Want to Learn More About Multiple Chemical Sensitivities And Learn if You May Be Affected? Click Here.

Prevent the disability of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity! Click here

Want To Learn More About Our Association? Click Here.

Want To Become A Member? Click Here.