Mar 21, 2017
When cleaning our homes, few people realize how our cleaning approach affects indoor air quality and human health. Often, important considerations are overlooked.
A home that looks clean and smells nice can have poor indoor air quality. So, then, how is indoor air quality when we do deeper cleaning? Studies have found poor indoor air quality to be associated with allergies, asthma, migraines, and other environmentally-induced sicknesses.
Spring cleaning can feel like a daunting process. Below are three high-impact ideas for you to consider.
1.) How we dust. Like many, I grew up thinking household dust was just an unsightly mark of neglect-- one that could easily be fixed with a feather duster. I had no idea that household dust is often the most toxic breathable cocktail of chemicals (like tar, flame retardant chemicals, heavy metals, phthalates) that can pose serious threats to our health and the development of our children, who are often the most vulnerable, and the most exposed (crawling on the floor, putting things in their mouths, etc.)
The Fix: Dust hard surfaces using a damp microfiber cloth. The goal is to catch and remove the dust-- not just circulate it in the air. Also, invest in a good vacuum cleaner, replace the bags often, and vacuum everywhere you can imagine (even the walls!)
2.) Our cleaning products. Suspected to contribute to many illnesses like asthma, allergies, lung issues, breast cancer, thyroid problems, and reproductive health issues and more, toxic chemicals found in common household cleaning products are some of the worst offenders when it comes to human health.
The Fix: Head to the Environmental Working Group's website (ewg.org) or app to research lesser toxic options when it comes to buying off the shelf products.
3.) We don't consider EMF pollution. Not only do our technological devices shed health-threatening particles into our homes (like heavy metals and flame retardants), but the devices themselves emit EMFs (electromagnetic fields) that can disrupt our body's ability to heal, restore, focus, and sleep.
The Fix: Remove all unused electronics from home as they have a tendency to produce toxic dust, and also emit EMFs if they are still turned on or plugged into your wall. Limit WiFi and Bluetooth in your home-- especially near your children's bedrooms.
Want more natural cleaning tips? Join the D-Tox Academy to access tips, hacks, and how-tos for cleaning your home in a fresh, easy, to-the-point and completely nontoxic way. And pick up a copy of A to Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing our Toxic Exposures, written by nontoxic living expert and mother of 3, Sophia Ruan Gushée.
Each month, we will "meditate" on a body part or system. The goal is to connect with our body, senses, and symptoms to rely on this curiosity and "listening" as guidance for a gentle, detox journey.
This article is for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. Views expressed in this article by an expert are the views of the expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Nontoxic Living or Ruan Living.
Access Sophia's shopping list for her household staples. They're her favorite low toxic items that she can't live without. Also see which EMF protection products she uses.