Chemicals are part of our lives. We treat illnesses, paint our houses, and even clothe ourselves with products that have been developed through chemical research. However, there are reasons to be cautious about our exposure to some chemicals.
What you can do to Reduce Toxins at Home
You can reduce exposure to harmful chemicals at home by purchasing less hazardous household products.
► Use a multi-purpose cleaner rather than buying many specialty cleaners.
► Use single-ingredient products (baking soda, white vinegar, lemon juice, salt) that serve several functions.
► Choose products that are made from plant-based materials like citrus, seed, vegetables, herbs or pine oils.
► Choose products that have low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are toxic chemicals that are released into the air.
► Choose chlorine-free products.
► Choose water-based glues, adhesives and paints.
► Choose the least toxic product to do the job. A product with the signal word Caution on its label is less hazardous than a product with the signal word Warning, Danger or Poison.
Many people are switching to homemade cleaners to reduce exposure to hazardous chemicals. Inexpensive ingredients like baking soda, vinegar and dish soap often clean just as well as store-bought products. You can find more information about non-toxic cleaners at www.reduce.org.
If you have an unwanted product with any of the signal words (poison, danger, warning, caution), take any leftovers to a Household Hazardous Waste collection event.
You can find more information about reducing toxins at home at www.rethinkrecycling.com.