In podcast episode 46 we discuss specific toxins that are found in our home – where we live and spend most of our time. We will also discuss how we can detox our homes. It’s important to keep our living environments as toxin-free as possible so that our homes can be a safe haven for detoxing and building up our immune systems.
Here is the list of the top 5 toxins:
- Beauty and personal care products
- Stress and negative thinking (This Episode)
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The Article that prompted these discussions about toxins
Spruce.com – explanation of off-gassing
Spruce.com – best indoor plants for clean air
Natural Weed Killer Recipe: 1 gallon white vinegar, 1 cup salt, 1 TBS liquid dish soap (Add all ingredients into a spray bottle and treat weeds at the sunniest time of day.)
Natural All-Purpose Cleaning Spray (This is the recipe I used at home.)
Here are the air filters that I use in my home: (AMAZON Affiliate Links)
I have one that has an ozone option that works really well for getting rid of odors. But it can also be run as a simple ionizer/air filter. I use it in my car too periodically. Make sure you leave the room/car when using the ozone mode.
EWG’s Tap Water Database (Find out what toxins are in your environment/water)
Browse EWG PRoducts By Category on AMAZON
The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen:
The Dirty Dozen
The Clean Fifteen
Also available on YouTube:
[00:00:00] I wrote a little introduction today, so are you ready? There's just so much to talk about. Right. And as far as toxins, but we want to remind our listeners to not get overwhelmed, just take little bitty parts of this and use it where you can , things that stand out to you, perhaps those are just the areas that you may need to touch on and get to the other items later if necessary, right? Yep.
[00:00:26] One day at a time, one day at a time.
[00:00:28] One day at a time, one moment at a time . So, um, today we're going to be talking about environmental toxins, but I want to remind everyone that in our previous podcast, and it was really specifically episode 43 and 45 that we talked about.
[00:00:45] Toxins found in food and water. And so, um some of them such as uh, preservatives and some specific pesticides, you know, are intentionally put into the food, but also there are just toxins that exist in our environment, you know, that are in the air, that are in the soil, and the dirt and the ground and things that we get exposed to in our foods.
[00:01:13] So this is just a reminder that it is important to choose our foods wisely and when we can maybe we want to choose organic when we can, or we want to grow some ourselves. Um, so those are just some options to help avoid toxins, even the toxins that are in our environment.
[00:01:34] Um, and one thing that came to mind when we were discussing earlier that there are other toxins that we breathe such as gas fumes, you brought those up, right? So we don't want to be breathing in our gas fumes when we're pumping gas, you know? And then that led me to think about like my son's a mechanic, you know?
[00:01:52] So when he tells me he breathes in toxins all day from all the different mechanical sprays and lubricants and things and stuff that he has on his job. And I'm sure there are other mechanic type jobs or industrial type jobs, and they are also breathing in many toxins.
[00:02:09] So one thing you know, to do. Be careful of what food and water. You don't want any additional toxins, but get some good food and water to help detox your body, you know? And also, I don't think we've talked about that. Maybe we can talk about this next time when we talk about beauty and personal care, but, you know, did we talk about another way to detox is through the saunas through heat.
[00:02:34] I cannot remember if we've done that, but we may touch on that again next week. We should touch on that. Yeah. So, I just want to remind everyone to check out podcasts 43 and 45 specifically for food and water. But today. We are going to talk about toxins that everyone might be, or may not be exposed to in their daily living.
[00:02:59] But these toxins come to us specifically through our home, you know, where we live and spend most of the time of the day. So, uh, I thank you for putting together this outline today that we are going to be discussing. And if you want to introduce that, we'll just move on right into toxins in our home.
[00:03:21] Yeah, that's, that's a big topic.
[00:03:24] Eh, after I started looking into it, there are so many toxic toxins in our home. And, uh, a lot of people are familiar with, if not the new home smell, like the new car smell and so new home, new car smell, we're like, Ooh, well, those are pretty much toxins that are in the environment that we're getting a whiff of.
[00:03:46] So that just led me to just Google that. And I found out about what's called off-gassing. Okay. And off-gassing is the giving off of chemicals, especially harmful ones in the form of a gas. And, um, there's just so many ways, like I said, like in the new home, when you might get paint done or new carpeting, those are things that often we can smell right away.
[00:04:18] Um, the smells, but that those smells are not. So not really good for us. And another thing that I learned about off-gassing, uh, there was a website and it says, what does it mean to off-gas? And this website, the spruce.com explained it this way off-gassing happens when manufactured items in our homes, such as paint, release, volatile, organic compounds, you commonly hear them referred to as VOCs.
[00:04:49] And these VOCs are chemical compounds that have a high vapor pressure at room temperature, meaning they evaporate high rates inside. So to, to kind of boil that all down, when we're smelling things like from the paint or the fresh flooring, these things are not good for us.
[00:05:08] So we want to discover what other things are in our homes as well, that are off-gassing. And it was interesting to find a list of common household items, um, as well. Uh, we talked about the, the paint, the flooring, and a particle board and plywood. I hadn't even thought about that, but a lot of our furniture I think, is made from those materials.
[00:05:37] Right. Right. That's very common right today. I mean, we hardly find solid wood things. They have some sort of particle board in there. And when you were reading that, it reminded me, you said volatile, these things are highly volatile. That's why we smell them right away. And that what makes them most toxic.
[00:06:01] Because we're smelling them and they're highly volatile, you know, they're, they're the things that we really want to avoid. You know, when we can smell chemical smells, we want to avoid those chemical smells. And so we'll get into how to kind of avoid that and reduce some of that. But yeah.
[00:06:17] Particle wood plywood. Yeah. All that. So, yeah, you listed, uh, cabinets. Furnishings. Our furnishings. Like you said, the cabinets, the tables, the couches and mattresses, and you might be like, what is that about? Well, some of these furnishes have glues. And they have formaldehyde in the coatings. And we know like back from school, when we dissected those animals, that weird smell, that was because they were preserved with formaldehyde, but yet we have them in many of our home furnishings.
[00:06:49] So like you said, Shonda we'll talk a little later about how do we minimize or get rid of some of these or avoid them. But yeah, let's, let's continue with the last bit of it. Um, We have our cleaning items like air fresheners, cleaning sprays, these things also off-gas. And some other culprits would be electronic equipment .
[00:07:14] That's another whole topic because they're referred to not VOCs necessarily, but they're emitting things that are not very helpful to our bodies as well. So all these things just to be aware of that they're off-gassing - is important. And then we can talk about ways to help control off-gassing.
[00:07:37] Yeah. Yeah, that's so true.
[00:07:39]There are so many chemicals that are used in these products . You know, a new one I heard about was fungicides, you know, being sprayed on different things and, uh, even in clothing and maybe some of the mattresses and the softer things. So yeah, we really have to be careful. When we get things and it has a smell, you know, there are ways that we could eliminate some of those things.
[00:08:06] And, um, so are we going to go there or are we ready to go there and talk about...? Let's go to some ways to eliminate and getting back to what you said earlier though, when you actually start smelling these smells, that's like, wow, that, that tells you we need to avoid it. And it reminds me of when we were kids, the parents always say, don't be trying to smell the gas at the pump.
[00:08:29] You know, I actually used to like that smell, but anyway, that's a clue. And it says highly volatile, you know, we don't play around when were at gas pumps. Well, the same thing at our homes, and we'll just go right into it. For example, mattresses can off-gas. They are stored in warehouses in plastic, and they're made of synthetics.
[00:08:51] And so that combination of wrapping tightly in plastic in a warm area, and then you're going to take that into your house and just unwrap it and sleep on it. So that's not good idea. So that takes us right into one of the things we can do with off-gassing. If you know, you're going to get new flooring or a new mattress or new paint, give it time, let that room air out.
[00:09:17] Like, we are about to receive a mattress, hopefully in the next week. And I've already decided that I'm going to leave it right outside the house. We have a little porch area where I can leave it and let it do the off-gassing out there before we bring it into the home. So time is, uh a factor that we, we can use time, uh, to help us with the off-gas.
[00:09:39] Yeah. Time is a good thing. And that reminds me that I know we may not want to do that with our mattresses, but with our furniture, we may want to shop resell shops, you know, to get some furniture and things. So that would be a good way to avoid, you know, off-gassing, but also when we do resell shops, we sometimes we could probably find a hundred percent wood too, but then there's still, there's still sprays and varnishes and glues and stuff.
[00:10:08] So yeah, we just need to be careful and allow those products time. So like you said, Leave them in an open airspace, maybe open some windows to get some fresh air circulating or use a fan to get, you know, to get the air circulating around there. And you want fresh air. Most of us have some fresh air around. You know, if you have grass outside your home or, or trees and things, they do produce fresh air, you know, they detox environment. Trees and plants that's their purpose.
[00:10:43] Great, great, great tip. Yeah. So opening the window and getting some of that exchange air would be a good idea.
[00:10:52] So. Do you want to talk about some other things? I probably led us into plants, right? Yeah. Yes, you led us into plants is another way, uh, to , clean up the air quality in your house. Because I know some people, depending on the temperature outside and what have you, they're like, oh, I don't want to open my windows.
[00:11:08] And we're not saying don't, we're saying at some point you want to, because it's like a box. We're in a heated box with all these chemicals. So find a way to open your doors and windows and then bring in the plants. Because those are going to help clean up the quality of our air as well. Indoor plants are a big deal.
[00:11:25] So let's embrace the idea of indoor plants. Bringing the outside in is another great idea. And then I thought you touched on a little bit. Well, one article talked about how we can facilitate off-gassing or control it with temperature. Do you want to talk about that?
[00:11:42] Well, when I read it, he talked about temperature as being like the higher the temperature, the more volatile the chemical becomes. So by increasing the temperature we want to do that in a place that we are not and allow that air to circulate out. So increase the temperature, put it in a hot room, put it in a hot, um, a garage or something and just let it off-gas there. Or, you know, maybe open the garage door and let all that out, you know, and I keep it there a few days.
[00:12:16] Um, maybe, and then a fan, you know, just do what you can, as long as you can to eliminate bringing those toxins in the home. Exactly. And thank you for that great description of that. And in Texas, we do have the convenience of hot weather and even that nice furniture that you're bringing in, you can put it, like you said, in the garage and let it off-gas there before bringing it into your home. That's a great idea.
[00:12:44] And then of course, we've already touched on the ventilation. About opening the doors and opening the windows. I know in some states, people do that weekly, if not more, but I know in Texas we're so hesitant. But at the same time, we have to understand that that's going to be better for us.
[00:13:03] It doesn't have to be all day. But even if it's just a half an hour to an hour for that day, once a week. I think even myself, we're going to start doing that more. We do have screens on our windows, so maybe we pay more attention to our screens and make sure they're in good shape so that we can open up those windows and bring in the fresh air.
[00:13:22] And like you said, bring in some plants. Um, look up some good indoor plants. It's always a good thing. Yeah. Oh yeah. I'll, I'll definitely look up a link and list some there.
[00:13:34] So one thing that we, uh, don't want to forget though, are the other things that we're bringing in such as, um, home cleaning products and sprays and room deodorants and things like that.
[00:13:49] You know, the chemicals, the fragrances that are used normally are not natural for one thing. And so they become toxic in our environment. I don't know how far to go with this, but like even burning some candles can create toxicity in your environment, you know, depending on what kind of candle it is or what that candle was made of. What fragrance that was made up. Well, I have two diff types of diffusers, right? There's two that come to my mind. There's the one that, uh, uses the water and you can put the essential oils in. And it'll diffuse into the air. And then the other is like a heating element. Where you could heat oil, you know, like maybe coconut oil or something and put your own essential oils in there. So those are two ways to get a fragrance, and, , and even, like around Christmas time, it just came to mind, like when you boil cinnamon on the stove or something, or maybe even just bowl some lemons and some seasonings on the stove, you know, Thinking of, you know, ways to get, fresher, cleaner smells in the air.
[00:14:56] That's one way to. Do you have any other ideas about air? Essential oils, I think are very good ones to mention and, and diffusers, but, um, also because I used to burn candles and then I graduated to cleaner burning candles and then, uh, but even the air conditioning guy explained to me that.
[00:15:16] Overall any candle burning in the home is not great for our heating, cooling system filtration. So anyway, I just don't burn any more at all. But, um, I do find that you can get, I don't even know what they're called, but air freshers where, uh, It seems like a waxy substance in it. It's mainly, um, like cans or containers and you just lift up the top and they're usually from essential oils that concentration of essential oils... and cedar blocks.
[00:15:50] That's another great thing in the closets and your shoes. These are great ways because I know growing up, I thought, Ooh, an air freshener that's great. And once in a while you can find natural air fresheners. We do have some made from oil of oregano. So just be mindful of when you're buying products that they don't have a lot perfumes or synthetics in them or chemicals in them.
[00:16:12]There are some natural air fresheners may be maybe it's the oil of oregano or other type of even lavender. You can get that essential oil, lavender and co it's concentrated and dilute it and spray it around as well. So there are other ways to freshen up the, smell your house, including opening up your house.
[00:16:32] Again, I can't say that enough. I'm glad you brought that up. That helps bring in fresh air and take out the not so fresh air.
[00:16:41] Yeah. The other thing I thought about, if you do have a natural based. Um, candle, you could sit that candle on a candle warmer and you don't have to burn it so that there's no smoke.
[00:16:53] Okay. Yeah. So that's one choice. And then I'm going to put the link again to EWGs list on Amazon about, uh, chemical free or the green products that are for sale on Amazon. Yeah. So we can do that.
[00:17:11]Um, so I do mostly make my own cleaning products at home. Uh, I use things like baking soda, you know, to scrub sinks to scrub, uh, dishes to scrub bathtubs, just with the regular soap that I use, mix that soap with a little baking soda. So you do not need chemicals. Um, I know a lot of people use, um, and this is not good for the environment they put like draino down their drains.
[00:17:44] If they get, you know, we didn't think about that, but I have this little zipper, you know, to get the hair out and you stick it in there and you twirl it around and pull it out. It is disgusting, but. I mean, you are preserving the pipes at your home by not using those chemicals, those chemicals can destroy your home over time, they do Draino and a bleach is another common (one).
[00:18:12] Yeah. They smell a lot too, but I will say again, you are so good Shonda with the economical and practical way. And I do that a lot too. I do know when we were moving and we were selling our other house. I was tempted to do the Draino way because we had one of the drains acting a little, whatever, but I found some natural, like they're made from enzymes.
[00:18:36] They're pourable. And if you're in a pinch, you can find some that you can buy, uh, to keep up the maintenance of your drains and not be putting more pollutants down there to get rid of our problems. So that's a very good point about the whole Draino thing, because I'm like, where does that eventually go? And then our water quality over years...
[00:18:56] And we think out of sight out of mind, but really it's not. It's not that easy. So we need to be mindful, especially with things like what we put in our drains or even our toilets and all that. So I'm glad you pointed that out.
[00:19:11] And so just came to my mind. Yeah. What, what are we adding to the environment? Right. So I just noticed this week, uh, that we've talked about it in episode 43 about glyphosate. Well that weed killer, Monsanto. That's the same chemical that's in Monsanto's weed killer or Roundup or whatever it's being pulled off the shelves. Oh, wow. It's going to take a while.
[00:19:41] I think they said 2023. Oh, to phase it all out, but it is out there that it's toxic and that it will no longer be on the shelves now. I don't know what they're replacing it with, but at least it gives a message. Right. Good. So yeah, we were talking about, you know, weed killer. What are we using as weed killer?
[00:20:00] You know, there's a, I'll put that link there too . You can do soap, salt and vinegar. You know, it may take a couple extra days, but it works. I've done it, you know, uh, as far as weed killer and just, yeah, what are we contributing to the environment? And all these things are toxic when we use them, we are going to naturally breathe them.
[00:20:21] So it's not healthy for our body. And, um, yeah, I'll, I'll put some links of different cleaning products you may want to try actually that are natural mixtures of things. Like the things that I use. And then maybe you can share some of the things that you found, like the natural enzymes in place of Draino or things that you found.
[00:20:43]And since you mentioned the, um, whole pesticides and so forth, um, just recently got an exterminator and I was just floored at.... Hmm. Well, let me just say, be encouraged that you don't have to go with the first place you call. Because I ended up calling several of them and it wasn't until I found at least two where they even wanted to entertain my questions about what is it that you're spraying on my lawn and, and the fact that I want to keep the pollinators around, like the butterflies and the bees. We want the butterflies. So, um, the place that we ended up using, they actually introduced us to a mosquito, um, treatment where it's not just fogging. Because we know most cities are already fogging somewhat. Okay. We don't even have control in many instances about that.
[00:21:34] But then on top of that, a traditional exterminator might just come in and fog your yard even further. So again, the butterflies and other pollinators, that's not good for them. So they, they told us about, I'll just call it mosquito buckets. I don't know what else to call it, but it's like a natural substance that they put in these buckets that attracts the mosquitoes and what's a mosquito goes in there, then it takes it back to the rest of the mosquitoes and overall it helps reduce the population.
[00:22:00] And so it might take a little longer. Um, but you know what, I think it's definitely worth looking into other ways to exterminate so that we're not negatively impacting our environment. Yeah. And we have to, I guess be careful about how we expose of that bucket, which brings me to the point that I know that when we throw away, um, paint, we're supposed to allow it to harden and then we can throw it away.
[00:22:31] We're not supposed to throw away liquid paint yeah. So that's just another thing that came to my mind while we were talking about this. So yeah, just be mindful that we don't want to contribute to the toxicity out there. We want to take care of our bodies and we definitely don't want these things in our homes.
[00:22:49] So, I hope this podcast helps, someone who's searching for ways to sort of, you know, lighten up on the toxins that are inside their home.
[00:23:01]And be encouraged. Like we said, it's one day at a time, one minute at a time. And, and, um, you know, some of us are more sensitive than others to toxins.
[00:23:11] So also listen to your body. Um, like there are some people they can live their whole life and certain toxins don't really affect them very much. Uh, where other people, they may break out, they may get stomach aches. No I'm just thinking you don't think it's affecting you, but hey, do you have respiratory issues?
[00:23:33]Do you have, like, would you think is like the common cold and you're like, I don't know why I'm sick. Well, did you just use a lot of toxins to clean your bathroom or your kitchen or your floor? You know, That's exactly what I was thinking too, is that, um, oftentimes we're not listening to our bodies, so you may have lived with a condition.
[00:23:53] I mean, you may not have died from it, or you may have not had it as bad as someone else. Um, but even if you get an inkling of like my eyes get watery when I have certain fragrances, even perfumes, I can't use perfumes because my eyes will water up and so forth. So I'm like, well, there are other options out there.
[00:24:11] So, um, listen to our bodies. And like Shonda said, you know, even if you don't think it's affecting you, maybe do a double check. To see, well, have I just gotten accustomed to sneezing every morning or have I gotten accustomed to having runny nose? And I chalk it up to allergies.
[00:24:28]Don't forget that we can always add, uh, air filters to our home to help eliminate some of those toxins too.
[00:24:35]I'm so glad you brought up that we can look into air filters and speaking of air filters, most homes have air filters for our AC systems and those need to be switched out. They need to be changed. It depends on the type of filter you buy. Maybe it's every six months or three months, but whatever it is, please change them because you can see when you take them down dirty.
[00:24:58] That's all the stuff that if you don't change them, that's what you're taking in. So change those air filters.
[00:25:07] So we'll put some links to some common air filters and, um, Go from there. And if you have any questions, please send us your questions and we'll be happy to answer them or try to help you find an answer. Yes.
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