Your home should be a happy haven. It is one place where your family and you will be spending most of your time. It should, therefore, be designed, built, renovated, and maintained to support health.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit organization that is devoted to preventing unintentional injuries more than 3 million kids get hurt at home each year.
Children can spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors, so it is important to make the environment of the home healthy and safer against many hazards.
Limiting or avoiding exposure to toxic chemicals is one of the top priorities of every parent. Toxic chemicals are everywhere, so exposure is really difficult to avoid, but there are things that people can do to be proactive.
Here is an ultimate cheat sheet to make a home healthier and are not that expensive either.
9 Steps Toward A Non-Toxic And Healthy Home Environment
1. Get Over The Nicotine Addiction
It is time to kick off your smoking habit for good. According to a fact, an estimated 40% of America’s children are exposed to second-hand smoke at home.
It is one of the biggest triggers of asthma in those children. Getting over the habit will not only save a lot of money but help in making the home a healthier place.
2. Safeguard Against Scalding
You already know that children are prone to drowning in the bathtub, but a child is also likely to get seriously burned. Hot water can burn skin very seriously. In less than five seconds a baby or toddler exposed to 140 degrees F water can be scalded.
Make sure that hot-water heater is always set to 120 degrees F. Before using the water or placing the kid in it, test it yourself.
3. Keep An Eyeful Watch For Windows
More than 4,000 kids end up in the emergency room after falling out of a window every year. It is important to install window guards or window stops.
Babies and toddlers can get strangled by cords on blinds and shades, so it is critical to place cribs and other furniture away from windows. It would be best to use cordless window coverings in kids’ bedrooms and make corded blinds and shades safer.
4. Get The Radon Test Done For Your Home
Approximately one in 15 homes has a high level of radon. Radon is a radioactive gas that is released when uranium breaks down naturally in soil, rocks, and water. You can not see or smell it and it is believed to be the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.
An inexpensive test kit that is available at home-improvement stores gives you a reliable test in this case. EPA considers a count of 4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L) or greater as unsafe.
If there are high levels of Radon present in your home, you will require a certified radon-mitigation contractor to install a piping system to vent the gas out. The EPA recommends doing this even if the level is higher than 2 pCi/L.
Make sure your contractor uses radon-resistant construction techniques if you are building a new home. In addition, always request a radon test as part of the inspection when purchasing a home. If the test is negative, retest every two years or after renovations.
5. Get House Dust Under Control
Allergies aggravate by house dust. It is full of hazardous chemicals which include lead, fire retardants, pesticides, and other chemicals. It will not be a good idea to take it lightly. These particles get easily accumulated in the house even if you do not use chemicals.
It is, therefore, a good idea to vacuum frequently and meticulously. Give a good clean around the corners, inside furniture. Use a good vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter so that dust and dirt go into the bag.
Clean the vacuum bag and filter each time, so the dust does not get spewed back into the air.
6. Stay Away From Pesticides
Yes, it is true that pesticides kill roaches, ants, mice, and lawn pests. But, the exposure to these deadly chemicals might be causing havoc on the health of your family, especially your children.
Reports say that these chemicals are a leading cause for a range of health problems, including asthma, learning disabilities, and problems with brain development.
Encourage a healthier way to life and think about prevention. Keep roaches away by washing dishes carefully, clear up all food residues, keep food packages and containers tightly closed, and seal all cracks that are a point of entry into your home. These are simple rules, but they actually work.
Instead of using herbicides to kill the weeds, pull them manually through hands. Learn the non-chemical ways to life to create an eco-friendly environment around you.
7. Minimize The Use Of Plastic Bottles And Canned Foods
Bisphenol A, a chemical found in polycarbonate plastics, is still being debated for its safety. This plastic is used extensively in water bottles and baby bottles. It is also used in epoxy resins that line metal products like canned foods. While the FDA and the American Chemistry Council say bisphenol A is safe for use.
There is another government report from National Toxicology Report that found concern about effects on the brain, prostate gland, and behavior in fetuses, infants, and children.
Adults with high levels of BPA in their urine were more likely to have a history of diabetes or heart disease as compared to people with low levels of BPA according to a study.
To limit exposure to BPA, use safer water or baby bottles that are either tempered glass bottles or plastic bottles made of cloudy plastics like polyethylene or polypropylene. Heat breaks down plastic fibers, so do not microwave plastic food containers. Put food in a glass or ceramic dish and avoid microwave food with cling wraps.
8. Use Teflon Coated Dishware With Caution
Teflon coated pots and pans or other non-stick cookware should be used with caution. Perfluorinated (PFCs) chemicals are used to make these non-stick coatings. This chemical can accumulate in the body over a period of time.
Though there is no evidence that Teflon-coated pans cause cancer, the EPA lists PFOA as a “likely human carcinogen”. Avoid preheating pans on high, and use the lowest temperature you can to cook food.
9. Use Non-Toxic Cleaning Products
The conventional cleaning supplies you use with “warning” and “poison” labels are a dangerous mix of chemicals.
These chemicals are not only polluting the indoor air but when they are washed down the drain, they also pollute rivers and lakes. Look for cleaning solutions that are green and use natural cleaners like vinegar, lemon juice etc.