5 Simple Steps to Make Your Home Healthier

Your home may not be as healthy as you think. Take these steps to get toxins out of your home.

By Brittany Hutzel

Grandparents.com and Humana are teaming up with Fran Drescher’s Cancer Schmancer and MyWellbeing.com to Trash Cancer, a health initiative that helps you live a less toxic, healthier life. Here, 5 simple steps toward improving your lifestyle in a hurry. 

When you think about living a healthy, cancer-free life, you probably think about eating well and exercising. But there’s something else we can all be doing: assessing the products we use every day and the foods we eat to make sure they don’t contain toxic chemicals that can be potentially harmful. 

Step 1: Use glass. Yes, plastic may be more convenient or readily available, but debates rage about its safety. An FDA study found that while plastic bottles did have small amounts of the chemical bisphenol A, otherwise known as BPA, they were still safe to use. However, another FDA study found that the BPA found in bottles, especially when heated, can lead to serious health problems for some people. Skirt the issue by using glass. If you can’t find glass, play it safe and use plastic that’s labeled “BPA free.”

Step 2: Wash fresh fruit. You bought the fruit because it’s healthful; cleaning that fruit will ensure that it really is. Think about it: Your fruit and vegetables go through a lot to get to you, and a lot of people handle them, which could mean exposure to harmful bacteria like salmonella and listeria. Also, while government research has shown that the levels of pesticides on fruit and vegetables is not hazardous to your health, many consumer health groups suggest buying organic or pesticide-free fruit and vegetables, just in case.

Step 3: Make your own cleansers. Making your own all-natural cleaning solutions only takes a few minutes and you’ll save a bundle by whipping them up yourself. Studies have found that some household cleaners contain potentially toxic chemicals, and a report from the University of Washington found that even some “green” cleaners can emit hazardous compounds. To learn how to make your own cleansers out of baking soda, white vinegar, and water, click here.

Step 4: Open your windows and doors for ventilation. Consider all of the dust that gets dislodged when you vacuum and dust your home. Then keep in mind that dust can become a host for contaminants. The best advice: create good ventilation when cleaning so dust gets out of the house.

Step 5: Dry clean less often. According to research from Georgetown University, a potentially carcinogenic dry cleaning solvent, is retained in dry-cleaned clothes made of polyester, cotton or wool. And, researchers found, the levels increase with repeat cleanings. Best bet: dry clean only when really necessary, and consider hand-washing the rest. 



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