8 Ways to Reduce Your Exposure to Toxins

January 17, 2015
by Gina Vaynshteyn for Thrive Market
8 Ways to Reduce Your Exposure to Toxins

Toxins are essentially everywhere around us, frighteningly enough.

We inhale them as we drive to work, and wipe down our kitchen counters. Toxins can be found in furniture, cushions, and mattresses. Pesticides are infamously used to combat weeds and insects (and unfortunately we can end up digesting them if we don’t buy organic). Older paint contains lead, and large predatory fish like tuna have high-levels of mercury. Bisphenol-A (BPA) can be found in plastic bottles.  And these are just a few.

Toxins are almost unavoidable. Almost. If you're careful, and aware of what products you purchase,  there are definitely ways to reduce your exposure to toxins. Here's how you can keep your home and your body non-toxic.

1. Buy PBDE-free furniture.

Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers are chemicals used in flame retardants on furniture that the Environmental Protection Agency has labeled as a chemical of concern for its potential neurobehavioral affects. If you’re out shopping for a new couch, make sure to read the labels and find out exactly what the fabric is made out of.

2. Try to go organic as much as possible with your produce.

For fruits like apples and pears, it’s especially important to buy organic, because their skins are not very thick and easy to penetrate. Bananas and grapefruits, on the other hand, have thicker skin, and aren’t as likely to have absorbed pesticides. Look out for pesticide-free labels as well.

3. Make your own cleaning products.

It’s actually cheaper and easier than you think. For an all-purpose cleaner, all you need is distilled vinegar, water, and essential oils.

4. Avoid parabens and sulfates in your shampoos and soaps.

Those toxins are especially terrible for your hair, since they strip it of its natural oil and healthy shine. You can purchase an all-natural shampoo (just make sure to read the labels), or you can go the no-poo route. All you need is baking soda and apple cider vinegar.

5. Make sure your water bottles and coffee mugs are BPA-free.

Bisphenol A (commonly known as BPA) is often found in water bottles and plastic products. Some animal studies have indicated BPA could affect fetal development and bioaccumulation.

How can you avoid BPAs? Just look at the label. Most bottles have “BPA-free” stickers on them now.

6. When you purchase plastic products, make sure they contain recycle symbols #4 and #5.

This means they are PVC-free. PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, can be found in toys and cookware. It has been shown linked to a higher risk of cancer.

7. Stop eating canned food — if it contains BPA.

Almost all cans are lined with BPA. Check for cans with the BPA-free label.

8. Exercise!

According to Mind Body Green, regular exercise “gently releases toxins through skin via sweat.” Take a jog through the park or do some yoga.

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This article is related to: BPA-free, Parabens, Toxins, Paraben-Free

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