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It’s the place in Tennessee where we seek rest and respite from the demands of the workday and the outside world. It’s where we spend quality time with friends and family. It’s where we cook, eat, sleep, shower, and sit by the fire. It’s home, and it really is sweet.
But is it healthy?
Surprisingly, your home can be more than just your hiding place; it can also be the hiding place of many unexpected, unseen dangerous things that may be harmful to your own health and your loved ones. Fortunately, with a bit of effort, you can make your North Carolina home base a healthy place. Here are some tips:
- Curb Carbon Monoxide – Carbon monoxide detectors that plug into electrical outlets are both affordable and easy to install. Put one on every floor of your home, and one in every bedroom. These potentially life-saving devices can protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning that can result from a gas heater or fireplace.
- Manage Mold – Though it is a natural development, mold can wreak havoc on your health. It triggers allergies, headaches, chronic sinus conditions, and other ailments. To prevent mold from growing in such common areas as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements, install drywall designed to resist mildew, and use ventilation fans to keep moisture from hanging around.
- Put Your Purse Out of Reach – Mommy’s purse can store a plethora of potentially harmful products that should be kept out of the reach of children and pets. Small items, including coins and makeup, are easy to choke on. Prescription and even over-the-counter medications can be deadly if they fall into the wrongs hands (or paws). Keep your purse on a hard-to-reach shelf so its contents are inaccessible.
- Toss Toxic Toiletries – Common lotions, soaps, sunscreens, makeup products, nail polish, and perfume all contain toxic ingredients known to be harmful to humans, including phthalates, which can disrupt the endocrine system, and preservatives known as parabens, which have been linked to cancer. You can find non-toxic toiletries and beauty products at health food stores and online, as well as at some mainstream beauty-supply retailers and supermarkets.
- Purge the Plastic – Many plastics leech toxic chemicals, like Bispehnol A (BPA), that are harmful to humans because they are known hormone disruptors. Replace your plastic food and water storage containers with glass ones or BPA free plastic ones. Avoid storing food in plastic wrap, which contains phthalates and vinyl chloride, a human carcinogen.
- Use Canned Goods with Caution – Canned foods are convenient and handy, but, like plastics, many cans are coated with BPA, which can leech into the foods they contain.
- Clean Green – Household cleaning products and laundry detergents are notoriously unhealthy for humans. Rife with chemicals, they create a home environment that may be “clean,” but is hardly safe. It’s easy to clean green! Baking soda, lemon juice, and vinegar are just a few harmless and effective products that clean a variety of surfaces. Like green toiletries, green cleaning products are now readily available at health food stores and many mainstream supermarkets.