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Chemicals in the Home

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Chemicals in the home come from sources such as commercial cleaning products, garden chemicals and workshop supplies such as paint, solvents and transmission fluid. Harmful chemicals can also be contained in personal care products like toothpaste, shampoo, cosmetics, nail polish, soaps and deodorants.

Chemicals in the home come from sources such as commercial cleaning products, garden chemicals and workshop supplies such as paint, solvents and transmission fluid. Harmful chemicals can also be contained in personal care products like toothpaste, shampoo, cosmetics, nail polish, soaps and deodorants. Use natural and environmentally friendly products recycled oil for your car; cosmetics without harmful chemicals and additives; or laundry disks, chemical-free ceramic beads that enhance water's natural ability to clean. Read the product labels and educate yourself about the names of harmful chemicals.

Hazardous products pose a direct threat to personal health and a general threat to the environment. Toxic, synthetic chemicals last a long time in the environment, and are much more likely to generate pollution in all phases of their life cycle than natural products. Use products made from natural ingredients whenever possible and appropriate.

Before dumping something harmful down the drain or flushing it down the toilet, ask yourself if you would want that substance in your drinking water or food. Many municipalities have hazardous-waste disposal sites where you can take unneeded paint, solvents and harsh cleansers for safe disposal. You can make a difference. If we stop pollution before it starts, our environment will be in much better condition.

Try to buy products that are non-polluting in their manufacture, use and disposal. Remember the five Rs:

  • Reduce consumption
  • Repair what you can
  • Reuse whenever possible
  • Recycle the rest
  • Rethink

Did You Know?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, fifty percent of all our illnesses can be traced to indoor pollution, which is ten times more toxic than its outdoor counterpart.

According to Debra Lynn Dadd, a domestic detoxification consultant and author of Non-toxic and Natural, "Every room in the house contains products made from materials and substances that can cause cancer, birth defects and changes in genetic structure." Topping the list of hazardous products are harsh drain cleaners, pesticides, paints, deodorizers, radon, toxic synthetic fabrics, second-hand smoke and lead from old pipes, cans and ceramics.

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