5 Home Detox Strategies

BY JETTA BATES ON OCTOBER 27TH, 2016

When it comes to ridding your house of toxins, it’s important to remember not all homes have the same problems. Unless a house has serious issues (think peeling lead paint chips that serve as a snack to a two-year-old), no one is in immediate danger.

According to experts, some basic precautions or simple upgrades in the home could help alleviate nagging headaches, allergy symptoms and insomnia – leading to a better quality of life.

1. Furniture Fixes

“In furnishings, the finishes are the most frequent culprits,” says Susan Inglis, executive director of the Sustainable Furnishings Council. “If furniture has that distinctive smell of a new product, it is still off-gassing volatile organic compounds [VOCs], many of which are toxic.”

In order to speed the process of completing the off-gassing, Inglis suggests leaving the product in a well-ventilated area (she is fan of well-ventilated homes, overall). For those who are searching for new furniture, though, her preferred solution is to look for furniture, decorative accessories and textiles with low-VOC or no-VOC finishes.

2. Bedtime Bothers

Struggling to sleep at night or still feel tired in the morning? The problem may be bed sheets, according to Debra Lynn Dadd, author of “Toxic-Free” (Tarcher, 2011) and consumer advocate specializing in finding products that are safe and environmentally friendly.

She says that all permanent-press sheets are heavily coated with a resin that keeps sheets from getting wrinkled but continually releases formaldehyde vapors – no matter how many times they’re washed.

Instead, Dadd recommends cotton flannel, cotton knit or woven cotton sheets that are not treated with a no-iron finish; many are labeled “untreated” or “formaldehyde-free.”

3. Corporate Commitment

Inglis urges consumers to buy from companies that are committed to creating the best and safest products with sustainable materials. Find those that are dedicated to seeking new technologies for the healthiest home offerings.

4. Water Wellness

Many people filter drinking water at home, but water pollutant exposure can also occur through the skin in the shower. Dadd suggests removing chlorine and chloramines with a shower filter. Call your local water provider to find out which of these two chemicals they use to ensure the purchase of the correct filtering solution.

5. Paint Problems

Both water- and oil-based paints contain VOCs. Especially in the case of oil-based paints, they can cause dizziness, headaches, and breathing difficulties (among other problems). Dadd recommends low-VOC and no-VOC paints – or forego paint altogether with colored clay plaster on the walls for a chic, unique look.

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