For many people, cleaning supplies with toxins, hygiene supplies with heavy metals, and even foods with genetically modified ingredients will not have a major impact on their lives. However, for some individuals that are genetically predisposed, additives in household items, foods, or even personal property can cause mental health symptoms and reactions that require professional care and attention due to toxic products.
Why Does It Matter What Type of Products We Use in the Home?
Because of the products we choose to use in our homes, exposure to neurotoxicity increases. Without treatment, people experience symptoms, discomfort and other health issues due to toxic burden. A toxic burden occurs when an individual absorbs toxins into their system. Over time, these toxins, in some individuals, will build up and create new symptoms or flare ups.
As an example, many popular brand name deodorants are known to contain the heavy metal aluminum. Aluminum exposure, if not properly detoxed from the body, can cause severe mental symptoms. For the average person, using a product with aluminum may be okay, but for those who are more sensitive, a healthier alternative is needed in order to prevent symptoms.
As another example, take an individual who is exposed to black mold, who then exhibits problems sleeping or heightened mental health symptoms, like anxiety. Mold toxicity, according to Psychology Today, “can manifest in many different ways, including symptoms that are exclusively psychiatric, such as depression, anxiety, attention problems, brain fog and insomnia. Vulnerability to mold toxicity is only present in 25% of the population who, in most cases, have a genetic predisposition which inhibits their clearance of biotoxins. A family can all be living in the same house with mold growth, but only one family member will become ill. This is because that person is the only one with the genetic vulnerability”.
Educate yourself about healthy versions of common household products.
Healthy Household Products Are Available
For any individual who finds themselves sensitive to their environment, to smells, to chemicals, or even to processed foods, learning how to eliminate heavy metal toxins and other additives, harmful to the environment, is a great way to ensure health and longevity.
With all of the various labels in regards to toxin free products, and lack of education surrounding healthy versions of typical household products, it’s important to stay informed. Alternative to Meds Center has put together this list of the Top 10 Toxins in home products to help give you a head start. Another good tool to use if you are interested in finding healthy and chemical free home products is to download the Healthy Homeguide app.
Top 10 Toxic Household Products
Our list includes information about harmful products as well as healthier product suggestions.
1. Air Freshener:
When needing a fresh scent in the home or office, many people use air fresheners. What most people don’t know is some of the most popular brands of air fresheners come with potential, serious, health interactions. Using a commercial brand air freshener, according to the Ackerman Cancer Center, could put an individual at risk of exposure to chemicals such as “phthalates and many other hazardous chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, propellants, solvents, benzenes, and synthetic musk’s, among others. These chemicals can be easily inhaled, land on the skin and be absorbed, or accidentally ingested. Studies have shown long term exposure to these chemicals can cause damage to the lungs, liver, kidneys, and central nervous system and may alter the body’s hormones (hormone disruption effect), which may increase the risk of some cancers and the risk of reproductive problems.” When needing a way to avoid chemicals when freshening up your space, a healthier alternative would be to consider the use of natural oils, a diffuser, or even a healthier fragrance spray.
2. Cleaning Solutions:
Commercial cleaning products are found in most homes in the United States, but over 22% of those reviewed by EWG scored an F. These toxic cleaning supplies are the worst offenders and contain irritants or toxins both described on their product label, and undisclosed. According to Rebecca Sutton, PhD, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), “In terms of household cleaners, neither ingredients nor products must meet any sort of safety standard, nor is any testing data or notification required before bringing a product to market.”
So, how does a person keep their home fresh and clean, without subjecting the household to these dangerous chemicals? Try these healthier A-rated cleaning supplies!
3. Shower Cleaner:
For most individuals, the shower or bath is used daily as a means to stay clean. But, for those using shower cleaner, chances are you are adding more toxins to your bathroom each time you clean. Out of 23 shower cleaner products reviewed by EWG, almost half scored an F. For those wanting to make sure their bathroom is as toxin free as possible, wellnessmama.com covers some noteworthy options
“A 50/50 vinegar/water solution will clean tile, counters, cabinet fronts and soap scum in the shower. A baking soda and water paste will clean stuck on gunk in the shower and tub (use vinegar instead of water for really tough stains).
For grout, sprinkle baking soda on the floor and spray with undiluted hydrogen peroxide and scrub with a gentle toothbrush.”
4. Laundry Products:
Laundry detergent, fabric softener, and even dryer sheets are all known to contain toxins. From the fragrance to the cleaning agents, most commercial laundry products are filled with unhealthy additives and toxins. Granted, most commercial laundry detergent makers have begun to offer fragrance free options; however, even these odorless variations contain some dangerous toxins. Over 350 laundry cleaners reviewed on EWG scored an F. So how does one know which laundry detergent is the best choice, or what is an alternative to using laundry cleaners? For a list of EWG’s A-rated laundry cleaners click here, or for DIY natural laundry detergent help, check out Dr. Ericz recipe.
5. Furniture/Upholstery Stain Prevention:
What to do when coffee spills on the couch, or how about a nasty cranberry sauce stain? Well, for those wanting to keep a toxin free environment at home, most furniture cleaners will be off limits. With over 40% of products reviewed scoring an F, most options found at the local grocery store or market for furniture cleaning contain chemicals.
Should you be sensitive to chemicals or environmental toxins, cleaning with a toxic substance and then laying on the couch, is probably not the best idea. If you are trying to keep a healthy, toxin free home, please check out these A-rated furniture and upholstery cleaning supplies.
6. Pet Stain/Odor Remover:
Pet owners often rely on a pet stain cleaner to keep carpets clean and fresh, especially for a puppy or a dog who is training. No dog owner would willingly put chemical agents down in a dog’s play area but unfortunately, most pet stain and odor removers will include toxins. Some labels even try to hide the presence of toxins. Products that say Citrus, Fresh, or Natural will tend to include harmful, not natural, ingredients. Luckily, keeping your space clean is possible, using some of these more environmentally friendly pet stain/odor removers.
7. Baby Cleaning Products:
Detergents and cleaning supplies branded specifically for use around babies are sold around the world. The good news is that the majority of the cleaners ranked well during the EWG reviews. However, there are a few baby cleaning products which ranked an F. When considering keeping your home and baby clothing fresh, it is always wise to avoid the use of toxic additives and consider more natural cleaning agents. Using adult products for babies could result in an overexposure to fragrance or toxins, and lead to symptoms or adverse reactions. According to WebMd, “There is good news. By making simple changes and practicing child-safe cleaning, you can keep your home clean without exposing your baby to unnecessary risks. For an exhausted mom, it’s a win-win: a healthier baby without loads of extra housework.”
Mattresses, sheets, comforters, and pillows are all items that most people look forward to seeing every evening. But what if your bedding was causing you unwanted symptoms or reactions? According to motherearthliving.com, here is just one concern when it comes to bedding. “The Problem: Polyester-cotton bed linens and “no-iron” cotton bed linens are treated with a formaldehyde-based permanent-press finish to keep them wrinkle free. The formaldehyde resin becomes a permanent and irremovable part of the fiber, and it continues to release formaldehyde fumes for the life of the fabric. (Wash and wear diminishes formaldehyde levels, but residues remain as long as the fabric stays wrinkle free.) Formaldehyde exposure can cause headaches, skin rashes, respiratory problems, fatigue, and insomnia.” Consider these suggestions for the best non-toxic bedding options.
9. Floor Cleaners:
Cleaning the floor can become extra difficult when the cleaning supplies being used contain toxins. Shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, and dizziness can overcome a person that is sensitive to toxins found in floor cleaners. This concern is prevalent at schools where PVC flooring and toxic cleaning agents are often used. It turns out that the healthier floor cleaner option is also very cost effective. Before you clean the floor using the standard commercial cleaners found at most supermarkets, check out some DIY toxin-free floor cleaner options.
This may not be considered a household product but is very important to maintaining balanced mental health. We have all heard the saying “You are what you eat”, but in recent years, the effect of food on mental health has become even more obvious. Foods composed of sugar, corn syrup, additives, food colors, and chemicals are now so widespread that healthy foods require a label to prove they are organic, or non GMO. For anyone concerned with toxins found in home products, equal concern must be shown to diet and nutrient intake.
Toxic Product Exposure Treatment
At Alternative to Meds Center, we combine the use of toxin removal treatments, a healthy organic diet, nutrient supplements, and a world class team of experts, in order to provide the best holistic psychiatric center in Sedona, Arizona. Our inpatient program is designed to help those suffering from a toxic burden, and those who are reliant on psychiatric medication for symptoms, to find balance and support in their recovery. For over a decade, our licensed, holistic psychiatry program has succeeded in helping severe cases of heavy metal toxicity, toxic burden, environmental toxicity symptoms, as well as symptoms caused by psychiatric medications and medication withdrawal.
Here is an example of a testimonial from a case of heavy metals toxicity at our inpatient center in Sedona:
“…I was experiencing panic attacks and anxiety attacks to the point where I wasn’t able to function or perform at my job. Our boat capsized during a trip when I went fishing and I was floating in diesel until I was rescued. I was given lab tests while at Alternative to Meds Center and it was found that high amounts of mercury were in my body….I have been here 2 weeks at the center and I’m feeling great from the treatments. I feel as though my life is coming back, my face has a smile and my eyes have a sparkle the majority of time now. I feel happiness and have energy again.”
Think your environment is contributing to your mental health symptoms?
Come and find your balance at the Alternative to Meds Center!