TOXXXXIINNNNSSSS dun dun duuuuunnn.
Nah it’s not like that.
Just a little like that.
The way I think about toxins is that if we poison ourselves, we probably won’t be in the best frame of mind to create awesome unifying relationships. It all hearkens back to good ol’ Maslow whose psychiatric “hierarchy of needs” is legendary. He says that unless our physiological needs (shelter, food, water, love) go unmet, we won’t be able to take the necessary steps toward self-actualization (being who you are meant to be and executing your life mission, essentially). But I also believe that our bodies are designed to filter out the bad stuff, so we don’t need to be paranoid or scared.
I went to a high school that was built in 1914. It was awesome. And realllly old, obviously. The oldness contributed greatly to the awesomeness. Especially exciting were the tunnels and the random add-ons that led to nowhere. Half way through my sophomore year we weren’t allowed to use the theater or band rooms for a while because they were clearing out asbestos. Awesome. I’d spent a million hours in those rooms probably breathing in deadly poison. It’s really a miracle I only have 3 eyes. The next year they tore down the whole school…. So I guess the problem was extensive. Now I laugh. I also think everyone should get retroactive grade compensation because learning while poisoned is probably really hard work. I don’t remember though… it’s all kind of foggy…. #jokes
If you body gets toxinated (good word, though not a real word, lame… what do real people say…. Intoxicated? That’s something else I’m pretty sure.) it will start to display some clues of its upset state. These signs can often include fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain, gas, bloating, headaches, and acne. Boo. Life’s hard enough without acne.
TOXINS TO BE AWARE OF
- Heavy Metals: mercury, lead
- Personal Care Products: medications, shampoos, lotions, toothpastes, etc.
- Food, Water, and Air Pollutants: Pesticides, emissions
- Residues and Off-gasses
While we can’t eliminate all of these toxins from our lives 100%, we can try to reduce our exposure to the things we can control. Here are 5 ways you can de-toxify your home environment:
- Use common sense to determine potential mold problems. If you see mold, smell mold, or get queasy in a certain area, investigate and remedy any problems.
- Check your paint, furniture, and carpet labels when you’re starting a new project or replacing things around the house. Check for volatile organic compounds (known as VOCs) such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs, which are stain-resistant finishes on fabric and cookware) such as fluorosurfactants, which functionally reduce surface tension but could potentially wreak some havoc on your insides over the long haul. Choose to paint on a day that you can leave windows open, and consider using a mask. Look into brands ilke Lullaby Paints, Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams, who have made efforts to have low or no VOCs in their products. Let new furniture air out for a few days (around 72 hours) with windows open, or leave the furniture outside for a while before bringing it in if that’s feasible.
- Consider exercising inside the home or going to the gym if the air pollution is bad. Look into a home filtration system for air and water so that the environment you spend the most time in is helping out your health, not hurting it. Even better, get an indoor plant or two!
- Do your best to buy locally grown produce that has been organically treated. Check out the list of the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen to know which foods more readily absorb pesticides.
- Gradually work toward replacing your personal care items with natural products. Here are a few that I like:
- Tubby Todd: all natural baby products that adults love too! Plus the owner, Andrea, is stellar.
- Crystal Deodorant: basically a salt rock you moisten and use as deodorant. I thought this was such a weird idea at first but I am now a living testament of approval.
- Apple cider vinegar and baking soda replacement for shampoo
- DIY Laundry Detergent
- Homemade Counter Cleaner