How can we limit the effects of environmental chemicals on our health?

Based on my experience working with homeowners across Sydney, I know for a fact that people are more conscious, today, about their living environments and how they may be affecting them.

While the fear used to be more about what’s outside, we’ve shifted our focus into our own homes in light of our growing exposure to electromagnetic fields and other hazards like mould. 

While this is definitely the right move since most of us spend around 90% of our time indoors, the outside is not completely free of its pollutants. Today, what’s outside can find its way inside more easily than we think. 

Environmental chemicals, in particular, are present just about everywhere you look. It’s in our water, food, the air, soil, dust and even in the products we use as part of our day-to-day lives. 

According to research done by scientists, more than 300 chemicals or their metabolites (which are basically the products of certain metabolic reactions) have been found in human samples.

Given that these chemicals are part of the very air we breathe and the environment we live in, we can only look at how we can limit our exposure. 

Keep your indoor air as clean as possible

This is something I’ve discussed in so many of my previous posts. One of the simplest and most effective ways to stay healthy is to maintain your indoor air quality.

This means avoiding smoking indoors as much as possible, being mindful of the gas from your stove, artificial air fresheners and any other products that contaminate your air. 

It also includes the pesticides you may be spraying inside your home or in the garden.

While it’s easy to take all of this for granted, these contaminants can have a major effect on your health if you’re not too careful. As far as possible, use natural, organic products and be cautious about gas leaks and other contaminants like mould.

Be mindful of the consumer products you’re using

In recent years, the beauty and personal care industries have undergone a massive revolution to transform their products into clean, irritant-free consumer items.

That said, there are still a number of products that could release environmental chemicals that affect your wellbeing. Because of this, I always recommend that you look into the compounds that go into making the products you’re using.

In particular, be on the lookout for chemicals like sulphates, sodium, parabens and oxybenzone as they may be toxic to your wellbeing. Since a lot of personal care products are applied directly onto our skin, they’re absorbed easily and can cause severe reactions.

Swap all your plastic as far as possible

Today, our plastic use is a cause for major concern when it comes to environmental safety and sustainability. But did you know that it can have a significant effect on your health too?

PVC, which is the third most widely-used synthetic plastic, contains toxic chemical compounds including lead, cadmium, and phthalates, which can enter the air and pose many health risks.

Instead of plastic, consider alternatives like ceramic or glass for your household products. It’s especially important that you make sure your kitchen utensils, plates, bowls, dishes and cutlery are made with safer material than plastic. 

If you absolutely have to use plastic for any reason, avoid items with recycle symbols #3, #6 or #7. These tend to be much more difficult to recycle and can contaminate your air more easily.

Limit the effects of environmental chemicals on your health with the right precautions

Today, we live in a world where we’re exposed to thousands of pollutants and chemicals on a daily basis.

While eliminating these toxic substances is not possible overnight, what we can do is control our exposure. By following the tips outlined above, try and stay as chemical-free as possible. 

If you’re not sure about the level of your exposure, it’s always a good idea to have your home assessed for these environmental chemicals.