Are the products in my home safe or toxic?
Living a clean, healthy lifestyle can require a lot of effort in our modern industrialized nation. In many ways our use of technology has become unbalanced. Pursuit of convenience and profit outweigh wisdom, stewardship, and wellness. The same scientific and industrial advancements that transformed society with sanitation, hygiene, and medicine have polluted every part of our natural and cultural world. It’s hard to find a place in nature not polluted by heavy metals, pesticides, carcinogens, and EMF radiation. The more I learn on this journey, the more I am tempted to be frozen in survival mode. Truly, everything in the modern world seems to be aimed at choking out life.
Which is why I believe life is truly a miracle. As a Christian, I lean back and trust the Lord to protect my family, and me. I am one small person. I may not be able to change governmental policies or close evil corporations, but I can make empowered choices about the products my family consumes. With the internet and the free market, we can find products (or make them) that will have a limited negative effect on our well-being.
I’ve learned to focus on the little I can control and let go of what I cannot. I think these small changes can make a big impact as we share what we learn with our family, friends, and those in our sphere of influence. I hope the principles below help you make empowered choices that serve the well-being of you and your family.
I hope this strategy serves you as much as it has served me…
Have you considered that each individual person has their own “normal”? Based on our family of origin, where we live, what social groups we belong to, even our diet; they all create a familiar atmosphere. That atmosphere has programmed us to make habitual choices. Often to grow as a person we need to think above “normal”.
This is essential for our health. Many of us have been programmed to trust the medical industry and we may assume that corporations that make consumable goods have our best in mind. But corporations are not people; they are driven by survival and the desire to make a profit. For some companies, if the product they make is harmful to people and the planet but increases profit, they have no hesitation to sale it.
I say this because, often the food and products we consume are making us sick. We’ve become accustomed to inflammation, fatigue, and obesity as a society that we don’t realize we are a part of the problem. We are putting things in, on and around our body that hurt us. Do you get a headache after you drink diet soda or eat sugar? Does your skin get itchy when you apply lotion? Do you get dizzy after you scrub the shower? Those are signs that something you’ve been exposed to is hurting you. Your body is telling you to pay attention.
READ LABELS & DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH
You must first read the label to know what’s in the product. Search out what each ingredient is and discern how vulnerable you are to that toxin. Once you do this long enough, you can develop a running list of ingredients to avoid. Then, when you are examining a new product, toxins will stand out to you, and you can move on quickly.
Safe and environmentally friendly products are very trendy right now. Corporations have caught on to the demand for less toxic products. They will use words like “green”, “all natural”, and “nontoxic” to make their products more attractive to the consumer. But these claims are not regulated and are open to interpretation by the company that sale the product. They mean nothing. Pure marketing. You must read the actual ingredients and decide for yourself how toxic or safe the product is. Typically, Ingredients with long chemical names that you cannot pronounce are red flags.
Examples of ingredients I avoid: SLS, EDTA, Formaldehyde, Bleach…
I use search engines to find information. I also recommend the Environmental Working Group. They have strict standards and rate products based on their toxic level. Beware info could be out of date. You can also find books and many people on Instagram that inform about this subject.
A Healthier Home: The Room by Room Guide to Make Any Space a Little Less Toxic – Shawna Holman
Easy Green Living: The Ultimate Guide to Simple, Eco-Friendly Choices for You and Your Home – Renee Loux
I really appreciate Shawna Holman’s approach to less toxic living… ALLT:
I looked up products my family uses on EWG’s website. Overall, I think we are doing well. EWG Verified is “0”, the best rating and “10” is the most toxic rating.
Seventh Generation Baby Wipes, 2 Rating – Fair
Honest Baby Wipes, EWG verified
Mychelle Fruit Enzyme Facial Cleanser, EWG verified
Old Spice Swagger Men’s Deodorant, 6 rating, moderate hazard
A simple and often cheaper way of ensuring the products you use in your home are safe and less toxic is to make them yourself. We will cover this topic in our next post.
Disclaimer: We do not claim to be experts on these subjects. We communicate what we understand to be well sourced facts. We acknowledge that information on these topics evolves over time and that we may not have uncovered the full story on these subjects. Please do your own research and follow your peace. We make suggestions out of good will and state that you follow them at your own risk. Our heart is to spark curiosity and empower you to make incremental changes that deeply improve your wellbeing. Thank you for going on this health journey with us.