When most people hear the word toxins, they tend to think of pollution, not dangerous chemical inside their home,  The reality is that there are many toxic products that you may be exposed to on a daily basis right in your own home. If you or someone in your home has allergies or asthma, these toxins can make it even more difficult to breathe. Below are a a list of simple changes that you can make to make your home free of these chemicals.

Cleaners: Many of the cleaning products that are sold at the store contain toxins and irritants that can cause breathing difficulties, such as bleach and ammonia. You may use cleaners on a daily basis contain many powerful cleaning agents that contain toxins that can cause problems. The good news is that there are many alternatives on the market today that do just as a good of job cleaning but are much more safer to both the environment but to those that live in your home!

Paint: Paint has traditionally been  high odor substance that contains potential toxins. There are many 'green' paint options available today that are not only low odor but that have no cancer causing toxins (also called VOCs). Look for paints that have been certified by Green Seal.  Benhamin Moore also has a Natua line of paints that are just as rich and durable, just water based and much safer.

Air Fresheners:  Eventhought they smell great, items like air fresheners, candles and fragrances contain synthetic components that can cause irritation to the lungs. In addition to irritants some can contain a chemical called 'phthalates', which has been shown to cause birth defects, hormone disruption and reproduction problems. Look for alternative candles or scents that have essential oils instead of synthetic fragrances.

Furniture: Many people don't think of furniture as being toxic but if your furniture is old and worn it main contain flame retardants called PBDE's that can cause serious health problems. These chemicals can effect brain, nervous or reproduction problems. Be informed that stain repellents on furniture can also contains toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde. Do your research before putting any repellent on your furniture.

Some additional tips that can help you to clean up the air in your home:

  • Open windows whenever possible - even if it is just for a few hours. This allows toxins to escape and fresh air to circulate.
  • Add houseplants - they help filter the air and add a sense of life to any home.
  • Switch to natural household cleaners. They tend to be better for those with asthma and are much safer for you and the environment.
  • Use a bagless vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter