There’s no place like home… But what if your home was the biggest hazard to your health that could cause harm to yourself and your family? Learn how to easily detoxify your home with my holistic immune support. As a board-certified integrative (holistic) family physician, I specialize in natural wellness for all ages.
How do you decrease your toxic burden and lower your environmental toxin exposure? First, you should start to clean up the place where you spend the majority of your time indoors.
Here are the easiest ways to detoxify your home by getting rid of toxins in the simplest places you least suspect.
Holistic Immune Support: How Environmental Toxins Affect Your Body
Endocrine (hormone) disruptors like BPA, phthalates, or PFOA can contribute to symptoms like hormone imbalance, fertility troubles, or brain fog and difficulty concentrating (1).
With contaminants like heavy metals or mold you might experience more acute toxicity symptoms like headaches, joint or muscle pain, digestive issues, or fatigue (2,3). Who has time for that?
Your Toxic Load
Everyone has a different threshold for the level of toxic burden their immune system can manage before signs and symptoms begin to be noticeable. This is influenced by genetics, diet, the amount of toxin exposure, and the function of your detox pathways.
Your gut, liver, and other detox systems work continuously to package up and eliminate harmful substances that come both from within and outside your body.
If these systems become overburdened, your immune system can react to things it determines as foreign invaders, triggering things like allergic reactions and inflammation. This is one big reason to detoxify your home now.
Is your immune system sending you S.O.S. signals? My immune course gives you the tools to address your toxic burden and other crucial immune-supportive functions.
Where Are Toxins Hiding in Your Home?
Cleaning supplies and home pesticide treatments are among the most well-known products for toxin exposure, as they contain harmful additives like ammonia and chlorine.
Phthalates and parabens are common endocrine disruptors used as preservatives in many cleaning and personal care products.
BPA is found in plastic food containers. Likewise, non-stick pans are coated with perfluorinated compounds (PFC) known to cause reproductive harm (4).
Keep reading to learn where you can find toxins in your home. Decrease your toxic burden with simple swaps you can make by detoxifying your home.
Want to find out what your toxic burden is? Take the quiz!
Why Your Health Provider Should Address Toxins
Many conventional doctors dismiss the importance of environmental or household toxin exposure due to its vague and difficult to pinpoint nature. Has your doctor or child’s pediatrician ever brought up the advantages of detoxifying your home? This is an important discussion to have.
A sensitivity to harmful substances like mold or heavy metals can not only cause acute reactions, but the buildup of other toxins can interfere with tissue and organs like your liver and your endocrine (hormone) system, creating very serious health issues.
When providing holistic or whole-body care, it’s important to consider different impacts. A high toxin exposure or the accumulation of environmental toxins can result in many different health issues.
Illness Associated with a High Toxic Burden
Several complex conditions can result due to exposure to different toxins beginning as early as in the womb. Fetal PFOA exposure, for example, has been shown to cause reproductive harm in women as well as changes in menstrual cycles and fertility (5). Other problems where a high toxic load can play a role are:
- Hormone imbalance or endocrine disorders
- Multiple chemical sensitivity
- Allergies and asthma
- Autoimmune disease
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Reduced immune function
How to Reduce Toxins in Your Home for Holistic Immune Support
Filter Your Indoor Air and Drinking Water
Before spending so much time at home, it was easy to overlook things like air quality or clean water. But when your home becomes your office, daycare, gym, and classroom, the importance of a clean and safe environment shoots to the top of your priority list.
Since the air circulating within your home can be up to 5x more polluted than outside thanks to VOCs, cleaning products, and artificial fragrances, an air filter can help remove these irritants for easy breathing.
The EWG began testing for harmful perfluorinated compounds (like PFAS and PFOA) in water sources in 2019 and found that these industrial non-stick compounds were almost ubiquitous in the water supply (6).
PFOA can disrupt reproductive function, brain health, and more. The good news? Carbon filters and reverse osmosis can remove the majority of these harmful compounds
Swap Your Non-Stick Cookware
Original ads for Teflon pans boast that “nothing sticks to them!” making them very attractive for ease of use in at-home cooking. But what we didn’t know is that this amazing non-stick coating is a volatile chemical which, when heated to 325 degrees produces another chemical called PFOA–mentioned above–that almost guarantees the release of chemicals into your food and the air
Safer options for cookware include cast iron, stainless steel, glass, or ceramic.
Drop Refined Seed Oils
Vegetable oils are highly processed foods with very little nutritional value, are high in omega-6 fats, and prone to oxidation when exposed to air or light.
Years ago, people were urged to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats like canola vegetable oil in an effort to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, research now shows that not only does that saturated fat alone not cause heart disease, but that high consumption of refined seed oils damage DNA and contribute to atherosclerosis (7).
What’s more, the vast majority of people don’t consume enough omega-3 fats to balance their immense intake of omega-6 fats, making it more difficult for your body to resolve inflammation.
Observational studies found that women with the highest intakes of omega-6 fats and lowest intakes of omega-3 fats had an 87–92% greater risk of breast cancer than those with more balanced intake (8).
Store Leftovers in Glass (Not Plastic)
Most plastic food storage containers are made with a known endocrine disruptor called bisphenol-a (BPA). BPA has been shown to interfere with the body’s production, processing, and use of hormones throughout the body (9).
And even though many plastics are now made to be “BPA-free,” estrogen-like substances still leach into foods from chemicals that are supposed to be replacements for harmful BPAs.
Remove Artificial Fragrances and VOCs
Candles, room deodorizers, fragrances, and other artificial scents can cause complications for those with allergies and asthma. Plus, they also release varying amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air.
For a more natural approach, use products scented with essential oils or extracts.
And if you’d like to add a natural room detoxifier–decorate with plants! The best anti-toxin choices according to NASA? Spider plants, philodendrons and rubber plants.
Use Safe Cleaning Products
Every time you wipe down a counter or surface with a conventional cleaner, you leave a little bit of chemical residue behind. Not to mention, while you’re using the product itself, it can off-gas harmful VOCs into the air and right into your respiratory system.
There are many safe and affordable cleaning options on the market, such as Branch Basics, Citra-solve, and Seventh Generation.
Child- and Pet-Friendly Pest Control
If you have little ones or furry friends who spend more time closer to the floor, having them come across pest traps or the residues of leftover chemicals probably isn’t something you’d love to have happen.
- Start with prevention: Clean up crumbs and messes as soon as possible and try to limit food to the kitchen.
- Plants that naturally deter pests include chrysanthemums, mint, citronella, lavender, and basil.
- Check out my DIY bug spray recipe.
Limit Off-Gassing From Adhesives
One of the most significant, yet overlooked, sources of indoor pollutants come from items like furniture, carpet, textiles, and mattresses.
The pressed wood, stains, varnishes, glue, and adhesives used to manufacture household items contain harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and flame retardants that release harmful gasses into the air inside your home.
Many brands and retailers now sell untreated furniture, as well as mattresses that must meet rigorous emissions standards for VOCs, formaldehyde, and other pollutants.
Certifications include: GREENGOLD, certified by UL Environment to be free from Formaldehyde, OEKO-TEX.
Detoxify Your Home Naturally for Holistic Immune Support
While it’s not possible to completely eliminate toxin exposure, you can take steps to reduce your toxic load by creating a safer environment where you spend the majority of your time indoors. By removing VOCs, endocrine disruptors, and other harmful chemicals, you can promote healthy detox function, as well as a robust immune system and hormone balance.
Download the Healthy Home Guide for more ideas to cultivate your safe haven and detoxify your home.