12 Toxic Habits That Are Silently Polluting Your Home
In general, every one of us tries to make our home look and smell as good as possible. We want our space to be clean and safe. However, in an effort to accomplish this task, we make use of various objects that end up contaminating our homes instead of helping.
That’s why, at Bright Side, we’ve done some research online to figure out what the most common objects we have at home are that could potentially be dangerous for our health, and we found some solutions that we think will come in handy.
1. Fireplaces and furnaces
Fireplaces and furnaces could pollute the air inside your home, which could end up affecting your respiratory system. According to immunologist Sheila Cain, the smoke produced by these cozy places contains particles that can get into your eyes and lungs, which in turn can cause allergies, irritation, coughing, and even bronchitis.
Although they are our best friends when it comes to resting, mattresses are also the perfect way of letting pollution enter your house without you even noticing it. During their production, fire-resistant elements are added to mattresses to prevent them from being flammable; that is to say, the chemical load is extremely high, but odorless, so hardly anyone knows that they inhale this type of odor for several hours a day. To counteract this effect, it is recommended to aerate your bed every day after you get up.
3. Dry-cleaned clothes
Sending your clothes to the dry cleaner is probably one of the best sensations for any person that loves clean clothes. There is hardly anything more comfortable than getting rid of the responsibility of having to wash a few loads in the washing machine. However, resorting to this service on several occasions can be harmful to your health. A substance called perchloroethylene, which is extremely dangerous for your health, is used during the washing process, so it is advisable to ventilate the garments well before storing them in the closet.
4. Personal care products
All of the body creams, toothpastes, shampoos, deodorants, gels, and other cleaning products we are so used to seeing and using every day are made with a huge amount of chemicals and preservatives that can end up affecting both our home and our body. The ideal thing to do would be to substitute these industrialized products for others that are more natural and contain no chemical preservatives.
5. Carpets and rugs
These decorative elements are very popular because they can turn any room into an elegant, cozy place to spend some time in, but they can also be very harmful when hygiene is not taken seriously. Certain carpets can release toxic gases that pose a danger to humans in the long run. Also, some of the most common germs and contaminants found in carpets are: dust mites, cockroach allergens, mold, dust, and more.
Although a toothbrush is an essential element of daily hygiene, it is also a place where germs and bacteria can very easily accumulate. It’s the perfect place for them to grow: it’s constantly humid, it’s always in the bathroom, and not everyone changes their toothbrushes often. Despite what you may think, it is not advisable to keep your toothbrush in a closed container. On the contrary, the best thing to do is to keep it in an upright position and in a ventilated area, so that it is always dry the next time you use it.
7. Air conditioning
Most people turn on the air conditioning and close all the windows so that “the cold air doesn’t get out and the warm air doesn’t come in.” What few people know is that doing this has a negative impact on the quality of the air you’re breathing at home. That’s because being inside in an enclosed space means that you’re breathing in air that has been contaminated over and over again with your own breathing. In addition, cleaning this useful appliance is essential, as dust and bacteria often settle on it and re-circulate into the air.
8. Incense and air fresheners
Incense, aromatic candles, and air fresheners give off a considerable amount of smoke that fills our house with a very pleasant smell. That being said, the very same smoke that masks bad smells, also gets into our lungs and ends up causing a lot of damage to our body. Breathing the chemicals in these elements can trigger health conditions, like asthma, in the future.
On average, women use 12 products containing 168 unique ingredients every day. Men, on the other hand, use 6 products daily with 85 unique ingredients. While the study that found these results takes into account both personal care products and beauty products, it’s good to remember that the vast majority of beauty products contain strong chemicals, like mercury, which can lead to critical illnesses.
10. Insecticides and pesticides
There is no doubt that one of the most annoying discoveries we make when having a picnic near our garden or maybe just walking outside around our home, is finding insects. However, the industrial products used to get rid of them contain very aggressive chemicals that we inevitably end up inhaling and, even though they do not affect us directly, they can gradually cause damage to our bodies.
Getting out of the shower and using a soft, clean towel to dry yourself is one of the most wonderful things in life. But few people know that this simple object of everyday life is usually full of germs and maybe even fecal bacteria. Since they are always in the bathroom, they are exposed to moisture, mites, and microbes. They can also contain skin residue, saliva, and other bodily secretions. Ideally, they should be washed very regularly and, if possible, you should hang them outside to dry in the sun.
The vast majority of people come home after a long day of work and overlook the fact that they are entering their home without taking off their shoes. Not taking the time to take your shoes off means that all the bacteria that could have come into contact with them on the street are now spreading throughout the floor of your home, where you also walk barefoot and where your kids crawl around. Don’t be too surprised if they end up clinging to your body later on.
While many of these elements are meant to be used on a daily basis and in some cases are actually mandatory, the best thing we can do is to look for solutions that reduce the negative impact they have on our environment. Here are some suggestions you might want to consider:
- Ventilate all areas of your house as much as possible.
- Avoid accumulating garbage.
- Clean dust with a wet cloth or use a vacuum cleaner.
- Make plants your allies when purifying the air inside the house.
There is no doubt that, many times, we are guilty of polluting our house with these everyday objects, simply because we weren’t aware of how dangerous they could be. However, now that we know, it is better to be safe than sorry and avoid any health problem that could arise from the misuse of these objects. What other objects do you think are misused at home and end up polluting your space?