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How To Create A Safe And Healthy Home Environment For Your Child/Children - Reducing Toxins In Your Home.

Updated on January 8, 2010
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There are literally over 100,000 chemicals available on the market today and unbeknownst to the masses, individuals (especially children) are more likely to have the greatest contact with these potentially lethal pollutants inside the one place they consider the safest and the least effected - their own homes.

Unfortunately, with our chemically laden carpets and rugs, regular in-home (and out) pesticide control, everyday cleaning supplies and other hidden chemicals, it's a harsh reality that the products we use in our very homes, just may be affecting the health of us and our children.

It's no wonder then, that the book Chemical Alert! stated, "some chemicals are toxic in the sense that they interfere with the balance of (the body's) processes, and thereby produce vague symptoms that can best be described as just not feeling well".

With this said, it has become quite a challenge for many parents to ensure both the safety and health of the smallest, most defenseless victims - their children.

Such an important issue raises a valid question - How can parents create a safe and healthy home environment for their children, ensuring them a safe and healthy life?

* Creating A Safe And Healthy Home Environment For Your Child.

Realistically, we can't expect to rid our homes completely of every potentially harmful chemical, but there are plenty of things we can do to reduce our children's exposure to them.

  • Safely store away all chemicals that give off strong vapors such as varnish, paint, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and cleaning solutions, in an area where they are less likely to contaminate the air in your home.
  • Ensure that every room in your home has proper ventilation, including the bathroom (showering volatiles certain additives such as chlorine - that may be in the water - this can lead to a buildup of chlorine and chloroform; if it all possible, stay away from using vinyl shower curtains since they have been proven to release dioxin, a known carcinogen).
  • To drastically reduce the amount of lead, pesticides, and other chemicals that you or your loved ones may pick up outside, get everyone in the habit of wiping their feet before entering your home. Since the residuals of these chemicals have the ability to last for years and years in carpets; it would be better to have everyone to completely remove their shoes before entering your home.


  • Due to the massive amounts of chemicals* found in carpets today; for those with the ability; have all carpeting removed and have it replaced with hardwood flooring, or avail yourself to companies that specialize in reducing the toxin "let-off" from most of the carpeting found in individuals homes (this link provides solutions for toxic fumes found in new carpets
  • In the event you are not able to remove your homes carpeting, use a HEPA vacuum cleaner to drastically reduce the toxins collected and embedded on a daily basis. The Website Air suggested vacuuming with a well sealed high quality HEPA vacuum cleaner such as the Air Storm HEPA, since it provides a superior cleaning than other vacuum cleaners found on the market, and vacuum regularly.
  • Minimize your use of chemicals inside and outside the home. Opt for a more natural approach to bug prevention and extermination. In the event you treat a room with chemical pesticides, keep all toys out of the room for up to two weeks. Certain plastics possess the ability to soak up pesticides much like a sponge soaks up water.
  • Remove all flaking lead paint from surfaces and have them repainted with unleaded paint. Opt for a more natural approach to cleaning by choosing natural cleaning products. If your handy, you can easily make your own, or purchase brands such as Sun and Earth, Method, and Seventh Generation.
  • Have houseplants placed strategically (and out of the reach of your children) around your home to help reduce harmful and toxic indoor pollutants. In the event you purchase new furniture for your home, request that the dirt and stain repellent treatments are not used on the purchased pieces. These chemicals; much like the chemicals used in the stain and dirt repellent treatments in carpeting; may also produce a "let-off" in your home's air.
  • Forgo the use of air fresheners since they aren't as "fresh" as you may think, and opt for a more natural approach to freshening the air in your home, such as simmering cinnamon and cloves in a pot of water, or adding a few drops of your favorite essential oils to a pot of boiling water or use an essential oil burner - whatever your personal preference is(,8599,1664954,00.html discusses what some studies have shown regarding the dangers of air fresheners).
  • Establish a no-smoking policy in your home. According to a 2009 issue of Latina magazine, if parents thought they only had to worry about the effects of second-hand smoke on their children, they have another thing to worry about. Termed as "third-hand smoke," this recently coined term describes the 250 invisible chemicals, gases and metals that cling to hair, clothing, curtains and furniture. This deadly residue contains hydrogen cyanide - which is and ingredient found in chemical weapons - carbon monoxide, arsenic and lead. Simply turning on a fan, or opening a window or a door is not enough to rid your home of such toxins.

It is a sad reality that children - especially toddlers - are more susceptible to the adverse effects of the toxins caused by the bevy of chemicals used, or unknowingly surrounding us in our own homes.

Therefore, it's up to us as parents and guardians to do all we can reduce their exposure and the adverse consequences of said toxins. Thereby, making our children's home environment a happier, healthier, safer one.

(*New carpets possess 'volatile organic compounds' VOC's. "These include toluene, benzene, formaldehyde, ethyl benzene, styrene, acetone and a host of other chemicals, some of which have already made the EPA's list of Extremely Hazardous Substances. Known carcinogens such as p-Dichlorobenzene are in new carpets, as are chemicals that produce fetal abnormalities in test animals. These chemicals also cause hallucinations, nerve damage and respiratory illness in humans. Other compounds in new carpeting that affect your health are adhesives, stain protectors, moth-proofing and flame retardants. That 'new carpet smell' comes from 4-PC, associated with eye nose and upper respiratory problems that are suffered by many new carpet owners". -

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