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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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    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you for stopping back by My 2 Sense - I'll be sure to check these links out.

    • My 2 Sense profile image

      My 2 Sense 7 years ago from Rosemount, MN.

      Yes, who would have ever thought there would so many toxins in Baby Shampoo, including Formaldehyde. Scientists think that formaldehyde has a link to leukemia. This is something that every mother should read:

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you My 2 Sense for stopping by. I tell you, often it's the things we don't think about that could really be affecting our health as well as our children's.

    • My 2 Sense profile image

      My 2 Sense 7 years ago from Rosemount, MN.


      My family had a problem with home toxins. My daughter went through a horrible 2 years with daily symptoms. We tried everything the doctor could think of and the problems went away with the suggestions of a doctor at the Minneapolis pain clinic. you can read the full story at:

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you midnightbliss for stopping by. It's so true, we do tend to forget about these things. I wasn't really aware of just how much control I had over making my own home toxic free until my youngest started suffering from ezcema due to an exposure to pesticide spray that was mandated to be sprayed in our apartments every month. Sometimes, it's things like this that raises our awareness.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 7 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      sometimes, its these things that we often neglect at home, making our home chemical free for our children. thanks for the reminder and the tips.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you so much Money Glitch for stopping by. I agree with you, rather we have children or not, reducing the toxins in our enviroment is good for not only the planet, but every living thing on it.

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 8 years ago from Texas

      I don't have small children, however, I want to have a healthy environment for my nieces and nephews that may visit my home as well as myself. Plus it is the right thing to do for our planet. Thanks for sharing such great information...

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      You are so right creativeone59 - it doesn't have to be an unsurmountable task, but baby steps will help make some great changes in our home's evironment. Thanks for stopping by.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you Veronica for a very informative hub on creating a safe and healthy environment. any positive is a help. thanks for sharing. creativeone59

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you BkCreative, Hello, hello, and Hendrika for your feedback.

      BkCreative - I totally agree. This subject is so close to my heart since it was pesticides that brought on my youngest painful skin condition (eczema). I've always considered myself as a parent that was concerned about my kids eviroment and what they put in their systems, but since incident happened, I've been more aware. By the way, I added a link to your article concerning the purchasing of vinyl shower curtains. If you click on the word dioxin, it'll directly connect the readers to your article - I felt that so many are not aware of this toxin as well. Thanks for the complement on my new avatar, that's my youngest daughter - before the whole eczema fiascal.

      Hello, hello - I'm glad this was an eyeopener for you. Unfortunatly, we can't possibly get rid of all the toxins and chemicals surrounding us, but we can at least reduce them - we do have the power to do that.

      Hendrika - I hope I didn't scare you too much. I remember when I started implementing these practices in my very own home, how overwhelm I felt at first. I felt a little helpless - but I know now that any little change you personally make for you and your family will bring benefits. It boggles my mind how many chemicals there are available (knowingly and unknowingly).

      Thank you all for stopping by. Just remember, any little change we make in reducing the toxins in our home will make a huge difference. We don't have to go overboard - take it from me, these small changes really work - my daughter's skin condition, and the rest of my family's overall health has improved due to these small changes. The whole idea, is to make some sort of change.

    • Hendrika profile image

      Hendrika 8 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Thank you for some very good and scary information! We will all have to take this very serious if we want to ensure the health of our children and grandchildren

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you, veronica, for this eye opener hub. I am not surprise that we suffer of all sorts of cancers. Not to mention the chemicals in the soil and water. If I would have my way, I would shut down all these chemical factories.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      We have to do this - and as the adults we have an obligation to provide a healthy environment for children. We have to remember too when it is on the market it is there only for profit - not for our benefits.

      We need to spend our money more wisely and stop buying toxic products - and take off your shoes when you come indoors - so easy!

      Love your new avatar by the way - and thanks for this always necessary reminder!