If you knew you were doing something that could potentially harm the health of yourself or your family, would you change it?
I know this seems like an obvious YES & perhaps a strong question to kick this blog post off with but it is heavy on my heart to share the ALARMING information I have learned regarding the chemicals, toxins and hazards that are hidden in the average American home. Many of these cleaning products and chemicals you use daily. You breath them in, rub them on your skin, clean with them and the list goes on and on. What is even scarier is that our children often come into contact with these hazards and toxins potentially creating lifelong consequences.
There are so many carcinogenic agents and toxins that we douse ourselves with daily. My aim in part one of this post is to share with you some statistics, common ingredients to be aware of and also, resources for you to further research and learn yourself. This will likely be a two or three part series with an aim of helping to empower you, educate you and enable you to create a truly chemical/toxin free home.
Lets first talk about some of the statistics I came across when doing my preparation and research (don’t get too excited!) these numbers are anything less than something to be happy about.
- In a 15 year study it was found that women who cleaned their homes had a 54% higher death rate from Cancer than those who did not.
- ONLY 7% of cleaning products accurately disclose what is in their products
- The average American uses 25 GALLONS of toxic products in their homes ANNUALLY!
- Cancer rates in 1900 (1 in every 8,000) Cancer rates in 2013 (1 in every 2)
- 150 Chemicals in most US homes have been linked to allergies, birth defects, Cancers and other illnesses.
- 95% of Adults & Children tested positive for chemicals in their blood.
- 28% increase in childhood Cancer rates since the addition of pesticides into household products!
These numbers should have peaked your interest enough to continue reading on. What if I told you there was a better way? THERE IS! I will share this in later parts of this series on ‘Creating a Chemical & Toxin Free Home’ but first, lets look at some other great resources for you to really research and learn. Don’t just take it from me.
You must become your own advocate in todays world. As a Health Professional, Nutritionist and ND (Naturopathic Doctor) team, we share this with our Team daily. The first step is realizing there is a problem, the second step is empowering yourself to make a change and the third step is to simply DO IT!
Numbers like the ones below are scary and unacceptable. We have to learn and get educated to fight against the chemicals and other toxins that bombard us daily and threaten the health of our family and home environment.
In my research for this article, I was shocked to learn that even some of my own ‘go to’ brand name favorite products may be ‘iffy’ when it comes to certain ingredients. I won’t name names just yet as the jury is still out. I plan on calling the Company and digging a little deeper to find out. Either way, I pretty much have myself convinced after all of this alarming info. that it is simpler, easier and more effective to make my own cleaning products, laundry soap and room spray. That will come in a later part of this series. I will include recipes to make your own cleaning products, tips, suggestions and more.
For now, I would like to provide you with some websites, agencies and apps to help you become a more informed Consumer as to what is or is not healthy for your home. The Environmental Working Group (otherwise known as the EWG) is a non-profit organization focused on the environment and public health. They offer great insights, tools, resources, articles and information to equip you to know and be aware of the many toxins you come into contact with. I love (found it while researching!) their ‘Cleaners Hall of Shame List‘ and you’ll absolutely want to bookmark this site and check out the list. They also have a phenomenal ‘Guide to Healthy Cleaning’. Remember, ignorance is not always bliss.
The EWG offers some of their own recommendation for purchasing products or, you can opt to make your own healthier, non-toxic versions at home. Again, this will come in a later series. I love that they mention our favorite store ever (if you know Alex and I, you know which store this is!) & their ‘Whole Foods’ Green Mission Brand’
The goal is to learn and become educated to make wiser decisions and also to learn the Companies and brands that will back these healthier alternatives such as Whole Foods. This is precisely why Alex and I back them and host our series of healthy store tours and educational Seminars there. You should come out and meet us sometime. Here is a link to our Meetup page with a list of all of our future seminars and events that will be updated frequently. This will be one of our future topics with Alexander Poptodorov, Dr. of Traditional Naturopathy.
Here are some of the most common toxic chemicals in products to avoid (there are MANY more but this will give you something to get started and kick off your own research as you use the resources throughout this blog).
- BPA/BPS (also being concealed under other names now as well)
- Triclosan (most dish soaps and hand soaps contain this, especially if labeled anti-bacterial)
- Imidazolidinyl Urea
- Sodium Hydroxide
- 2-Butoxyethanol (glass cleaners)
- Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
- Fragrance (this could be ANYTHING and if it states ‘essential oils’ the regulation is that only 5% need be so!)
There are SO many more. The real issue and what I found to be particularly scary is the lack of regulation over MOST of these chemicals. There is little to none and the last update to our federal chemical safety law was 1976 (crazy, I know!). The chronic exposure over time leaves us susceptible to different ailments and illness including but not limited to asthma, cancers, hormone disruption, childhood cancers, autism and ADHD and many more. It is downright outrageous and this is why A+A Wellness wants to educate you on becoming an advocate for your home and family. Here is a great app that you must download to help you with deciphering what is good or not good for your home! It is called THINK DIRTY and allows you to scan in barcodes with detailed ratings and ingredient lists for products.
To me, I find it simpler to make my own cleaning products and laundry soaps than to have to educate myself on the hundreds of toxins. This leads me to my next thought. Again, I will share more specific ideas, recipes and thoughts in part 2 of this series but this gives you come good clean ‘chemical free’ food for thought.
These following items you probably have in your home right now and they work wonders when it comes to keeping your home clean! I will share some different uses for them in part two but these are healthy, non-toxic products that you can feel good about.
- Lemon Juice
- Coconut Oil
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- White Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- Castile Soap
- Castor Oil
- Truly Essential Oils (much more on this later)
- See info graphic below for more products and uses around the home.
I will end with this, I could go on and on but I know you’re eager to clean out your pantries and cupboards. These are simple things I recommend to our Team to help them in making wise informed decisions when it comes to their health.
5 simple ways to gain control of your health TODAY:
- Be Intentional: This truly applies to anything but especially your health! When you are intentional and focused to learn a better way, YOU WILL and the changes will be astounding.
- Don’t Just Believe the ‘Shiny’ Packaging: There are literally TEAMS OF MARKETING specialists sitting around a conference table trying to figure out how to get YOU to BUY. Well, don’t buy it! Be your own advocate, do your own research and become informed.
- Learn, Grow and EDUCATE Yourself: The man who doesn’t take time to be informed will often times have to be informed in the saddest way necessary (quote by yours truly). Be educated! Learn or hire Professionals like those of ourselves to help you decipher fact from myth. We spend our life filtering through this so that you don’t have to suffer. The information is there, it is up to YOU to take it and run with it.
- You Don’t Have to Be SICK: Sick is not normal. Ailing, hurting, suffering and feeling ‘less than’ is NOT how you were created! Do not buy this lie. It is a lie that is easily chewed up and swallowed these days. If you take the time to do the above things, you will find that you feel better, have more energy, think more clearly and respond more optimally! It is simple! IT IS NOT A DEEP SCIENCE. Put good stuff in and good stuff comes out. Breath good stuff in and good stuff comes out!
- Don’t Give Up: Perhaps the hardest of all wrapped up into 3 little words! YOU will fall. Get back up. You will get frustrated. Get back up. You will fail forward. It is ok, get back up! Just do not, no matter what… DO NOT GIVE UP! I started this journey over 12 years ago and 208 pounds. Poor nutrition, malnourished and an emotional wreck. I ate poorly, felt poorly about myself, had NO clue where to begin (thank you to my husband who held my hand EACH step of the way to success! Watch our story HERE) but one thing held true, I had a desire to learn a better way and a better lifestyle. Not just with what I ate but with ALL of it. It doesn’t happen overnight. I didn’t give up and because of this… I am here, writing to you today.
Be your own advocate! Your future self will thank you for it.
Alex and Ashley Poptodorov
Owners, A+A Wellness in Marietta & Kennesaw GA
ND, CNHP, CNC, CHS, NSCA-CPT
Below are a few pictures from one our ultra educational healthy store tours at Whole Foods Market. We are proud to partner with such a great store that really ‘gets it’ and we offer these store tours at their Merchants Walk location in Marietta, GA and also their new Kennesaw location! Join us to come and learn more about creating a chemical free home, learning what foods aid in weight loss and energy optimization and more! We love being Marietta, Kennesaw & Roswell’s trusted team for HEALTH! Visit us online at www.AandAWellness.com to book your Whole Foods Market Store tour TODAY! 🙂
About the Author:Alex & Ashley Poptodorov are owners of A+A Wellness in ATL, GA. They have over 30 years combined experience with 14 years of running their own fitness facility in Tampa & ATL. They relocated to ATL in 2013 and now offer Fitness, Nutrition, Lifestyle & Traditional Naturopathy programs including Online Coaching and their online Forum called the A+A Wellness 'Inner Circle'.