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Creating a healthier home

plant in pot inside home

Houseplants are an easy way to help clean the air in the home. There are many additional ways to decrease the amount of exposure to toxins such as opening windows and cleaning ducts and vents.

It is a fact of life we are exposed to multiple toxins every day, and our bodies do an incredible job of detoxifying – to a point.  Experts say it is about the cumulative load of toxins and everyone has their own threshold of when the body becomes overwhelmed and affected by the amount of exposure.  We do have some control over the persistent presence of chemicals in our home which can build up over time and lead to illness.  Here are some ideas to consider to have a healthier home.

Indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, due to the synthetic chemicals in building materials and our tightly sealed homes.  We are fortunate to have many sunny and mild winter days, so open up those windows to freshen and detox the entire house.

Take shoes off at the door to avoid pesticides and contaminants from entering the home.  Carpets can be a repository for dirt, toxins and mold spores so clean carpets with a vacuum fitted with a HEPA filter and replace the filter often.  When remodeling, consider other options besides carpet, especially if allergies are an issue.

Perfumed air fresheners and scented laundry soap are some of the worst offenders of air quality so use quality essential oils if scents are a must.  Check websites such as and for cleaning, household and personal care products that are free of harmful chemicals.

Experts recommend changing the filter on the furnace to an allergy-reduction filter, having air ducts and vents cleaned, and investing in an air purifier.  Use houseplants to filter pollutants from the air, while greening up the home.

Water filters such as activated carbon or reverse osmosis can reduce contaminants in drinking water.  Christy Garbus, MSN, RN at Big Life Integrative Health, added, “Many toxins are absorbed through our skin so installing a water filtration system can help filter out mold, heavy metals and other chemicals in our shower and bath water.”  Garbus recommended checking the website for products.

Plumbing leaks are one of the leading causes of mold growth, which is linked to many serious health conditions.  Check for leaks under kitchen and bathroom sinks, around water heaters and around washing machines and dishwashers.  Another recommendation is to make sure to clean gutters to allow water to flow away from the house.

Garbus concluded, “Our providers at Big Life would agree that one could drive themself crazy looking at every little thing, but even taking a few steps to eliminate exposures can help you feel better, decrease your toxin load, and allow your body to better process the current toxin load it is carrying.”

Article and photo by Lisa Nicklanovich




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