Week Of Wellness Unit 2 - Common Household Toxins




Air fresheners can stop you from smelling by coating nasal passages with an oily film. 

Risks:  Formaldehyde, is a carcinogen, causing allergic reactions, dermatitis, headaches, mucous membrane irritations, joint and chest pain, depression, fatigue, dizziness and immune dysfunction. Another main component, phenol, causes skin eruptions, cold sweats, convulsions, circulatory collapse and in extreme cases, coma.

Healthier Options:  When possible use fragrance-free products.  If you want to freshen up your home use essential oils and a diffuser or simply open your windows and get some fresh air.  Plants also make great all-natural air fresheners by detoxifying the chemicals in the air.



Found in many dish soaps and hand soaps labeled “antibacterial”.

Risks:  Triclosan is an advancing antibacterial cleaning agent, a form of dioxin, linked with weakened immune systems, decreased fertility, hormone disruption, and birth defects.

Healthier Options:  Regular hand soaps kill 99.4% of germs compared with antibacterial soaps that kill 99.6%. If you must sanitize, choose one that is alcohol-based with NO Triclosan.



Found in toilet cleaner, mildew removers, and laundry whiteners.  Chlorine builds up on our dishes, from detergents can leach into our food from a hot meal.

Risks:  Present in many household cleaners and even in our water, Chlorine is everywhere and a very real problem.  We inhale it and are exposed through the skin, chronic exposure can be a thyroid disrupter, produce skin irritations or burns, and cause eye injuries and damage to other mucous membranes.

Healthier Options:  For scrubbing try baking soda, laundry whitener can be replaced with borax, and install water filters to reduce exposure through drinking water and showers.  Buy phosphate and chlorine free dishwasher detergent.



One of the most dangerous household cleaners, containing sodium hydroxide (a derivative of lye). 

Risks:   It is so corrosive it can eat through skin, and cause severe tissue damage, and is caustic to the eyes and lungs.  Also contains several types of known carcinogens, such as benzene, which can damage the nervous system and unborn children.

Healthier Options:  Make a paste of baking soda, salt, and water.



These little sheets are being used for everything from softening clothes, to cleaning pots and things around the house.

Risks:  Containing several toxic chemicals that can cause nervous system disorders, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.

Healthier Options:  Wool dryer balls, you can buy them premade or you can make them yourself.  Wool dryer balls work by bouncing around in between the clothes allowing hot air to circulate around the clothes better.  They’ve been found to cut drying time which is an added bonus!  If you miss that fresh-from-the-laundry smell; you can add a few drops of essential oils to the balls before adding them to the dryer.












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