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Is it possible to live a toxic-free lifestyle at home?

Toxins lurk everywhere. They're in the bathroom, in the pantry, even in your child's room. Some of them, like ammonia and bleach, are obvious. Others with long, unpronounceable chemical names are hidden in your lotions, laundry detergents, toys, and food. While it's nearly impossible to live completely toxic-free, it's important to be aware of what you are putting on and in your body to maintain good health. The research team at Green Irene offers the following steps to minimize your exposure to toxins at home.

Clean Naturally

All household cleaners that contain known hazardous chemicals must carry a warning label that spells out potential risks. They can irritate your nose, skin, eyes and lungs, and even can be poisonous. Fortunately, effective and less-toxic cleaning products are available. Look for products with the Green Seal logo, or products that are free of phosphates, ammonia, butyl ethers, chlorine bleach, colorings or dyes, and synthetic fragrances. Use products that are 100% biodegradable and scented with only pure essential oils. The US Government maintains a database of household product ingredients. Check out http://tinyurl.com/g3jf4.

Cleaning includes laundry, and the dirty truth is that traditional detergents contain chemicals and fragrances that pollute waterways, and can cause skin allergies or disrupt hormones. Laundry detergents cannot be certified organic, so purchase those that are biodegradable, botanically based, hypoallergenic, and free of phosphate, chlorine, petroleum, fragrance and synthetic dyes. And instead of dryer sheets, opt for dryer balls, which eliminate the need for chemically-laden dryer sheets. Is dry cleaning part of your laundry routine? Most professional dry cleaners use perchloroethylene (PERC), which has been linked to cancer and reproductive damage. About 85% of the nation's estimated 36,000 dry-cleaning shops still use PERC as their primary solvent, but many cleaners have started to embrace the environmentally preferable choice for dry cleaning: wet cleaning. With this method, garments are washed with water and biodegradable detergents in computerized machines that carefully control variables like agitation.

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