Did you know that everyday exposure to toxic chemicals can weaken your immune system, leaving you vulnerable during cold and flu season? In fact, those "cold" symptoms you suffered last year (runny nose, sneezing, water eyes...) might actually have been your body's reaction to toxic chemicals in your home.
Here are five simple steps to detoxify your home, boost your family's immunity and protect your health all winter long.
1. OPEN A WINDOW
While the tendency is to keep the windows closed during the winter due to the cold, it's a good idea to open one every now and then to let out any toxic fumes from heaters and let fresh air in.
2. AVOID DISINFECTANTS
It's natural to reach for a can of aerosol disinfectant spray to protect against colds and flu. But disiinfectants contain many toxic chemicals, so while they may kill germs, they also hurt the body's ability to fight off infection. Better to strengthen the immune system and kill germs with non-toxic methods (like hot water or tea tree oil)
3. ELIMINATE NONSTICK COOKWARE
A study from the Environmental Working Group thought West Virginia University found that subjects with a higher level in their blood of a chemical found in Teflon had lower levels of a key protein that helps keep the immune system strong. For better health, try cast irion, clay, porcelain enamel, glass or one of the new PFOA-free "green pans"
4. REMOVE PERMANENT MARKERS
Permanent markers contain solvents like cresol, toluene and xylene - all poerful immunotoxicants. Choose water-based markers instead. (available in the stationary aisle of drug stores, at supermarkets and discount stores), soy crayons or colored pencils.
5. SLEEP ON UNTREATED COTTON OR LINEN SHEETS.
All polyester/cotton and permanent-press cotton sheets are treated with a formaldehyde finish that can't be removed and that can cause runny noses, itchy eyes and other cold or flu-like symptoms.