Mainstream medical literature generally agrees that many of the chemicals we have put into our environment are linked to myriad illnesses. These toxic effects occur at very low exposure levels, so it’s important to learn how to reduce our exposure to the chemicals that already are part of our daily lives.
John Hibbs, ND, teaches the environmental medicine and toxicology curriculum at Bastyr University and is a senior faculty supervisor at the University's teaching clinic, Bastyr Center for Natural Health. “The most important thing you can do to prevent illness from chronic exposure to chemicals is to stop the exposure,” says Dr. Hibbs.
He points out that reducing exposure to household toxins need not be expensive or time-consuming, especially considering that household dust is a major culprit in spreading many chemicals. “Take your shoes off at the door when you come in from outside and vacuum more often,” says Dr. Hibbs. “You’ll see real gain in removing toxic exposure from the home.”
As you go about your spring cleaning this year, consider these five sources of toxicity. While not a comprehensive list of common household toxins, these are some of the most dangerous and surprising offenders:
For an extensive breakdown of common household toxins and steps to reduce your exposure to them, watch Dr. Hibbs’s Living Naturally lecture “Avoiding Toxins in the Home”:
Bastyr Center naturopathic physicians can run tests to measure the levels of toxins in your body and recommend avenues to remove them from your system to reduce your risk of chronic illness. To make an appointment, call (206) 834-4100.