Household Cleaning Products – Commercial household cleaning products are absolutely riddled with chemical nasties. Phthalates are commonly used in air fresheners and dish soap, and have been linked with asthma and neurodevelopmental problems. Ammonia is used in polishing agents, chlorine is found in laundry whiteners and even household tap water, and sodium hydroxide found in oven cleaner is extremely corrosive and an irritant when inhaled. There are some great alternatives however, that are non-toxic, equally as effective, and provide a positive step towards having a toxic-free home. Vodka gives that perfect shine to taps and tiles, and essential oils are a healthier, happier alternative to artificial house fragrances. A simple filter jug can clean up tap water and if you’re not keen on using vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice to scrub the kitchen, there are a few great companies producing non-toxic cleaning products.

Cookware – Non-stick cookware has been used domestically since 1956, and has saved many an elbow from scrubbing off baked-on egg. A lot of non-stick pans and oven trays use Teflon, a synthetic polymer that, when over heated, can be incredibly toxic. If you’re able to invest in a new frying pan or roasting dish, then go for ceramic, cast iron or stainless steel. If not, then just be careful not to over heat it whilst cooking.

Plastic – Extensive research has been done into plastic and the effect it has when its chemical components leach into our food, needless to say the impact it has on the environment. During food production and packaging, food’s contact with plastic is unavoidable. There are ways, however, to keep your dinner’s exposure to a minimum. Bisphenol A or BPA is an ubiquitous compound in plastics, that, when consumed, imitates oestrogen in the body, affecting hormone levels in both men and women, potentially leading to chronic ailments. Ways of avoiding these risks are not using plastic containers to heat food in the microwave, using glass storage containers over plastic ones and buying fresh or frozen veg over canned. If you’re on the run a lot, it’s worth having a stainless steel water bottle, and if you’re feeling really keen, buy a wooden toothbrush!

Beauty products – We love trying new and natural beauty products here at WT, and we’ve noticed a fantastic increase in the number of companies producing vegan and 100% organic goodies. There are endless lists of hidden chemicals in our makeup. Parabens and Phthalates are two of the worst offenders. Remember Phthalates from the household cleaning ingredients? Well, it’s the same stuff used to make plastic food wrap, insecticides and detergents, that’s also in commercial makeup! Although lead isn’t used in paint anymore, it still manages to creep into some of our favourite products in the form of synthetic colours and fragrances, which are processed by the liver, just like our food. Ways to avoid this are to pick your favourite lipstick colour from a fruit based pigment, and use foundation from a small-batch company to avoid lead contamination. There are some wonderful natural makeup products available now, that you’ll love as much as we do.

For further information on all of the above and more, visit ewg.org The website is dedicated to providing information on all kinds of foods and products that are better for you, your family and the environment.

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