Learn about the adverse effects that toxic chemical exposures could have on your health – from obvious problems like headaches and allergies, to the more severe health problems that could be hidden from view.
If you’ve ever had a headache after cleaning the oven, or a rash on your skin from a lotion or a laundry detergent, you know that some products can be hard on your body.
But what about all the health effects that you can’t see or feel immediately?
Chemicals in products you use everyday on your body and in your home may be causing a whole host of health problems behind the scenes. They may be contributing to chronic health issues, fertility problems, and much more.
Sources of Toxic Chemical Exposures
Before we get into the specific health effects you might experience, let’s take a look at the common sources of toxic chemical exposures in our home and the products we use.
Cleaning and laundry products – Conventional cleaning products contain a “secret formula” of harsh chemicals, many which can be dangerous to breathe or touch with your bare hands.
Personal care and beauty products – Most body care, hair care and beauty products are made with a mix of chemical ingredients, most of which have not been tested for human health.
Plastics and non-stick products in the kitchen – Chemicals used to make plastics and non-stick coatings can leach into the food we eat and drink.
Mattresses – Flame retardants and other chemicals used in mattresses will off-gas into the air while you sleep.
Furniture – Formaldehyde-releasing chemicals, as well as glues, stains, and foams used in the production of furniture can emit toxic fumes that are unhealthy to breathe.
Flooring and Paint – Stain and water resistant chemicals in carpet, glues from hardwood flooring, PVC from vinyl flooring and VOCs in paint, all emit hazardous fumes. Paint in older houses and furniture may contain lead.
Dust – When chemicals off-gas or breakdown, they accumulate in household dust, which is easy to accidentally breathe or ingest.
Water – Even though tap water is regulated for safety, chemicals like chlorine, heavy metals, and PFAS chemicals may be slipping in unannounced.
Health Effects of Toxic Chemical Exposures
(Note: This is not intended to be medical advice. Please consult your doctor with any health concerns you have.)
Before you say “Wait – one or two little exposures isn’t going to cause big health problems for me, is it?”….let me tell you about something important: Body Burden. Body burden is the total amount of chemicals and pollutants that are present in a person’s body at any given time. Sadly, our bodies have to figure out how to process hundreds of chemicals that are not supposed to be there. Even newborn babies have up to 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood.
The reality of body burden is that all the small chemicals exposures add up, and in total they effect how your body can handle them. (Based on a study linking body burden and wellness and the EWG report called Pollution in People.)
What’s especially scary is that you might have no indication that you are being effected by chemical exposures. Unless you are experiencing acute symptoms like headaches or itching, you might not realize that chemical exposures are linked to other health issues.
Here are some of the health problems that could arise from toxic chemical exposures in your home environment and the products you use:
Acute Health Conditions
Acute health problems come on quickly and are short-term in nature.
- skin rash
- eye irritation
Chronic Health Conditions
Chronic health conditions are longer term in nature and limit daily activities or require ongoing medical attention.
- cardiovascular disease
- metabolism issues/obesity
- thyroid issues
- immune disorders
Developmental Health Issues
- developmental abnormalities
- cognitive impairment
Reproductive Health Issues
- fertility problems
- impact on puberty and menstruation
- prenatal development
General Poor Health
Have you noticed that you just don’t feel as great as you used to? It might be your body reacting to the chemicals in your environment.
- Running out of energy during the day
- Feeling sluggish
- Difficulty concentrating
- Poor sleep
How to Minimize Toxic Chemical Exposures
Sorry if I scared you with all that talk of chemicals and health problems. Are you ready for some good news?
It’s easier than you might think to make changes that will significantly lower your chemical exposures though the products you use and changes you make to your home environment.
For starters – get my FREE guide with the Top 10 Ways to Detox Your Home Now.
Next, start slowly swapping conventional products for non-toxic versions. This blog is full of helpful resources – head over to my Non-Toxic Product Guides to get started!
If you want help detoxing your home and products quickly and efficiently, sign up for my Eco-Conscious Home Detox online course. It’s a room by room roadmap to help you create a non-toxic, eco-friendly home for your family!
Have you experienced any negative health problems that might be from toxic chemical exposures? Let me know in the comments.