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Healthy Home as Part of a Healthy You

By Pamela Shenk, CHt

How healthy is your home?  Most of us know the basic preventives: like keeping your living area as clean as possible. But there are many things that we may not know that can complement your new, healthier lifestyle.


And since you are now living a healthier lifestyle with the foods that you eat and activity, naturally you will want to take it to the next level by having a healthy home too.


Wash Your Hands

Simply washing your hands frequently is an important habit that can help keep germs from getting passed around. Be sure that you clean between the fingers and the front and back of hands for at least twenty seconds. If you use antibacterial soap, keep in mind that there are some studies that show it actually leads to a weakened immune system and may contribute to bacteria resistant “super germs”. So, when in doubt, wash your hands with soap and water.


Should You Spend Money on Green Products

Have you started to use non-toxic, “green” products? There are a lot of manufacturers producing “green” products; however, you may have all you need in your kitchen cabinet. Vinegar can be used instead of bleach. Baking soda will clean tile. And hydrogen peroxide will remove stains. Vinegar also removes soap and grease buildup. Borax can inhibit mold growth and even kill cockroaches when mixed with sugar.

Plastic Bottles

Plastic bottles may be hazardous to your health. The safety of bisphenol A, a chemical found in polycarbonate plastics is still being debated. These plastics are used for some water bottles and baby bottles. The FDA and the American Chemistry Council say bisphenol A is safe for use. However another government report – the National Toxicology Report – found uncertainty about the effects on the brain, prostate gland, and behavior in fetuses, infants, and children. And one study found that adults with high levels of BPA in their urine were more likely to have a history of heart disease or diabetes, compared to people with low levels of BPA. 

So, what can you do to limit exposure to BPA? Look for safe water or baby bottles. Either tempered glass bottles or plastic bottles made of cloudy plastics like polyethelene or polypropylene (recycling symbols 1, 2, or 5) are generally safe. Use glass and ceramic containers to store or microwave foods. When using the microwave, cover food with a paper towel, not plastic.


It’s not surprising that some people may find it overwhelming when they begin to become more conscious of these numerous safety and health concerns. But, you don’t have to address every issue at once. You can begin by doing something as simple as installing a water filter in your home.


Remember, Live, Laugh and Love