Cleaning Up Your Environment

Ways to clean up your environment

Information adapted from written guidelines by Dr Debbie Fewtrell

  • Use natural, fragrance free, biodegradable detergents and cleaning agents. Brands to try are Natural Instinct and Eco-store
  • Do not use deodorizing or insect-sprays in the home
  • Avoid chlorine: use water filters, limit pool and spa pools. Shower the child after contact with chlorinated pools. Swim in the ocean as it is very detoxifying! Consider installing an extractor fan in the bathroom to avoid inhaling chlorine fumes when showering and bathing
  • Wear natural clothes where possible eg cotton, wool. Avoid flame retardant materials as they often contain the heavy metal antimony
  • Many personal care products contain chemicals including sodium lauryl sulphate. Avoid these products and those containing parabans. Use Living Nature, Natural Instinct, Ecostore, Motherwell or another natural, chemical free range
  • Use fluoride-free toothpaste as fluoride can contain tin and titanium. Avoid toothpaste with Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. Try the Weleda brand
  • Avoid playing on pressure treated wood as they contain arsenic. This applies to many of the play grounds with a woodchip base and decking
  • Eliminate exposure to mercury and thimerosal (a preservative in some medical products eg contact lenses solutions)
  • Do not allow amalgam (grey) fillings, use composite instead
  • Use an air purifier especially in the bedroom if there are any concerns over air quality in the home e.g. close to busy road, moldy, damp
  • Ventilate your house. Many synthetic products in the home emit gasses and your house can be a toxic environment. Open windows. Regularly air your bedding in the sun. When purchasing new furniture, and carpet allow for at least 24hours to off-gas preferably out of the living space. Many carpets are full of pesticides as well as solvents
  • Remove shoes when entering your home especially if you have carpets. This avoids the introduction of lead, pesticides and other toxins into the house
  • If redecorating use eco- friendly paints. Beware of toxic exposures from dust when sanding etc
  • Avoid prolonged handling of batteries
  • Minimise plastic furniture (polyvinyl chloride)
  • Use aluminum-free baking powder and deodorant. Do not cook in aluminum foil or drink from aluminum cans or foil–lined cardboard juice containers
  • Cooking should be done in stainless steel, glass or enamel pots. Avoid Teflon
  • Avoid use of herbicides or pesticides on lawns, garden, or home
  • Do not dry clean clothes
  • Do not reuse the plastic pump drink bottles. They degrade quickly, so you drink a portion of plastic. Use polycarbonate drink bottles from I.E. Produce or Kathmandu
  • Minimise wrapping food in gladwrap/plastic bags, use greaseproof paper where possible. Avoid heating food in plastic such as take away containers. Microwaves are best avoided
  • Consider how you heat your house. Radiant heat is the healthiest. Gas is a moist heat, and should be avoided. It not only gives off fumes, but is a great breeding ground for mould
  • Dust your house with a damp cloth