It’s easy to see the world as a dangerous place. From far-off war-zones to the risk of car crashes, muggings and accidents outside your own door.
But a lot of the dangers we should be protecting our families from are inside our own homes. The world is really not as bad as you think, the roads are not filled with misdemeanor DWI cases waiting to happen and the streets aren’t littered with wannabe Batman villains. But while you’re overestimating the danger outdoors, you could be massively underestimating the danger indoors.
Central Heating and Cooling
If you live in cool climates and spend a lot of time indoors then you are exposing yourself and your family to very poor air quality. This is more of a problem in Northern Europe than it is in the US, but it’s something we see here too.
If you have all the windows shut and the heating blasting during the winter then you’re constantly breathing a cycle of the same, stale air. You don’t want to open a window because you don’t want to let the heat out, but doing so could drastically improve the air quality.
It is believed by many that actress Brittany Murphy died because she had shut herself in her house and was constantly breathing mold fumes while taking opiates, which suppressed her coughing and kept all that nastiness in.
And don’t think you’re safe if you have air vents, because if they are blocked or unclean, the issue could be just as bad.
Pets are family members too, and their health can also be suffering as a result of the things we do. With dogs it’s fairly easy, there seem to be very few things that are harmful to them and the things that are seem to be common knowledge amongst dog owners, as is the case with chocolate and alcohol.
But it’s a different story with cats. The average home contains so many plants and foods that are toxic to cats and most owners are completely unaware. Lilies, for instance, are very poisonous, and while most cats will stay away, if you have a mischievous feline then you’ll want to get those plants out.
It’s not just lilies either. Many other plants can kill them, as can common foodstuffs. Garlic is very toxic to cats, yet most pet owners wouldn’t think twice about letting their cat nibble on a piece of chicken that has been marinated in garlic. It’s a similar story with onions, grapes, raisins and much more.
Many of the kitchen appliances in your home could be contributing to poor health. Studies suggest that most refrigerators are packed with bacteria and are not cleaned often enough to reduce it.
This is true even for smaller appliances like ovens. A toaster oven can be easy and relatively safe, but a convection oven works by circulating air, which means it could circulate any bad bacteria lurking inside. This oven is also something different than a toaster oven in terms of heat generated and it might to be hot enough to kill bacteria.
Speaking of which, one of the biggest problem appliances is the washing machine, especially if you don’t use a dryer and leave the washing to dry inside the house. It has been said that the increasing popularity for washing at lower temperatures (to save on heat) and using weaker detergents is destroying less bacteria. And if you then wear those clothes or leave them to dry in the home, you’re coming into contact with that bacteria and breathing it in.
Finding a deterrent that can clean your clothes effectively without damaging them or your health is not easy. It’s a fine balance, and one that can be difficult to strike. The vast majority of the chemicals we use to clean our homes are carcinogens, and the more of them you use, the more exposed you are to them.
There are natural alternatives to most of these and they can be just as effective, such as using vinegar or lemon juice as cleaner, but it isn’t easy to completely swap out all cleaners with effective natural ones so just start slowly.