January is the time when many people make resolutions to get healthier. In addition to cutting down on sugar and upping time at the gym, you can improve your health by making some simple changes in your home. Try these 3 healthy home resolutions and feel your best in 2016!
1. Kick your air-freshener habit.
While the “fragrance” in most air fresheners – in aerosol, spray, solid, candle or plug-in form – may make your home smell better, they actually pollute your home with dozens of chemicals, many of which may never have been assessed for safety. Common ingredients in air fresheners include phthalates, human carcinogens, and other synthetic chemicals have been classified as hazardous substances. These ingredients have been linked to male reproductive system birth defects, hormone disruption, and allergies.
Instead of using air fresheners, open a window, run a fan, or open a box of baking soda! A HEPA air filter with charcoal or other adbsorbent is also a good way to safely remove odors and allergens. Most importantly, get rid of the source of the odor you are trying to cover – they can often cause much bigger problems than just a bad smell!
2. Resolve to always run the bath fan during and after bathing.
Excess moisture leads to a number of problems in a home, one of the unhealthiest is mold. Running the bath fans during and for about an hour after bathing helps to exhaust moist, humid air and allowing drier air to enter the room. It also helps to exhaust odors, allowing fresher air to enter the bathroom (reducing the need for fragrances!).
3. Swap out your non-stick cookware.
If you are resolving to cook healthier in 2016, make sure your cookware is healthy! Non-stick cookware may make clean-up easier, but overheating can release toxic chemicals into the air while you are cooking. Tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group (2003) showed that in just two to five minutes on a conventional stove top, cookware coated with Teflon and other non-stick surfaces could exceed temperatures at which the coating breaks apart and emits toxic particles and gases. These toxic fumes can cause people to develop flu-like symptoms and may be dangerous to pets, especially birds. The safest options are stainless steel, cast iron, and glass.
If you can’t swap out your cookware, follow these tips to ensure you are cooking safely:
• Never preheat nonstick cookware at high heat; use the lowest temperature possible to cook your food safely.
• Don’t put nonstick cookware in an oven hotter than 500 degrees.
No matter what you are using to cook, always remember to run the range hood to vent out chemicals, odors, and excess moisture!