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Your Home may be Silently Sabotaging Your Health

A small study published in the December 2008 issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that there are vast arrays of potentially harmful chemicals in the average home. The results also showed that most people aren't aware of the danger household products can cause.

For the study, 25 women were interviewed after having their homes and bodies tested for pollutants. Most of the women were surprised and puzzled when they discovered they had been exposed to an average of 20 chemicals inside their homes.

The women were all part of a larger analysis conducted by the Silent Spring Institute which tested for 89 different contaminants found in plastics, cleaning products and cosmetics.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chemical levels are 70 times higher inside the home than outside. In fact, the air inside many homes is more polluted than outdoor air in the most industrialized cities.

This is because homes and offices are built to keep out the heat and cold. But these building techniques also trap harmful contaminants inside. With sealed central air systems there is no where for the pollutants to go, so they continue to be recycled through the home.

There are several steps you can take to improve the air quality in your home. Here are a few simple changes that may go a long way in ridding your home of harmful contaminants:

1. Use fragrance and phosphate free laundry and dish detergents
2. Switch to non-toxic, plant based household cleaning products
3. Stay away from chemical based cosmetic products.
4. Refrain from using pesticides in your garden or lawn.
5. Change out air filters regularly (use a HEPA filter if you can)
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