You do what you can to keep your family healthy, but what you may not realize is that there are some potential household toxins that could be unintentionally causing you or your children to become ill.
Household Toxins: 5 things that can make your family sick
Carpet: You probably have carpet somewhere in your home. Whether it’s on every floor of the house or on a carpet runner, carpet is there. While it can be comfortable on your feet, carpet is a breeding ground for germs. It can trap pollen, pet dander, dust mites and other allergens that can make your family sick. You can help to keep the dangerous compounds out of your carpets by choosing a thinner product and ensuring that your home is well-ventilated.
Computer keyboards: Everyone in the family likely uses the computer throughout the day. When you’re looking up a new recipe or the kids are doing their homework or just surfing the Web, fingers are leaving behind germs. Researchers said there are 21,000 germs per square inch on an office desktop, more than what’s found on the office toilets. Germs can easily hide in the nooks and crannies of your computer keyboard. Encourage children to reduce their risk of illness by wiping down the keyboard, washing their hands after using it and avoiding touching their mouths.
Pillows: You may notice some allergy or asthma symptoms in either you, your partner or your children. If this is the case, you may want to check the pillows. It isn’t difficult for dust mites to make a home out of pillows, especially if they’re used for a long time. Dust mites are the most common cause of non-seasonal allergies and asthma and feed on the flakes of human skin. If you don’t want to replace your favorite pillow, be sure to cover them with zippered, dust-proof covers.
Sponges: You’d be surprised to see just how many germs are left behind on your cleaning sponges. This cleaning supply is there when you’re wiping up messes, so it’s no surprise that things get left behind on it. Sponges that are used in the kitchen can be a major contributor to foodborne illnesses as bacteria can easily prosper on them. To eliminate the risk of spreading germs via sponge, consider switching to dish cloths that you can easily run through the washing machine. Check out our tips on green cleaning of your kitchen sponges.
Shoes: If you don’t take your shoes off when you walk through the door, you will after you read this. You’re wearing them around all day and picking up all sorts of pesticides, toxins and germs in them. Then, wearing them in the house leaves them in the carpets and on the floor, which can in turn make you and your family sick. A practice as simple as leaving them off at the door will not only make it easier to keep your house cleaner, but also just a bit safer.
As we head into the winter months, keeping ourselves and our kiddos healthier can get even more difficult. Have any other tips for ridding your home of household toxins? Please share!