The Ultimate Guide to Toxin-Free Living
As of 2023, 1 in 30 kids are diagnosed with Autism. In 2000, that number was 1 in 150, so why the huge jump!? It's because children are being exposed to toxins at an alarmingly high rate, leading to an increase in health problems. Even issues such as asthma, allergies, ADD/ADHD, obesity, and mental health problems can be tied back to toxin exposure.
The average person is exposed to more than 700,000 toxic chemicals per day! From perfumes to cleaning products, from cosmetic products to plastics, much of your everyday life includes exposure to chemicals. Many toxins have not been tested to assess safety and if they have been, they are only tested in adults and not children.
Exposure to environmental toxins can cause a numerous amount of symptoms including: immune dysregulation, autoimmunity, asthma, allergies, cancers, ADHD, Autism, mood changes, neurological illness, changes in libido, reproductive dysfunction and glucose deregulation.
There are 4 main ways toxins enter our systems:
Ingestion - Water and Food
Inhalation - Air pollution
Absorption - Through skin
Injection - Infusions, allergy shots, shots
So how do we protect our Kids of toxins? Avoid, Avoid, Avoid! You can use many different detox protocols, and they may be effective for some period of time. But we can not empty the tab if water is still running. So we really need to get toxins off from our environment.
Start with the 4 Pillars of Detox:
Using the Four Pillar to Detox approach will help you and your family get the jump start it needs on healthy living, improved detoxing and better health.
A large contributor to our toxic load is our water supply. The water we drink and shower in has been found to contain over 300 various chemicals known to cause health problems.
Studies have shown that the tap water in America contains toxins such as: lead, arsenic, VOCs, nitrates, PFAS, glyphosate, radioactive substance, fluorine, and more. These contaminants have been associated with an increased risk of cancers, neurological problems, birth defects, hormone disruption, impaired immune system, and liver damage.
Certain regions have higher levels of contaminants, but regardless, it is important to filter these out in order to improve health outcomes.
To find out what compounds are in your area's water, go to www.ewg.org/tapwater and enter your location.
Water filtration recommendations
Reverse Osmosis Systems - the most effective at removing contaminants and are usually placed under the sink, hooked up to the tap!
Whole House Filters - these will be installed at the main water line to filter out contaminants through the whole house.
Rainsoft Carbon Filtration System
Gravity Countertop Filters - these will sit on top of your counter and filter out contaminants for drinking.
Pitcher Filters - these are a more convenient and budget-friendly option for clean water supply!
PUR Plus Pitchers
Clearly Filtered Pitcher
Invigorated Water Pitcher
PUR DS1800Z Dispenser
Shower and Bathroom Sink Attachments - for showering and washing your face without a whole house filtration system.
Ph Prescription Shower head
Hydroviv Shower Filter
Travel Filters and Bottles - to avoid getting sick while on the go!
Clearly Filtered Water Bottles
Lifestraw Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Grayl Water Bottle
Epic Water Filters Bottle Filter
Unfortunately, heavy metals are naturally occurring elements in our environment and soil. So naturally, when food grows, it absorbs heavy metals from our soil, but usually in small amounts.
Additionally, if food is sprayed with pesticides, the food item absorbs not only the heavy metals from the pesticides, but also any other toxin it contains. Exposure to pesticides can cause: Cancer, Birth Defects, Reproductive Harm, Immunotoxicity, Neurological and Developmental Issues Disruption of Endocrine System, Gut Imbalance.
Cooking oil swaps
When heated past their smoke points, oils can produce free radicals, which have an inflammatory effect on the body. Also, certain seed oils have higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids which can increase inflammation. Oils that may increase inflammation include: canola oil, soybean oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, and grapeseed oil.
Swap those oils for olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, beef tallow, or macadamia oil. These oils have lower amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, along with higher smoke points, making them less likely to create free radicals and lead to inflammatory responses.
Local and Organic Resources
You can find organic and locally grown food at farmer's markets in your area! This gives you the chance to connect with farmers on how they grow their food, including whether they use pesticides or not.
How to Properly Wash Fruits and Veggies
Washing your produce is a crucial step in making sure any pesticides or leftover dirt and debris are removed before eating!
Baking Soda Baths: add 1 teaspoon baking soda for each 2 cups of water. Soak fruits/veggies for 15 minutes.
Salt Water Baths: add sea salt to a water bath and soak fruits/veggies for 20 minutes.
Vinegar Bath: add 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar and soak fruits/veggies for 20 minutes, then rinse.
Peel - simply peel the skin off rather than washing.
The World Health Organization states that everyday, around 93% of the world’s children breathe air that is so polluted it puts their health and development at serious risk. This also accounts for 1.7 million child deaths per year.
Commonly found toxins in air include: Benzene, a carcinogen; perchloroethylene, associated with neurological problems; methylene chloride, which can cause cancer; asbestos, another carcinogen associated with mesothelioma; toluene, linked to liver and reproductive damage; and heavy metals.
Air pollution has been linked to: affecting neurodevelopment, leading to lower cognitive test outcomes, negatively affecting mental and motor development; causing damage to children’s lung function, even at lower levels of exposures and increasing asthma.
Clean air swaps & recommendations
Ditch synthetic fragrances
Toss out the candles, air freshener, scented plug- ins, and opt for non-toxic alternatives like essential oils in essential oil diffuser, organics non- toxic air freshener and candles.
Reduce Mold Exposure
Maintaining a low humidity level in the home can reduce the likelihood of mold growth.
Mold Armor Kits
Air purifiers (see recommendations below)
Air purifiers inside the home can reduce the VOCs in the air, along with mold spores and other toxins.
BlueAir Air Purifier
AirDoctor Air Purifier
VEVA ProHepa 9000
Atlas Air Purifier
Blue Pure Air Purifiers
Telepure Air Purifier
Have you ever bought new furniture and it smells a little...weird? That means the furniture is off-gassing. Off-gassing refers to the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air from items like couches, bed frames, cabinets, and more. During the production process, many household items are manufactured with VOCs, such as formaldehyde! Off-gassing can result in allergic reactions, hormonal disruptions, skin irritations, and long-term side effects such as cancer.
Biggest Culprits for Off-Gassing
New mattresses, bed frames, and cribs are notorious for off- gassing. Wood products that have a finish, or have been made with particle board or veneer can also off-gas. Couches and carpets are large contributors as well.
Tips to Reduce Furniture Off-Gassing
Buy Used. Used furniture items are less likely to emit chemicals as they have had a chance to off-gas.
Buy Real, Natural Wood. Avoid particle board and wood veneer because these contain high levels of formaldehyde. Purchase natural, unfinished wood, as it is less likely to contain synthetic chemicals.
Let Furniture Air Out. When buying new furniture, unwrap it in the garage or outside for a few days so it does not off-gas indoors.
If that is not an option, open windows, add plants, and an air purifier to the room where your new furniture is.
Purchase Non-toxic Furniture. Buying furniture with these certifications reduces the likelihood of being exposed to VOCs: GOTS, GOLS, UL GreenGuard, OEKO-TEX, MADESAFE.
If you've ever painted a room and need to step out because of the smell, then you know there are fumes associated with household paints.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed paints as a large source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Chemicals commonly found in paint include: benzene, toluene, heavy metals, and more. Benzene and toluene have both been associated with cancers.
How to Reduce VOCs in Paint
Opt for low VOC or zero VOC paints. Standard VOC paints contain around 250-380 grams of VOCs per liter of paint, but zero and low VOC options contain only 5-50 grams per liter. The best low or non VOC paints include: AFM Safecoat, Earth Safe Finishes, Green Planet Paints, and Clare Paint.
An Important Note on Paint - Lead Based Paint
If you live in a house that was built before 1978, you may want to have your paint tested for lead.
In 1978, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the use of lead based paint for both residential and public use. Lead exposure has been linked to a variety of health concerns, such as developmental and behavioral problems, neurotoxicity, and organ damage.
If you are concerned that your house contains lead-based paint, it is important to have a professional test for lead. It is not recommended to remove or renovate lead-based paint on your own due to the health risks.
More Tips and Tricks for Clean Air
Vacuum regularly. Make sure to use a vacuum that has a HEPA filter, as these remove almost 100% of particles from the air.
Add live plants throughout the home. Plants such as: snake plants, spider plants, aloe vera, weeping figs, golden pothos, english ivy, palms, and peace lilies. These purify the air by absorbing VOCs into their leaves.
Open the windows to let fresh air in, and the polluted indoor air, out!
How much do you know about the everyday products you use in your home? You may have changed some of your main products such as your body washes, detergents, and lotions, but what about the other products like your bed sheets, curtains, and makeup?
Studies have shown even small exposures to toxins during critical windows of a child's life can lead to breast cancer, infertility, learning disabilities, and other serious health problems later in life.
In this next section, we will go over better and safer options for everyday products such as: Cleaning Products (sprays, air freshener, detergents, soaps); Cookware (pots and pans, plastic containers); Body Products (toothpaste, lotions, shampoos, suntan lotions); Makeup (nail polish, hair products) House Items (rugs, carpet, furniture, bedding).
Did you know that the European Union (EU) bans over 1300 toxins while the United States has banned only 11?!
Many of the ingredients that Europe bans, the U.S. allows to be present in personal care, household, and food products. Unfortunately, the majority of these chemicals have been linked to cancer, hormone disruptions, infertility, neurological problems, and more.
For example, it is estimated that Americans have 5,000 times more bisphenol A (BPA) in their bodies than what is deemed safe. The EU bans the use of BPA, even in small doses, while the U.S. does not. BPA has been linked to several health concerns, such as hormonal dysfunction and infertility, increased risk for type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Because of these lax rules in the U.S. surrounding ingredients, it is important to evaluate what is in your everyday products!
List of Ingredients Banned in Europe
This is certainly not a complete list of banned additives, but only a snippet as of 2022. Ingredients in bold are also banned by the U.S., while the others are permitted.
Arsenic Ammonia Benzene Bisphenol A (BPA) Borax Butane Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) Carbon disulfide Chlorine Coal tars Demethylamine Ethanol Ethylene oxide Formaldehyde Fragrance Hexane Hexachlorobenzene Hydrogen peroxide Hydroquinone Lead Methylene glycol Oestrogens Parabens Paraffin waxes & oils Phthalates (certain ones) Petroleum Phenol Potassium bromate Sodium hydroxide Sodium nitrite Styrene Talc Titanium dioxide
Trichloroethane Vinyl chloride Zirconium
Product Marketing: Greenwashing
Greenwashing is a term used to describe deceptive or misleading marketing regarding a product's environmental impact or toxic ingredients.
For example, a shampoo product may be labeled as "natural, plant-based", but contains a variety of toxins that are harmful to your health. Companies understand there is a high demand for natural products, so they do this in order to drive their sales.
Many common Greenwashing Terms are not regulated, so any company can use them without consequences: "all-natural, biodegradable, cruelty-free, earth-friendly, natural, plant-based, sensitive", etc.
Common Brands That Greenwash:
Mrs. Meyers. Labeled as plant-derived and biodegradable, but contains still contains sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and fragrance.
Babyganics. This company's products appear safe and natural, but many contain toxins such as octinoxate, titanium dioxide, and phenoxyethanol. In fact, Babyganics was sued for their greenwashing!
Aveeno. Another brand that looks safe to use, but still includes chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), oxybenzone, fragrance, phenoxyethanol, and more in their kids products!
The Honest Company. A kid-friendly brand that advertises eco-friendly, safe products, but many of their products contain harmful chemicals. They have also faced several lawsuits as a result of greenwashing.
Detoxing your kitchen
Many of our favorite kitchen items are riddled with toxins such as PFAS, BPA, and heavy metals! Swapping out products known to contain these chemicals is a vital part in reducing your children's toxic load.
Chemicals Commonly Found in Kitchen Products to Avoid:
Per- and polyfluroalkyl substances (PFAS) refer to a group of thousands of chemicals, which includes PTFES, PFOAS, PFOS, to name a few. PFAS are known as "forever chemicals" and can lead to many health problems, including an increased risk of cancers! PFAS are used in nonstick cooking pans and have been shown to leach into our food when cooking.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical found in plastic products such as: food storage containers, zip loc bags, water bottles, and more. BPA is a known endocrine disruptor as it mimics human estrogen.
Swap out nonstick coated pans with stainless steel or cast iron pans instead.
Choose stainless steel or glass bakeware over aluminum or nonstick Bakeware.
Rather than plastic or silicone utensils and cutting boards, opt for stainless steel or wooden/bamboo kitchen utensils.
Instead of plastic food containers choose glass food storage as a safer alternative!
Replace zip-lock plastic snack bags with plastic free, reusable bags.
If you can't go without aluminum foil and parchment choose beeswax alternatives for safer parchment paper options.
Choose glass food storage as a safer alternative to plastic bowls and plates.
Instead of plastic cups and water bottles choose stainless steel or plastic free alternatives.
Aim to find a stainless steel or bamboo lunch box for your kiddos!
Conventional paper towels undergo a bleaching process conducted with dioxin. They also can have BPA and formaldehyde. Try UNPaper Towels, Swedish dishcloths, or Public Goods' bamboo paper towels for more sustainable, safer options.
Detoxing your bathroom
From the moment you start your day to the time that it ends, it is important to consider the type of hygiene products that you are using on your kiddos.
Chemicals Commonly Found in Bath and Shower Products to Avoid:
Phthalates are commonly found in rubber bath toys, shampoos, body wash, and more! They can be absorbed through the skin or mouth and cause endocrine disruption, skin irritation, and other problems.
Synthetic fragrances are also found in personal products that can lead to hormonal disruption as well.
Triclosan is found in antibacterial products, or toys that are designed to have "protection against mold". It has been linked to thyroid dysfunction and liver damage. Propylene glycol is associated with heart problems, skin irritation, and allergic reactions.
Bathroom Hygiene Swaps
Ditch the plastic toothbrushes and switch to an environmentally friendly, BPA-free alternative.
Choose chemical-free floss, reduce your exposure to synthetic waxes and plastic.
Search for a toothpaste that is fluoride and dye-free. Here are some recommended brands: Risewell, Pure Haven, Native (fluoride free), David's Premium, Dr. Brite, Hello (fluoride free).
Conventional mouthwashes contain alcohol, triclosan, sulfates and other chemicals. Switch to a non-toxic mouthwash such as: Tom's of Maine Wicked Fresh Mouthwash, Banyan Botanicals Daily Swish, Georganics Coconut Oil Pulling Mouthwash, Lumineux Clean and Fresh Mouthwash, Olas Marine Bio-Active, Tea Tree Therapy Mouthwash.
Switch your polyester towels for ones made of organic material like organic cotton, hemp and linen by such brands as Coyuchi, Under the canopy, Boll and Branch, California Cloth, Foundry Anact, Rawganique.
Conventional curtains are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the most toxic type of plastic. Switch to natural and organic fabrics by such brands as Print Fresh, Dream Designs, Rawganique, Union Salt Works, Boll and Branch, Bean Products Inc.
Look for bath mats made from organic material that are also easy to keep sanitary, such as mats made from rubber or wood.
Use unbleached, chemical-free toilet paper by such brands as Reel, Public Goods, Cloud Paper, Brandless Seedling by Grove, Caboo.
Choose safe bath toys. Avoid toys with holes that can harbor bacteria and mold.
Common household cleaning products are sources of chemicals such as: volatile organic compounds (VOCs), synthetic fragrances, phthalates, ammonia, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), and more. These chemicals have been linked to cancer, neurological problems, ADHD, hormonal disruption, and skin burns/irritation, just to list a few. Yikes!
Shopping for non-toxic cleaning supplies can be difficult, especially navigating greenwashing!
Cleaning Supplies Swaps
All-Purpose Cleaners. Instead of using products such as Windex, Mrs. Meyers, or Method, try these: Earthley Cleaning Paste, Branch Basics Concentrate, Attitude All-Purpose Spray, Puracy Spray, Force of Nature Spray, Gaia All-Purpose Spray.
Window and Glass Cleaners. Check out these non-toxic options for streak-free shine: Attitude Window Cleaner, Truly Free Glass Cleaner, Aunt Fannies Glass and Window Vinegar Wash, CitraSolv Glass Cleaner, BioKleen Glass Cleaner, Branch Basics Streak-Free Glass Cleaner.
DIY Recipes of all-purpose Cleaning Spray: add 1 part water to 1 part white vinegar in a glass spray bottle, add 10-15 drops essential oils for smell (optional).
Hand Soap. Most hand soap contains sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), so it's important to switch to a non-toxic options: Attitude Hand Soap, Everyone Hand Soap, Aleavia Hand Wash, Pipette Hand Wash, Carina Organics Hand Soap, Puracy Foaming Hand Soap.
You can make your own Hand Soap. In a soap dispenser, add the following: 1 cup water,
1/4 cup pure castile soap (such as Dr. Bronner's), 1 tablespoon coconut oil (to moisturize), 8-10 drops of your favorite essential oils
Dish Soap and Dishwasher Detergent. Replace regular dish soap and detergent tabs with these non-toxic alternatives: Puracy Dish Soap, Attitude Dishwashing Liquid, Zero Waste Dishwashing Block, Mama Sud's Dishwasher Powder, Earthley Dishwasher Detergent, Branch Basics Dishwashing Tablets.
Laundry Detergent. Swap the tide pods for a non-toxic alternative that works just as well! Recommended brands: Attitude Laundry Detergent, Molly's Suds Laundry Powder, Branch Basics Laundry Kit, Truly Free Laundry Wash, Puracy Laundry Detergent, Earthley Laundry Powder.
Dryer Sheets. Swap your dryer sheets for wool dryer balls, and add a few drops of essential oils by brands like: Dropps XL wool balls, Molly's Suds Wool Dryer Balls, Well Earth Wool Dryer Balls, SheepSmart Wool Dryer Balls, Plant Therapy Essential Oils, Mountain Rose Herbs Essential Oils.
Other Household Swaps
1. Lightbulbs. Many lightbulbs contain mercury - usually most fluorescent, CFL, and neon bulbs. If your lightbulbs contain mercury, they will have an "Hg" label on them. Hooga's Sleep Light bulb is non-toxic and blocks blue light, promoting healthy sleep.
Detoxing your kids closet
One thing many people do not realize is loaded with toxins is... clothes!
During the manufacturing process, many clothing items & shoes are exposed to chemicals such as: BPA, PFAS (the forever chemicals), lead, chromium, synthetic dyes, flame retardants, and more.
Children's Clothing Brands to Avoid:
Fast fashion companies such as Shein, H&M, & Zara have been in the news for high amounts of toxins in their clothes. Even clothes from Old Navy, OshKosh, & Target have been found to contain PFAS & other chemicals.
Seek out clothing companies that have the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification, as well as the Oeko-Tex certification.
Tips For Buying New Clothes
Wash before you wear: Many clothing items are sprayed with formaldehyde before transport to prevent wrinkling, maintain shape, and preserve the integrity of the materials. Formaldehyde exposure can lead to allergic reactions, skin irritations, and even certain types of cancer. Throw your new clothes in the washer with non-toxic detergent to remove the formaldehyde.
Detoxing your kids playroom
Given that playtime is your kiddos' favorite part of the day, invest in safe & organic toys for them! Look for toys derived from bamboo and free of artificial dyes.
They may be more expensive, but you don't need to buy a ton; remember quality over quantity. Start with a few and incorporate non-toxic activities and crafts into the mix to keep your kids entertained.
Chemicals Commonly Found in Children's Toys to Avoid:
Heavy metals such as lead & cadmium, BPA, artificial dyes, flame retardants, & phthalates have been reported in children's toys. Toys commonly containing these chemicals are metal jewelry, toys made from plastic, teether toys, food & kitchen toys, crayons, markers, & many more.
What does it mean when a product is GOTS certified?
GOTS, Global Organic Textile Standard, is the top organic certification. This certification covers everything from start to finish. Starting at the fibers growth, processing, cleaning, dyes, finishes, packaging. With a GOTS certification you know you are getting a product free of flame retardants, formaldehyde*, chlorine bleach, GMOs, phthalates, PVC, BPA, AZO dyes that use heavy metals etc
If something is GOTS certified it will have the logo to the right in either green or black
What is a MADE SAFE® Certification?
Products with a made safe seal have been screened against a 6,500 hazardous substance list that includes: carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, toxins, flame retardants, high-risk pesticides, toxic solvents, & harmful VOCs.
*Check out madesafe.org for a list of certified products
Supplements for Detox
I recommend CytoDetox for removal of environmental toxins like heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides, biotoxins, and more. This supplement is completely natural and safe for kids. It works at a deep, cellular level. It binds toxins in different body systems. Give kids small amounts, 1/4 dropper or so... see how that goes. It's best taken 3x a day, no longer than 12 hours between doses. For at least 3 days in a row. Then rest for 4 days.
Along with CytoDetox it is recommended to take True Carbon Cleanse (2-4 capsules), 2 hours after CytoDetox drops. True Carbon Cleanse isn’t just any charcoal pill, it contains a highly potent form of “super activated charcoal”. And because of its small microparticle size, it’s able to absorb up to 300 times its weight in toxins which have been excreted to the gut so you wouldn't reabsorb it.
You can purchase these supplements 15% off by promo code “JuliaSmila” by Link http://truecellularformulas.com/juliasmila
Supplementation works best along with the proper diet. If you do not know your kid's Metabolic Type and Food Sensitivities yet, I can help you to order tests and interpret results.
Support the body in the detox process
Sleep. Studies have shown that regular, deep sleep has positive effects in ridding toxins from the brain and other organs! Aim for 7-9 hours each night, and reduce blue light exposure 2 hours before bedtime.
Support the Liver. Make your liver's job easier by eating a wide variety of fruits & vegetables, including bitter herbs! Castor oil packs can also encourage the liver's detoxification process.
Sweat. Encourage the body's detoxification process by getting moving & breaking a sweat! Just as toxins can enter the body through the skin, they can also exit.