7 Strategies to Help Reduce Toxin Exposure in Your Home

There are over 85,000 chemicals in our environment that we come into contact with daily. And while the term ‘environmental toxins’ might bring to mind factories spewing thick clouds of black smoke, these chemicals are actually contaminating our food, water, and air. And they can be found in our personal care products, clothing, cooking and bakeware, and even in our bedding.

What might be even more frightening is that the EPA has only banned six of these 85,000 chemicals in the United States!

Plus, research now suggests that many of these chemicals may be quite toxic to our health, impacting everything from our metabolism to our mood. That’s why it is so important to learn more about environmental toxins, how they impact our bodies, and what we can do to reduce our toxin exposure.


Environmental toxins from smokestacks

Environmental Toxins or Toxicants? Why the difference matters.

The term ‘environmental toxins’ is used generically to describe all toxic substances. And while this generic term does encompass a broad category, it’s important to understand the difference between toxins and toxicants. And, for that matter, poisons.

The term toxicants became prevalent as the list of synthetic (i.e., man-made) toxins began growing in the late 1940s, along with increased industrial mining and processing of naturally occurring toxins. But other than toxicants being manufactured, there are a few essential distinctions worth noting.

  • Toxins. Toxins are specifically produced by biological organisms, and they tend to work by disrupting or destroying normal cell activity.  An example of this would be a mold toxin or mycotoxin.
  • Toxicants. Toxicants are common synthetic, human-made chemicals that often make biological processes work differently than they usually work, causing acute and chronic impacts.
  • Poisons. Poisons are substances that cause immediate harm, illness, or even death when absorbed, inhaled, or even ingested in small amounts.


Why are environmental toxins dangerous to our health?

Research has identified numerous ways that exposure to various toxins can impact some of the most crucial areas of our health. However, how these exposures impact our health and wellness goals is rarely discussed.

Because the list of how toxins impact our health is growing, I’ll highlight a few examples here.


Woman thinking about environmental toxins and looking out at lake

How Environmental Toxins Impact the Body

Increased rates of thyroid conditions. Environmental toxins such as phthalates, perfluorochemicals (PFCs), BPA, and flame retardants can alter thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels, causing the thyroid to either slow down or speed up.  Not to mention, these chemicals can also often trigger autoimmune thyroid conditions.

Brain development in our kids. Toxins such as phthalates, PFCs, flame retardants, and pesticides can interfere with cognitive and behavioral brain development in infants and children.

A rise in infertility. Numerous research studies indicate that women with high exposure to common environmental toxins like pesticides and BPA experience an increase in infertility by upwards of 50%. Men are not immune either. Testosterone levels have declined steadily, dropping nearly 20% in the last 20 years.

Early onset of puberty. Over the past 20 years, the early onset of puberty in both girls and boys has increased. Increasing evidence suggests that environmental toxin exposure to BPA, pesticides, and phthalates is one culprit affecting early-onset puberty.

Higher prevalence of some cancers. Compounds found in many environmental toxins create biological conditions that increase our susceptibility to cancers like ovarian, prostate, and breast cancers.


What is body burden?

Toxic chemicals enter our bodies from the food we eat, the air we breathe, the things we drink, and the products we use. And those chemicals can remain in our bodies for many years, even after the source of the pollutant has been removed.

Our body’s natural detoxification pathways are not designed to help us flush the thousands of chemicals we’re exposed to, causing a buildup of chemicals within our body, known as the body’s burden or toxic load.

So why is understanding your body’s burden so important?

Because not only can it help you identify your triggers, but it can also help identify ways that you can begin to detoxify from previous exposures to achieve your health and wellness goals.


Basket full of organic foods

7 Strategies to Help Reduce Toxin Exposure in Your Home

We’ve established what environmental toxins are and how they impact your health, so let’s focus on strategies to reduce your toxin exposure.

Here are 7 strategies you can use today to help reduce your toxin exposure and help promote a healthy and balanced body.


1. Prioritize organic foods.

Conventionally grown produce is typically sprayed with pesticides and herbicides in the fields, which can increase your organophosphate exposure. Organic produce is always the preferred option, but it may not be reasonable for everyone. Instead, review the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list of produce with the highest levels of pesticide residue to prioritize purchasing those organic. And the “Clean 15” list can help, too, allowing you to choose foods that are less contaminated even when conventionally grown.


2. Give your personal care products a makeover.

So many of the products we use daily contain chemicals that can be easily absorbed into the skin. Products such as make-up, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and soap all contain phthalates and parabens, which are potentially hazardous to your health.

Check out the EWG’s Skin Deep database for products that don’t contain phthalates and parabens or to help identify “cleaner” alternatives to products. Try the Think Dirty app for an “on-the-go” assessment of your products. This handy app allows you to scan products right in the store!


3. Switch out your plastic products.

Sadly, most plastics contain BPs or phthalates. Especially plastics that are soft and pliable.

Start by switching out your plastic containers and water bottles for glass or stainless steel alternatives. It’s also good to try and avoid single-use plastics that are bad for you and the environment. Lastly, when plastic is heated, the BPA and phthalates can leach into your food or beverage. So, when it’s time to warm up your food, transfer it to a microwave-safe glass or ceramic container.


4. Use non-toxic cleaning products.

It’s difficult to know precisely what is in most cleaning products because they aren’t required to list their ingredients on the label. Instead, focus on using non-toxic cleaning products that voluntarily disclose the ingredients or make your own cleaners from natural household products like vinegar and baking soda.


5. Assess your environment for mold.

Continuous exposure to mold can cause everything from cold-like symptoms to asthma, fatigue, and brain fog. Check your home for water leaks and excess moisture in bathrooms, the kitchen, around windows, in the cellar, or the attic, and regularly clean your heating and air conditioning units. Address any water intrusion promptly to avoid mold growth.


6. Ditch the pesticides.

Avoid pesticides made with toxic chemicals to kill unwanted insects or weeds. Instead, keep your home clear of food crumbs and spills, or use bait traps when necessary. For your yard, try a green yard treatment option that utilizes herbal options to control your weeds. And don’t forget to take your shoes off when you come inside!


7. Replace your non-stick cookware.

The PFCs in non-stick pans may make cleaning easy, but they break down during use and increase contamination. Instead, replace your non-stick cookware with stainless steel, carbon steel, stoneware, or cast iron pans.


Woman doing yoga Environmental

Daily Detox Tips for Healthy Living

Environmental toxins permeate every aspect of our lives. They are in our air, our water, on our food, and in our homes. And as a result, we must make constant adjustments to how we live so that we can maintain our health.

We need to know where these harmful chemicals are lurking to minimize our exposure – but learning about where these chemicals can be overwhelming!

Get a jumpstart on your environmental toxin knowledge and create a sustainable lifestyle with my top 10 daily detox tips for healthy living.

Download your free copy and start enhancing your health today.


shelves of reference books in library


  1. “About the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory | US EPA.” 29 Jun. 2022, https://www.epa.gov/tsca-inventory/about-tsca-chemical-substance-inventory. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.
  2. “Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and Federal Facilities | US EPA.” 9 Feb. 2021, https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/toxic-substances-control-act-tsca-and-federal-facilities. Accessed 16 Mar. 2022.
  3. “Toxins | National Biomonitoring Program | CDC.” https://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/toxins.html. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.
  4. “Emerging Exposures of Developmental Toxicants – PMC – NCBI.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5473289/. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.
  5. “Common Causes of Poisoning: Etiology, Diagnosis and Treatment.” 11 Oct. 2013, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3813891/. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.
  6. “Associations between flame retardant applications in furniture foam ….” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28750223/. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.
  7. “Environmental neurotoxicants and developing brain – PubMed.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21259263/. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.
  8. “Environmental Toxins and Infertility – PMC – NCBI.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6396757/. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.
  9. “exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals may interfere … – PubMed.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20487042/. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.
  10. “Endocrine disruptors and abnormalities of pubertal development.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18226071/. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.
  11. “Environmental exposures and cancer: using the precautionary ….” 16 Apr. 2019, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6546253/. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.