The good news is that there's a lot of information available these days about how to reduce your exposures to toxic chemicals at home. The bad news, of course, is exactly that: there's a lot of information available these days about how to reduce your exposures to toxic chemicals at home.
So here's the key question in it all: How to boil it down to do-able changes to avoid the toxic chemicals that really matter?
Get EWG's Healthy Home Checklist to see how you're doing
About a year ago, we started a monthly healthy home tip series based on our Parents' Guide to Going Green, so you could make one change at a time on a path towards an environmentally healthy home (these things take time!). As those who've been reading them know, each tip is chock-a block with the why's and how-to's for each subject. Lots of useful, science-based info to guide your way - and make changes where they count most.
This month we created a Healthy Home Checklist so you can see how you're going - and identify any important changes still on your "to do" list. We move through the house by room:
- Kitchen (think: cookware, plastics, tap water, and more)
- Bathroom (think: toothpaste, fragrance, liquid soap, and more)
- Laundry and cleaning closet (think: fewer, greener products, full ingredient lists), and
- All around the house (think: lead paint, toys, fire retardants, and more).
When we first released the checklist to our fans via email (not on our list? it's easy to sign up), we asked for feedback because we want to know how people's houses rated and how well the checklist was working as a tool for change. Is it a deep, multi-year green, or a lighter shade of "I just got started and need to lose the non-stick pans" green? From the many emails we received in response, here are a few inspiring comments:
Thank you for this comprehensive checklist, we already have an eco-friendly house (90%), of which I am very proud, but there are always some things to improve. Part of my eco knowledge, I owe it to you guys, so a big thank you for your wonderful work out there.
I'm excited that I only missed 2 correct answers: foam in furniture and I have a 1929 house (lead paint.) Since my 30's I have been becoming more and more environmentally aware. When I turned 40 I did a clean sweep of my house/life and ditched chemicals and parabens. It feels good, and I am pleased to have confirmation that I am on the right track.
I was pleased to see that I am doing all that I can at the moment (fabric shower curtains, stainless steel cookware, safe cosmetics, cleaning supplies and toys for the kids, organic food, organic garden, etc). The only thing that I would like to improve on is my furniture. Thankfully it is in good condition (no foam exposed) - but I am willing to bet it was treated with flame-retardants. When I can replace my couch I certainly will with something safe!
Thank you so much EWG for all the great tips! I truly rely on the information that I get from your site to make smart decisions to keep my family healthy and safe!!
Go ahead, assess your house
It's quick and eye-opening, and if your house "passes" with flying colors, you'll know where you stand. If your "to do" list is long, you'll know exactly where to dig in.