When it comes to cancer, you probably want to do what you can to avoid it. But how do you do that when it seems like everything around you poses a cancer risk?
Here are seven important steps to removing the most pressing cancer risks from your home. They include checking for and removing: radon, nonstick-coated pots and pans, makeup and personal care products with toxic ingredients, BPA-lined cans and bottles, cleaning products and air fresheners, toxic building materials, furnishings and household cleaning supplies, as well as common pesticides and weed killers.
1. Check Your Home for Radon
Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that is formed from the natural breakdown of uranium in the earth. Though you can’t see it or smell it, radon can enter your home through cracks in your foundation, well water, building materials and other sources, where it can contaminate the air you breathe.
Because radon is radioactive, it’s also carcinogenic; radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, second only to smoking.
Any home, whether new or old, with a basement or without, well-insulated or drafty, can have a radon problem; the EPA estimates that nearly 1 out of every 15 homes has elevated levels. Radon is measured in “picocuries per liter of air,” or “pCi/L.” Outdoor air generally has radon levels of about 0.4 pCi/L, whereas the average radon level indoors is estimated to be about 1.3 pCi/L. While the U.S. Congress has set a long-term goal stating that indoor radon levels should be no higher than outdoor levels, the EPA recommends taking action only if your home’s levels exceed 4 pCi/L.
This does not necessarily mean that 4 pCi/L is “safe,” however, as there really is NO safe level for radiation. Even the EPA admits that lower levels can still pose a health risk, and you may want to take precautions to further reduce the amount of radon in your indoor space even if it’s at or below 4 pCi/L.
Radon Testing and Remediation
Fortunately, testing your home for radon is simple, and if levels are elevated there are ways to reduce them to protect your health. There are a number of resources for test kits:
- If you’d like a certified technician to measure the radon levels in your home or other indoor environment, you can contact the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists.1 Testing costs from $100 to $300.
- You can also obtain information on certified technicians and do-it-yourself testing from the EPA.2 State and regional information can be found there.
- The National Radon Program Services at Kansas State University offers discounted test kits available to purchase online.3
- Other do-it-yourself test kits for radon run between $20 and $30 and can be purchased online and at your local hardware store.
If your home has elevated radon levels, it’s important to find a qualified radon service professional to fix your home immediately. Some U.S. states maintain lists of contractors that have met certain qualifications for radon mitigation; your state radon coordinator will have this information.4 There are also two privately run national radon programs that can help you find a qualified radon service professional:
- The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)5
- The National Radon Safety Board (NRSB)6
Finally, Kansas State University maintains national radon hotlines:
- National Radon Hotline: Purchase radon test kits by phone.
- National Radon Helpline: Get live help for your radon questions.
- National Radon Fix-It Line: For general information on fixing or reducing the radon level in your home.
The cost of radon reduction measures depends on the size and design of your home and the specific methods needed. Costs range from $800 to $2,500, with an average cost of $1,200. Radon reduction systems may be able to reduce your home’s radon levels by 99 percent. There are a variety of ways to reduce radon levels in your home, including:
- Sealing cracks in floors and walls
- Increasing ventilation through sub-slab depressurization with pipes and fans
- Removing granite countertops if they are emitting high levels of radon
- Replacing ionization smoke detectors with the photoelectric type
Author: Dr. Mercola
For several years now I have been writing about how toxic our worlds have become including our own households. It has been an adventure in label reading and research trying to find alternatives to the everyday grocery and department store stocked chemical laden products we are used to.
My first goal started with finding products that have not been animal tested. From there I then added to that wanting ingredients that you could pronounce and recognize as well as know that they are from nature and not scientifically created and safe to use on your body and in your home.
I do not mean GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe – The FDA’s sticker of approval) I mean that they are actually healthy to use and not damaging to the body in any way.
The two are totally different categories as the FDA has approved levels of highly toxic, corrosive and carcinogenic substances in just about everything on the market.
It has been trial and error once finding items that meet the criteria.
Many products, though the ingredients are good, just don’t work well.
I have wasted a lot of time and money over the past few years. In doing so I think I can save you some legwork and give you a point in the right direction.
PRODUCTS THAT WORK AND KEEP YOU HEALTHY!
CLEAN by Healthy Home Company is the only product I seem to need!
CLEAN brings back memories of childhood, when ad campaigns all said that your dishes should be “squeaky clean”… with CLEAN, they actually squeak! Plus it smells like tangerines which makes you actually want to clean. Aromatic motivation!
*This has been incredible for my shower doors and for washing my dog! I don’t really need any other cleaner besides this. Though they also make one called TOUGH for stains and gooier or tougher jobs.
*This also works for laundry detergent!
LOTION: I am completely in love with the lotion from Healthy Home. It is super easy to find in your drawer because well, it’s named LOTION. Smooth, silky, fast absorbing – it works wonderfully on your entire body, face included.
BUY SPRAY: REPEL – Healthy Home – This spray on is non aerosol and smells nice. Bugs don’t seem to think so though. I put it on myself and my dog before going for a walk and we remain bite free!
SUNBLOCK: Yep, Healthy Home again. SPF 32 with no chemicals. Amazing! One of the biggest causes of skin cancer is not the sun, it is the chemicals used in commercial sunscreens. Highly recommend if you feel you must use a sunscreen.
DEODORANT: Ok this was the toughest of the tough for me to find. I have tried probably two dozen different kinds and most of them are just not effective and even in some cases caused me to sweat! FRESH from Healthy Homes is an alcohol base (so don’t shave your underarms right before putting it on – I found that out the hard way). Spray on, let it dry and you are good to go all day! Without the dangerous aluminum and other chemicals common in deodorants and antiperspirants. Though this isn’t an antiperspirant, I don’t seem to sweat while wearing it.
CONDITIONER: PomSmooth Conditioner by Juice Organics Hair Care. Healthy and good!
FACIAL SCRUB: Amber’s Earth Buffing Grains hands down beat most facials. It exfoliates and cleanses the skin leaving it smooth.
FACE WASH: The Vermont Soap Company’s Honey Soap. Honey is a citrus clove blend with notes added from local honey. I use this right after the scrub.
PERFUMES: Once you get used to using organic items I have to tell you, perfumes? Stink! I can’t even consider spraying myself with them anymore. As the fragrance industry is not regulated literally anything can be used, however toxic. I like to use oils. Essential oils by themselves though do not have much staying power, so it is best to mix them in an oil base. You can do it yourself or buy blends. My favorites so far come from Esoterica in New Orleans. Money oil and Aquarius oil are what I personally choose, but of course choose your own!
MAKE UP: Juice Beauty is where I have finally landed in buying make up. Commercial make up is terrible for your body. It can contain a whole array of chemicals where as this is organic. Their formulations are made without parabens, petroleum, propylene or butylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, pesticides, phthalates, artificial dyes or synthetic fragrances. Their products are never tested on animals. It combines juice extracts and minerals.
SHAVING CREAM:I have started just using the Vermont Honey Soap to shave. It works just as well without all the chemicals in shaving cream.
CHAPSTICK: Moldavite Essence Lip Balm – by Gaia’s Healing Gifts. This is the smoothest lip balm I have ever used. It is not waxy at all and keeps your lips from getting chapped.
There is no need to flood your body with chemicals in order to maintain the status quo appearance…. Thanks to companies like these – We no longer have to die to be beautiful.
I highly recommend that you click through to all of the linked sites as they offer tons more products than I have mentioned in this article!