What are toxic chemicals in household products

Less poison in everyday life

These ideas are designed to help you avoid problem chemicals where possible. Unfortunately, the options for you as a consumer to protect yourself through a conscious lifestyle are limited. Because we constantly come into contact with substances in everyday products that can accumulate in the body for a long time, the effects of which we do not yet know, or which are already known to be harmful to health.

A solution at the political level is therefore necessary: ​​Hazardous chemicals must be identified and, if necessary, banned. Strengthening the EU chemicals law REACH is therefore particularly important to the WWF in order to finally enforce greater protection for the environment and consumers.

In this way, you can reduce direct contact with harmful chemicals in everyday life

Buy organically grown food whenever possible. Because these are less contaminated with pesticides because their use in organic farming is prohibited. And they contain less harmful additives such as artificial preservatives, colors and flavors.

Wash or peel fruits and vegetables before eating them. This will remove a large part of the pesticides adhering to the surface.

Avoid using pesticides in your garden. In this way, you not only avoid direct contact with the chemicals, but also the ingestion of fruits and vegetables that you have grown yourself.

Avoid canned products in favor of fresh, frozen or dried food. Or if there has to be canned food, then some in jars. Cans are often coated with a resin from which hormone-like pollutants such as bisphenol A can pass into the food. Hormone-like pollutants intervene in the body's own hormone regulation and can cause developmental and reproductive damage.

Avoid permanent hair coloring - especially with products that have the following information: "May produce an allergic reaction".

Buy glass feeding bottles for your baby. Many feeding bottles are made of the plastic polycarbonate, from which bisphenol A can pass into the milk and be absorbed by the baby. The best alternative, if possible, is breastfeeding.

Avoid "unnecessary" chemicals like air fresheners and toilet blocks. They contain synthetic fragrances that can cause allergies and accumulate in people and the environment.

Use environmentally friendly cleaning agents and cosmetics.The best are those from the health food store. If you want to stick with traditional products, make sure they don't contain triclosan. This is an antibacterial disinfectant that accumulates in the environment and has already been found in fish and breast milk. In addition, synthetic fragrances, which are often used in detergents, can also accumulate in the environment and in the human body.

You can easily (and inexpensively!) Replace many cleaning agents and other chemicals used in the household with environmentally friendly alternatives. So z. B.

  • Baking powder as a toilet cleaner and as an oven cleaner
  • Vinegar as a household cleaner
  • Vinegar and salt as a pan cleaner
  • Olive oil as a kitchen table polish
  • Soda as a bleach for tea towels

In particular, many special agents, such as microwave cleaners, are completely unnecessary. They have the same ingredients as common cleaning agents.*

Prefer soaps, shampoos and cosmetics with natural fragrances.Here, too, synthetic fragrances can be avoided, which accumulate in the human body, animals and the environment.

Do not use fabric softener.They contain environmentally harmful surfactants, which use a lot of electricity and water in production and disposal. Instead of fabric softener, it is sufficient z. B: Put a dash of vinegar in the laundry. This makes the laundry soft and the pleasant smell comes from the detergent.*

This helps for soft and pleasantly scented laundry Enclosing lemon peel. Put the lemon peel in a small bag and simply wash it with you.*

It doesn't always have to be a high-pressure cleaner. For many types of dirt, a conventional bucket and cleaning cloth are sufficient. That saves water and electricity!*

Do they prefer water-based paints, varnishes and adhesives. In this way you reduce the use of volatile organic substances that are used as solvents. They pollute the air, contribute to the greenhouse effect and can cause asthma, respiratory diseases and even cancer.

Nature instead of chemistry: conventional means from the garden help to drive away moths:

  • Pick lavender, dry it, fill it in little bags and put it in the closet.*
  • If you don't have lavender in your garden, try to find a piece of cedar wood. Moths don't like the smell either. If after a few months the smell of the wood subsides, it helps to rub it down with some sandpaper so that it can smell like cedar again.*

Apple halves against wood odor: Nobody likes bad smells. To get rid of the annoying wood smell of new furniture, for example, it is advisable to cut an apple in half and put it in the affected cabinet for three days. This measure saves you costs and protects the environment - compared to buying fragrances.*

Orange peels on the heater for a fresh scent in the bedroom. There should be a nice smell, especially in rooms where you sleep. You get a completely natural and environmentally friendly smell with orange peel (organic, of course!) That you put on the heater.*

Natural food trap against silverfish: paper bag, sugar and flour.Silverfish especially like to stay in damp rooms. If you follow our tips and only heat your bedroom a little, but have forgotten to ventilate well at one point or another, it can quickly become too humid. Sprinkle some sugar and flour on a paper bag overnight and place it in your bedroom. The small animals like to look for this feeding trap. If the infestation is more severe, use lavender oil to put the vermin away.*

These tips are particularly valid for pregnant women and those who want to become one, as the hormone-like pollutants could negatively affect the various hormonally controlled phases of embryonic development. For them, the following applies: During this time, the consumption of fatty foods such as fatty meat should be reduced to a low level, as these generally contain more organic pollutants than plant-based foods.

Environmentally friendly alternatives to caring for wooden furniture

Use cooled black tea to clean the surfaces of real wood furniture. With light wooden surfaces, be sure not to let it sit for too long. *

Oak wood looks almost like new when you rub it with warm, colorless wax to which you add a tablespoon of sugar. As soon as the piece of furniture is dry, simply polish again. *

If you have walnut furniture, dust it off well and then wipe it off with milk. With a subsequent polish, this represents the perfect care. *

An undiluted 1: 1 mixture of linseed oil

* You can find this and other tips in the e-book "123 practical environmental tips"