Wisdom Magazine's Monthly Webzine Skip Navigation Links
Wisdom Magazine is also one of the country's largest free holistic publications with 150,000 copies printed bi-monthly in three regional print editions. Wisdom is dedicated to opening people's hearts and minds to the philosophies, products and services of the new millennium.
Home  About  This Month's Articles  Calendar of Events  Classified Listings  Holistic Resource Directory
 Educational Programs  Sacred Journeys & Retreats  Reiki Healing
 Article Archives  What's New in Books, CD's & DVD's  Wisdom Marketplace
 Where to Find Wisdom Near You  Subscriptions  Web Partner Links
 Advertising Information  Contact Us
Denali Institute of Northern Traditions
Miriam Smith
Margaret Ann Lembo
Lindsey Arsenault
Vicki Monroe
Educational Programs
Vibes Up
Light Healing
Lindsey Arsenault
Alternatives For Healing

5 Ways to Reduce Toxin Exposure in the Bathroom

by Dr. Sarah Cimperman, ND


According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be “more seriously polluted” than outdoor air, even in the largest and most industrialized cities.1 We may never be able to escape all of the toxins in our environment, but there are steps we can take to minimize our exposure. The bathroom is a good place to start because it often contains several sources of chemicals in a small space, making the concentration of toxins higher than in other areas of the home. Here are five ways to reverse that trend.

#1 | Get rid of air fresheners.

Fragranced products like air fresheners and scented candles contain chemicals including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that escape from products in the form of gases. VOCs are up to ten times more concentrated in indoor air than outdoor air according to the Environmental Protection Agency.2 They’ve been shown to have harmful effects on our health which range from headaches2 and high blood sugar3 to damage of the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system.2 Get rid of any air fresheners or scented candles. If you need an alternative, use a diffuser with pure organic essential oils, but it’s better to just open the windows and get some real fresh air.

#2 | Replace plastic shower curtains.

Most shower curtains and shower curtain liners are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This plastic material releases toxins in the form of gases including VOCs and chemicals that disrupt hormones in the body. Heat can increase the release of toxins from PVC, like when curtains and liners come into contact with hot water and steam during showers. Plastic shower curtains and liners made from PEVA (polyethylene vinyl acetate) or EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) are less toxic than those made with PVC, but there are better options. Look for shower curtains and liners made from hemp, organic cotton, linen, or recycled sail cloth.

#3 | Evaluate your personal products.

More than ten thousand different chemical ingredients are used to make personal care products.4 Nearly ninety percent of these ingredients have never been evaluated for safety and those that have include chemicals that can cause cancer, harm the reproductive system, and disrupt hormones in the body.4 Every day, on average, people use nine personal products containing 126 unique ingredients, according to a survey by the Environmental Working Group.4 They also found that one in four women use fifteen or more products daily.4 Get rid of any personal products that aren’t being used and check the safety of the rest with the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database [https://www.ewg.org/skindeep] from the Environmental Working Group. You can search by product, ingredient, or manufacturer to read toxicity information and safety reviews on items like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, makeup, hair-styling products, nail polish, contact lens cleaner, bubble bath, sunscreen, and baby products. If their safety rating causes concern, use the same database to find safer alternatives or consider using natural items like vinegar, yogurt, honey, almond or coconut oil, sea salt, oats, aloe vera, shea butter, and essential oils in your personal care routine.

#4 | Use cleaner cleaners.

Cleaning products can contain dangerous chemicals that are often unlisted. In the United States, manufacturers are not required to disclose all of a product’s ingredients on the label, which makes it very difficult to evaluate their safety. The Environmental Working Group makes it easier by helping consumers decode labels. Use EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning [http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners] to understand the toxicity of the cleaning products you use and find alternatives if necessary. Or you can replace chemical cleaners with white vinegar which cleans by dissolving surface residue, baking soda which acts as an abrasive agent, and pure essential oils which act as disinfectants because they are naturally antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. (Note that vinegar but should not be used on porous or delicate surfaces including natural stone such as marble, limestone, calcite, or dolomite. Clean these surfaces with liquid castile soap diluted in warm water instead.)

#5 | Filter your shower water.

Chlorine is added to tap water to kill harmful microorganisms and in high concentrations it can have negative effects on us as well, including an increased risk of developing bladder and rectal cancers.5 Even though we’re exposed to chlorine every time we drink unfiltered tap water, studies show that the greatest exposure comes from hot and steamy showers where chlorine is inhaled and absorbed through the skin.6 You can filter the chlorine out of your tap water using a point-of-entry filter, which filters all water coming into your home, or a point-of-use filter that attaches to your shower head. Carbon-based filters remove chlorine as well as some volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Reverse-osmosis filters also remove hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6, a carcinogen that has been detected in 89 percent of tap water samples collected in cities across the country.7 You can learn what’s in your water with EWG's Tap Water Database [https://www.ewg.org/tapwater] and use EWG's Updated Water Filter Buying Guide [https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/water-filter-guide.php#.W7Gr_fZReM9] to find the best filter for you.

References are available upon request. Dr. Sarah Cimperman, ND is a naturopathic doctor in private practice in New York City and author of the book, The Prediabetes Detox: A Whole-Body Program to Balance Your Blood Sugar, Increase Energy, and Reduce Sugar Cravings (www.prediabetesdetox.com). Follow Dr. Cimperman on Facebook, Twitter and her blogs, A Different Kind of Doctor and The Naturopathic Gourmet. Find her at www.drsarahcimperman.com.


Add Comment

Article Archives  This Month's Articles  Click Here for more articles by Dr. Sarah Cimperman, ND
Vicki Monroe
Lindsey Arsenault
Light Healing
Miriam Smith
Kiros Book
Alternatives For Healing
Lindsey Arsenault
Educational Programs
Denali Institute
Margaret Ann Lembo

Call Us Toll Free: 888-577-8091 or  |  Email Us  | About Us  | Privacy Policy  | Site Map  | © 2016 Wisdom Magazine