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Aerosols, artificial sweeteners, cosmetics, dyes, inks, paints, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, plastics, synthetic fabrics – our homes are overflowing with chemicals. In fact, the domestic chemical industry is now worth a staggering $1.5 trillion per annum. Have you ever wondered whether all of these toxins are having a detrimental effect on your health? Is your home chemical safe? Or are you and your loved ones slowly being poisoned by chemicals?
Those who assure that all is safe in the chemical world point to the rigorous testing of chemicals for toxicity. On investigation, however, we see that toxicity tests are not the greatest guide to the safety of a product. An unexpected harmful effect is always a possibility. And a laboratory cannot fully simulate a chemical’s behaviour in the outside world. Chemicals in a home may interact with each other to give off a toxicity that would not exist in either of the products individually. And, certain chemicals become toxic only after the body’s metabolism processes them. Testing on animals raises yet another question mark. There is no way of telling whether humans will react in the same way as animals to a certain chemical. Indeed, it has been observed that different animal species react differently to chemicals, so it is merely guesswork to assume a human reaction from a test on animals.
So, just what can you do to ensure that your home is a safe, healthy environment for you and your family. Here a 5 tips:

(1) Store chemicals that give off vapors in a place where they will not be able to contaminate the air in your home. Such products as paint, varnish, adhesives, pesticides and cleaners would come into this category.
(2) Have good ventilation in all rooms, including your bathroom.
(3) Wipe your feet before you come inside. This can reduce the amount of lead in your carpet dramatically. Even better is to remove your shoes before going indoors. Additionally, you should have a good vacuum cleaner and use it often.
(4) Remove all flaking leaded paint from surfaces in and around your home. If your plumbing contains lead, always run the cold water tap for a few moments before use.
(5) Keep all toys away from a pesticide treated area for at least two weeks. It has been found that the plastics used in toy manufacture absorb toxins very rapidly. These can be transferred to children through the skin and mouth.

Once undertaking the sensible precautions outlined above, there is no need to be unduly anxious about chemical sensitivity. By being balanced in this matter we will be able to enjoy the plusses of chemical use while avoiding the negatives.