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Detoxifying your environment for cancer prevention - by Taffie Lynn Butters




Taffie Lynn Butters is a board-certified health coach at The After Cancer. She's a breast cancer survivor and is passionate about helping others recovering from cancer with lifestyle interventions.


Toxic environments

Here’s the truth, most of us live in a toxic environment. Not because we want to, but because most of the products for our homes are not made with our health in mind. As a culture we are being marketed to with the intention of brand recognition, fast and cheap, or disposable. Unfortunately, none of which are necessarily with prevention of disease as a focus. 


In this blog, I will go over some simple steps to help you detoxify your environment to make it a safer healthier place to live. While we cannot completely eliminate all toxins, small changes add up, and can make a big impact!


Information is power

One of the first places to start when detoxifying your environment for cancer prevention is to have a trusted resource. The Environmental Working Group has a mission: “To empower you with breakthrough research to make informed choices and live a healthy life in a healthy environment.” (www.ewg.org) This amazing organization has been shining the light on harmful practices and products since 1993. EWG offers free databases and consumer guides to help you make informed choices about food, water, personal products that can easily be accessed on their website, or in a convenient app for your phone. You will also find advice on home products and current legislation efforts to change harmful practices.


The biggest problem with chemicals and other synthetic substances in our environment is that they can mimic and often disrupt the natural influence that hormones have on our body, which can lead to the development of diseases. A recent Newsweek report revealed that a new study in the journal “Environmental Health Perspectives” searched through multiple government databases are discovered evidence that 921 chemicals point toward the promotion and development of breast cancer alone. This disturbing news is triggering a concern to layout a path forward for manufacturers to eliminate these chemicals, but this process will take time.


What you can do to detoxify

So, what can we do now to create a safe and healthy environment for ourselves and our families? The first step is not to panic and start small. It’s a good idea to trade out products slowly or as they run out. While replacing items can be expensive the cost to your health in the long run makes it worthwhile. Be creative. Many items can be purchased at Ikea, Amazon, and even Walmart. The idea is to reduce your toxic load, and remember it is impossible to completely eliminate every exposure.


Let’s take a look room by room of what small steps you can start taking today!


Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the best places to start when detoxifying your environment because it’s where we feed and nourish our body. Here are some items to consider:

  • Trade all plastic for glass or stainless steel – plastic has PFAS and can infiltrate your bloodstream with micro-plastics. This includes plastic forks, cups, and cutting boards

  • Use wood or stainless steel utensils

  • Use stainless steel or glass water bottles

  • Replace any “non-stick” cookware  - with stainless steel or ceramic

  • Use non-bleached waxed paper instead of foil

  • Limit or avoid microwave use

  • Use unscented trash bags

  • Opt for unscented soaps and detergents (ewg resource for trusted brands)


Laundry

  • Swap dryer sheets for wool dryer balls

  • Use clean detergent (ewg resource)


Bedroom

  • Place phone in EMF safe container or remove when charging

  • Opt for sprays and candles scented with essential oils

  • Opt for hard floor surfaces

  • Choose natural fiber sheets, organic when possible


Bathroom

  • Use non-toxic cleaners (ewg resource)

  • Use natural fiber towels

  • Choose clean personal products (ewg resource)


Living Room

  • Choose candles scented with essential oils instead of fragrances. (fragrances are not regulated and are mostly synthetic and made with chemicals)

  • Sweep or vacuum often

  • Leave your shoes at the door – many viruses and bacteria come into homes on your shoes!

  • Use a quality air filter


Home Décor

  • Look for low VOC paints and green products when possible.

  • Opt for natural hard floor surfaces

  • Avoid “stain resistant and water repellant” coatings


Creating a non-toxic environment can be fun and rewarding. Ask yourself next time you make a purchase will this reduce my toxic load? If the answer is yes, you are one step closer to a healthy home! Enjoy the journey!


 

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