Every day we're exposed to thousands of man-made chemicals, some of which seep into our bodies and remain there for decades. What that means for our health, we don't fully understand--but I subjected myself to a battery of new tests in search of answers
Posted 11.02.2009 at 2:27 pm
What You Can Do
We actually do have a lot of control over the chemicals we’re exposed to in our homes, where they are 1,000 times as likely to be inhaled as outdoors. Here’s how to start purifying your environment.
- Vent your gas stove outside to avoid releasing polycyclic hydrocarbons, created by incomplete combustion, into your home, says Shelly Miller, an air-pollution researcher at the University of Colorado.
- Use minimal carpet and drapery. “Carpets can be a reservoir for all sorts of particles,” Miller says.
- Use a HEPA filter on your vacuum to keep captured particles from escaping back into the air.
- Look up cosmetic and cleaning products on the Environmental Working Group’s “Skin Deep” database (www.ewg.com), which rates more than 50,000 products on a scale of 0 (safe) to 10 (hazardous). A “data gap” rating lets you know whether the conclusion is based on comprehensive safety data or industry research.