Guest Post By Charlotte Meier from here to share with us her insight and TOOLS for knowing what’s in our house and consequently in our body!

When cold and flu season strikes, many people avoid public places to minimize their exposure. However, holing yourself up at home might backfire, as there are equal dangers to your health already lurking in and around your home. Many of these dangers are introduced through the potentially harmful ingredients in the products you purchase and use in your home, such as household cleaners, chemicals, and even processed food products.

Knowing how to read labels and identify risky ingredients is one of the most effective ways to cut down on the levels of toxins and pollutants in your home. These tips will help you read product labels to choose the least-toxic products for your family’s needs.

Ignore Marketing Messaging

Many household and personal care products make claims such as all-natural or organic, yet the regulations vary on the legal use of such terms. In many cases, there are certain limits to the amounts of different substances that a product can contain while still meeting the criteria to make these statements on their packaging. As a general rule of thumb, ignore the large advertising messages printed boldly on the packaging; instead, look at the product label to get the full story.

Look for Products with Fewer Ingredients

If you’ve ever looked at an ingredients list on a product label, you may have been shocked to discover that common products contain dozens of different ingredients, many of which you can’t pronounce. One trick of the trade is to give preference to products that contain the least number of ingredients, and preferably ingredients you recognize and can pronounce.

Know Which Ingredients to Pay Attention To

It’s also helpful to know that the ingredients are listed in order of quantity, meaning the ingredients listed first are present in larger quantities than those listed last. The ingredients listed at the very tail end of the (usually) long list may only be present in trace amounts, but they still may pose risks to your family, so don’t ignore them completely.

Make a List of Ingredients to Avoid

There are thousands of ingredients used in products spanning everything from shampoo to fruit snacks. Obviously, you’d be hard-pressed to memorize every possible ingredient in every product you use. That said, you can begin to make a list of ingredients you choose to avoid as you learn which substances are potentially harmful or are dangerous for you or a family member due to a specific health condition.

Use Tools to Help You Make Safer Choices

It’s much easier to keep a list on your smartphone that you can refer to as you identify possible red flags while reading labels. Additionally, you might keep a list of your preferred, safe products, or you can use an app that offers safety information on products, such as the Read the Label app, which focuses on cosmetics, or the Good Guide app, which has a database of more than 65,000 products and offers detailed ratings and information with an easy barcode-scanning feature. For foods, consider My Food Facts, another app with a barcode-scanning option to make checking food safety quick and easy.

If you or a family member is suffering from a chronic health condition as a result of consistent exposure to harmful substances in household products, a detoxification program may help. Detox programs are designed for different purposes, including fat flushes, organisms and food cleanses, heavy metal cleanses, and even detoxification from drugs and alcohol. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if a detox program is right for you, and then commit to a healthier lifestyle by using these tips to choose safer products for your home and family.

Image via Pixabay by Vicious-Speed

Guest Post By Charlotte Meier from

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