5 Common Toxins in Your Home and How to Get Rid of Them

5 Common Toxins in Your Home and How to Get Rid of Them

From toxins in your wallpaper, to heavy metals in carpets and harmful algae in your fish tank, contaminants abound.

Toxins in your home: no wants to think about them. Most of us hope they aren’t there and clean out the cupboards as much as possible.

But they can be easy to find, and sometimes in the weirdest of places. Here are 5 common toxins that you might find lurking your home:

1) Mold in Oatmeal

Who would have guessed it? In a study done by members of the American Chemical Society it was found that oat-based breakfast cereal contains toxic mold. It has something do with the way the cereal products are stored in the U.S.

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Unfortunately, you could get sick from being around it. The toxin ochratoxin, which is present, has been linked to kidney cancer in animals. How much you’re exposing yourself to it overtime remains to be seen, but it may be time to reach for a croissant and fruit. 

2) Algae in Your Aquarium

If you’re feeling like it’s hard to breathe and you’re suffering from symptoms of a respiratory illness like fever, difficulty breathing and flu-like symptoms, it might not be the air pollution outside. Or, even a cold.

The problem could actually be coming from your aquarium.

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Something called ‘red tides’ filled with algal blooms along coastlines can cause these symptoms, when the toxins released by the algae are inhaled. Experts think that the same thing can happen when you clean your home aquarium.

The solution? Researchers haven’t offered one, but cleaning your tank often enough to prevent build up and wearing a mask while doing it could help.

3) Fungus

Severe allergies can cause a person to be allergic to another person.

Is your home calling in sick, with ‘Sick Building Syndrome’?

Experts warn that you could be inhaling more dust than you want. If your home is energy efficient and well-sealed off from the outside, it could be harboring mycotoxins indoors.

Appliances that use water such as humidifiers and coffee makers can lead to favorable conditions for the growth of fungus on other things like wallpaper. These can easily become airborne, leaving you ingesting toxins.

Solution? Have your indoor air quality tested for spores, sniff around to see if you smell it growing and check your walls, floors and ceilings for signs.

4) Air Fresheners

Yes, you can freshen your home, but avoid synthetic air fresheners while doing it. These include those wall plug-ins, scented candles, oil difusers and scented sprays. Why? These products can all contain phthalates, which are chemicals that disrupt your endocrine system by interfering with your hormones. You could be damaging your body by having them around.

5) Stuff Accumulating in Your Carpet

Do you vacuum very regularly? If so, you needn’t worry. But if you don’t always have the time to get it done (like most of us), and you have wall-to-wall carpets, you could be hosting all kinds of contaminants on your floors.

And these could be working their way into your system. If wear your shoes in the house, it could be worse. You could be ingesting heavy metals, dirt and other contaminants that are sifting through your rug.

Experts recommend having your carpets cleaned every once in a while, and vacuuming regularly.

Photo credits: Madhourse/Shutterstock.com

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