Chemical Detox Tips: 10 Toxic Products in Your Home

These common products are poisoning you. Here are easy, healthy alternatives.


Vinyl / PVC

We know plastic is not eco-friendly for many reasons, but vinyl is the worst of all plastics. The EU (European Union) and over ten other countries have banned many forms PVC (including vinyl), because it causes cancer, reproductive problems, and is an endocrine disruptor (think cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders).

Chemical Detox Tips: 10 Toxic Products in Your Home

Just say NO (…to the vinyl flooring, not the cutie!)

PVC is most commonly found in flooring and toys. The chemicals in PVC have been linked to hormone disruption and eventually contaminate the air — and you! Children in homes with vinyl flooring containing PVC are nearly 90% more likely to develop bronchial obstruction and symptoms of asthma compared to children living in homes with floors that are PVC-free.

Chemical Detox Tip:

Chemical Detox Tips: 10 Toxic Products in Your Home

PVC: Not a good look anyway.

It may not be practical to rip your PVC floor out, but consider updating and investing in cork flooring, which is super sustainable and healthy. A cork floor provides a comfortable cushion underfoot because it “gives” when compressed. Cork is also a natural thermal and acoustic insulator, which means rooms with cork flooring are naturally warm and quiet. Aesthetically versatile, cork flooring is available in tiles and planks in many styles, colors and sizes. You can even get it in planks that mimic the look of wood.

If your child (or cat’s) PVC toy happens to go missing, I’m sure you can outsmart them through the purchase of a new (healthier) one!

Make sure your shower curtain isn’t vinyl. If it is, replace it with a non-toxic shower curtain.


Chemical Detox Tips: 10 Toxic Products in Your Home


These tips are easy to do and could save you, your pets or your family from some serious health conditions.

Bonus Tip: Air Filters & Conditioners

Watch out for air filters and air conditioners that produce negative ions. (If you smell a faint chlorine-like smell, it’s toxic.) Because ionizing air cleaners produce ozone, a byproduct that has been examined through almost a century as a harmful pollutant and a known lung irritant – you may assume that these products have long since been removed from the market. Alas, as self-regulated industry became filled with dubious products, many manufacturers and retailers continued to carry and sell air ionizers, despite the proven dangers of ozone production. In fact, many manufacturers these days often include ionizing features into their air purifiers to simply “pad” the feature list to justify the air purifier’s higher cost. There is some irony in purchasing a product that is supposed to improve your indoor air quality, but instead introduces a pollutant byproduct into your home.

Here are more of my favorite products for a healthy home:

Check out the GreenGuard Guide to Manufacturers, EWG, and ConsumerSafety.org before you buy products. They’ll tell you if the product you’re about to buy is going to off-gas toxic disease-causing chemicals into your home for years to come.

I know — it’s a minefield, and there’s a lot to remember, but it’s your health and your future that’s at stake!

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Avatar of Hilary Rowland

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 171 Comments

  1. Avatar of Edith Glover

    Edith Glover

    *sigh* I’m guilty of having a good basketful of these toxic products you said we all should AVOID!

  2. Avatar of Angie Becker

    Angie Becker

    Interesting article! Sadly, our sheets, pillows, mattresses and blankets are full of chemicals and flame retardants that can interfere with our health.

  3. Avatar of Muriel Vargas

    Muriel Vargas

    Baking soda has “magic.” It cleans, deodorizes, and scours.

  4. Avatar of Amy Watson

    Amy Watson

    Chemical detox of home takes time and patience. Thanks for the tips!

  5. Avatar of Dianne Copeland

    Dianne Copeland

    I inhale and exhale toxic chemicals even in my own home 🙁

  6. Avatar of Shawna Henry

    Shawna Henry

    Oh no! I’m surrounded by awful synthetic chemicals everyday!!!! BAD!

  7. Avatar of Melba Harrington

    Melba Harrington

    Such an eye opener! I did not realize how much I’m surrounded by toxins on a daily basis!

  8. Avatar of Sheri Chapman

    Sheri Chapman

    Thanks for this informative article.

  9. Avatar of Brandy Warner

    Brandy Warner

    Simple ways like keeping my bathroom fan on for 15 minutes after showering help.

    • Avatar of Lillian Arnold

      Lillian Arnold

      Nice one! This reduces condensation, limiting the risk of mold growth.

  10. Avatar of Margaret Palmer

    Margaret Palmer

    If I have new furniture, I let them “off-gas” for one week in the garage before bringing it into the house. Can you imagine that even “carpets” can have VOCs?

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