Last month, I was contacted by the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance who asked me to join them in spreading the word for National Safety Month. Now being the person that I am, I’m a week late. National Safety Month was in June but I have decided there is no harm in carrying it into July! After all, keeping yourself healthy and safe is important at any time of the year.

Mesothelioma Cancer is a rare, devastating cancer that has been linked to environmental toxins such as asbestos and lead-based paint. Shockingly, these environmental toxins can still be found in many homes, schools and commercial spaces built prior to 1980. This infographic gives you some tips on how to check that you are safe and protected from these toxins:

Summer Safety in the Home (1)

Until I was contacted by the alliance, I had never heard of Mesothelioma Cancer, and it’s still something I know very little about so if you would like to learn more about it, go to www.mesothelioma.com  and read up about it here. However, I don’t need to be an expert on specific types of cancer, to know that toxins in our environment, homes and food are responsible for many diseases. Even low level health problems such as digestive issues, constant tiredness, PMT, anxiety, headaches, mood swings, low energy levels (the list could go on and on and on and on…) could be attributed to the toxins that we come into contact with every day.

I’ve talked a lot about eating clean food and it goes without saying that ensuring you eat clean, natural, chemical-free food is going to do wonders for your health. However, there are other ways that unwanted chemicals and toxins can get into our bodies: chemicals from plastic containers and packaging leach into our food, toxins in cleaning products and in toiletries (toothpaste, sun tan lotion, moisturiser, make up, shower gel, mouth wash) are inhaled and seep into our skin, and there are also toxins, hormones and all sorts of chemicals in our drinking water.

Now, I don’t suggest that you do what I have done several times; which is to freak out and vow that from now on you will use only white wine vinegar for cleaning and make all of your cosmetics at home from coconut oil! Believe me, if you are already trying to maintain a happy, healthy life-style that includes regular exercise, home-cooked meals, plenty of sleep, making enough time for family, friends and other hobbies…oh, and going to work, then trying to find time to make all of your own cleaning products and cosmetics as well, may just tip you over the edge. However, it is worth looking into reducing chemicals in your home.

As it is the summer, I think a good place to start is to look at the water you are drinking and the sun tan lotion you are using. So:

  • Whenever possible, filter your cooking and drinking water.
  • Try to use stainless steel or glass containers to store water (and food) and don’t leave plastic bottles hanging around in hot temperatures.
  • Use chemical free sun tan lotion: whilst it is essential to protect yourself against UV rays, most of the more readily available sun tan lotions are packed with chemicals, many of which are suspected to be linked to various cancers and thought to disrupt hormones. I have recently purchased some Neal’s Yard sun tan lotion for my holiday and use this on my face every day in the summer. Finding the correct lotions for you can be tricky (and sometimes pricey) but it’s worth researching. I found this article very helpful.

If you’re keen to go even further this summer, here are some other things you might want to look into changing when you have the time. I’m still researching these and refuse to beat myself up about not being 100% chemical free yet; however, I think just changing things one at a time and being aware of the risks is better than doing nothing at all.

  • Look into chemical-free moisturisers, soaps, shower gels and other toiletries: making your own can be fun and cheap. One of the most effective hand moisturisers I have ever used was made by whisking up shea butter, coconut oil and a couple of essential oils. It takes a while to soak in but it leaves my hands feeling incredible. My attempts at making shower gel have been less successful. I may have another go or I might just research toxin-free products and treat myself.
  • Avoid any cleaning product that contains the words ‘anti-bacterial’ in the description. Here’s an interesting article on the truth about antibacterial products: Five reasons why you should probably stop using antibacterial soap 
  • Use natural products such as bicarbonate of soda and white wine vinegar to clean and/or research more environmentally friendly and toxin-free cleaning products.

This is by no means an exhaustive list and I would love it if you would share your tips and ideas with me to make my never-ending quest for the perfect, toxin-free life, just a little bit easier.

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