Don’t use pesticides for pests
Pesticides are toxic chemicals for killing insects, rodents, weeds, bacteria, and mold.
• Keep insects and rodents out of your home. Clean up crumbs and spills. Store
food in tightly closed containers. Seal cracks around doors, window sills, and
baseboards. Repair drips and holes. Get rid of standing water.
• Use baits and traps instead of sprays, dusts, and bombs.
• Don’t use chemical tick-and-flea collars, flea baths, or flea dips on pets.
• Hire only licensed pest exterminators.
• Find pesticide-free alternatives at: www.prhe.ucsf.edu/prhe/tmlinks.html#
Use a wet mop
Toxic substances like lead, pesticides, and flame retardants are present in dust.
• Sweeping or dusting with a dry cloth can spread the dust into the air instead
of removing it.
• Use a wet mop or wet cloth to clean floors and surfaces.
Take off your shoes at the door
Shoes can carry toxic chemicals into your home. Wipe shoes on a sturdy doormat if
you want to keep them on.
Clean your home with non-toxic products
It is easy and cheap to make effective, non-toxic cleaners.
• Use common items like vinegar and baking soda.
• Find out how to shop for non-toxic cleaning products and get recipes to make
your own at: www.prhe.ucsf.edu/prhe/tmlinks.html#cleaningproducts
Don’t dry-clean your clothes
Most dry-cleaning systems use a chemical called perchloroethylene (PERC). Drycleaned clothes release PERC, polluting the air in your home. Use water instead.
Most clothes labeled “dry-clean only” can be washed with water. Hand wash these
clothes or ask your dry cleaner to “wet clean” them for you.
Choose safer home improvements
Many paints, types of glue, and flooring materials can release toxic chemicals long
after you complete a project.
• Ask for “VOC-free” and “water-based” materials.
• If you are pregnant, don’t work on or near remodeling projects.
• Stay away from recently remodeled rooms.
• Learn more about safer materials at www.prhe.ucsf.edu/prhe/tmlinks html#
Avoid lead exposure
There may be lead in house paint, dust, and garden soil. Any home built before 1978
may have lead paint.
• Call the National Lead Information Center for information about how to
prevent exposure to lead at 800-424-LEAD.
• If you have lead paint in your home, cover it with a fresh coat of paint,
wallpaper or tiles.
• Never sand or remove lead paint yourself. Hire a contractor who is certified
in lead abatement.
Test your home for radon
Radon is a radioactive gas found in many basements and ground floors.
• Purchase a testing kit at your local hardware store. Kits are cheap and easy to
• Learn more about radon by calling 1-800-SOS-RADON or at:
www.prhe.ucsf.edu/prhe/tmlinks.html#radon. (See Chapter 6,
“Preventing Cancer,” for more on radon.)
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel.