***Collaborative post***

You are safe in your home; it’s the outside world that’s dangerous. Or is it? It may be that your home is actually hurting you without you even realizing it. Many things within your home can bring on illness or injury, and if you can reduce that risk or eliminate it altogether, then that is by far the best course of action. So what could be putting you at risk?

Bottled Water 

It’s not exactly the water that’s harmful when it comes to bottled H2O. It’s the bottle that is doing the damage. Many clear plastics use bisphenol A (BPA) in their manufacture, and it’s this that is a problem. It mimics the effects of estrogen and can be particularly harmful to babies and small children. It is possible to buy bottles that are labeled ‘BPA free’ but bear in mind that the replacement for BPA is bisphenol S (BPS) which also has health problems associated with it. The best course of action is to drink tap water, and if you want to take some with you when you leave the house, invest in reusable stainless steel or glass bottles. They’re better for the environment as well as your health. In fact, ditching the single-use plastic altogether is the best option; look for handwash refills and filter jugs, for example, to help you remove plastic from your life. 

Air Conditioning 

A poorly maintained or malfunctioning air conditioning unit can have some nasty health issues related to it. In the worst cases, it can release legionella bacteria into the air, which, if breathed in by at-risk groups, can lead to the potentially fatal legionnaires’ disease. Broken AC units can also create mold in your home and spread dust. As soon as your unit starts to break down, you should find an expert to help you repair it before it becomes too much of a hazard. 

Stain-Resistant Carpets 

Stain-resistant carpets are ever so tempting, especially if you have children or pets (or if you’re in the habit of spilling things in general). However, the industrial chemicals used to repel the stains do have health problems associated with them. The chemical PFOA was used a lot in older carpets, but this is particularly bad for the health. It’s much better for your health to buy a carpet made from natural materials such as wool or sisal. If you do think that staining will occur, then why not steer away from wall-to-wall carpets and use rugs over wooden flooring instead? They are much easier to clean – or replace – if something happens. 

Your Couch 

Unless you have a very new couch, it’s likely that you’ll have one that includes industrial flame retardant chemicals within the upholstery. If so, make sure not to eat while sitting on those cushions, as the chemicals used can migrate from the fabric to your food. Newer couches offer the option of coming with or without the chemicals, so you can choose what you want to do. As a rule of thumb, it’s best not to eat on the couch anyway, as sitting upright aids digestion – a table and chair is the best combination. 

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