Solution: Instead of using chemical-laden dryer sheets, you can mix up a blend of essential oils that you like (lavender is our favorite). Add a few drops to water and use a spray bottle to mist your clothes and linens with the blend. Also, to cut down on static, try using dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.
Mold: Anywhere damp things sit is at risk of developing mold colonies. You probably know to watch for mold growth in your bathroom, but your mud room, laundry room, and kitchen also are potential mold havens. Mold can make allergy symptoms worse, it can aggravate asthma, and it can put you at risk for respiratory infections.
Solution: This one is easy. Dry thing off. Shake excess water off of shoes and coats before placing them in the mud room or closet. Clean up water splashes and spills in the kitchen. Don’t let damp laundry sit in the washer. Run the fan in your bathroom during and after showers. If you don’t have a fan in your laundry room, install one. Use portable fans as needed in damp areas; it may be a good idea to run a small fan constantly in damp basements.
Pressure-treated wood: Most wood that people use to build decks and other outdoor features is pressure treated. The chemicals used to make the wood resistant to insects and weathering can be toxic. Specifically, many of them may contribute to the development of cancer.
Solution: Choose lumber that’s been treated with a borate-based preservative, rather than alkaline copper quat or copper azole. The borate preservative is much less toxic. Composite materials are also available; inquire at your favorite home center.
Carpets: As one of the most chemically treated things in your home, your wall-to-wall carpeting may be giving off a multitude of toxic vapors. Flame-retardants, stain-resisters and more are used to make carpets stand up to a lot of abuse. But carpet chemicals contribute to a host of health problems from eye issues to cancer. And today’s air-tight, energy efficient houses seal those toxins inside your home.