You do a lot to keep you family healthy, but you may not have
considered all the potential dangers of toxic chemicals in your
surroundings. Toxic chemicals can be found in virtually all creatures
and in all environments. Enormous quantities are released every day and
once in the environment, many toxic chemicals can travel great
distances, persist for years, and grow more concentrated in living
things as they move through the food web.
An estimated 1,000 new chemicals enter the market every
year, in addition to the tens of thousands of chemicals already in
commercial use. Very few of these have been tested adequately for the
threats they may pose to wildlife and humans. There is growing evidence
that many of these chemicals can alter sexual and neurological
development, impair reproduction, cause cancers, and undermine immune
WWF has created a list of actions you and your family can take to
reduce your consumption and use of toxic chemicals at home and in your
1. Buy organic cotton clothing, fruits and vegetables, and other goods.
Use these easy household recipes to help make your home toxic-free:
2. Wash and peel fruits and vegetables whenever possible.
3. Stop using pesticides. Green up your yard using natural methods:
4. Use environmentally friendly cleaning products in your home:
- Use traps and biological controls such as parasites and natural predators.
disease and pest-resistant plants. Include in your garden plants that
repel insects such as basil, chives, mint, marigolds, and
- Use compost and mulch to improve soil health and reduce the need for pesticides and fertilizers.
5. Urge your schools and communities to use non-toxic cleaning products and to stop using pesticides.
- Don't buy or use chlorine bleach.
- Use simple and inexpensive cleansers such as soap, vinegar, lemon juice, and borax (see WWF's Household Recipes below).
air fresheners and other perfumed products: Freshen your air by opening
windows or using baking soda, cedar blocks, or dried flowers.
All purpose cleaner
3 tsp. liquid soap, or
¼ cup vinegar, or
¼ cup lemon juice, or
¼ cup Borax
(per gallon of water)
Sprinkle salt on spills immediately
#000 steel wool
Clean grease with rag and vinegar. Sprinkle salt on spills. Let it sit
for a few minutes, then scrape the spill and wash the area clean. For
stubborn spots, use baking soda and steel wool.
½ cup vinegar
1 gallon warm water
Fill your own spray bottle.
Soak fabrics in water mixed with borax, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, or white vinegar.
Controlling Cockroaches and Ants
Combine in equal parts and sprinkle where they crawl.