Dust MopWith spring’s welcome arrival, there’s no better time than now to start thinking about detoxifying our homes. As we begin the annual spring cleaning purge, how can we be sure that we aren’t leaving behind a house filled with stealthily hidden toxic chemicals that can unnecessarily harm us, our families and our pets?
This spring, we can all say goodbye to the “NRDC’s Top 5 Stupidest Household Chemicals” (toxic chemicals that serve no real purpose at all) that might be lurking in our homes, often without us even realizing it.
1) Tetrachlorvinphos and Propoxur on your Pet’s Flea Collars – Stop using flea collars with these neurotoxins. Safer flea and tick control options exist. See NRDC’s Green Paws’ product guide.
2) Toxic Flame Retardants in your Couch – Clean with a damp mop and vacuum your home (with a HEPA filter) and couches regularly. Removing dust decreases your exposure to toxic chemicals added to furniture.
3) Triclosan in Hand Soap – Ditch antibacterial products with triclosan and triclocarban. These chemicals don’t get your hands any cleaner but can interfere with hormones.
4) 2,4-D in Weed Killers – Avoid lawn care products with toxic pesticides such as “weed and feed” products with cancer causing 2,4-D. Pick weeds by hand and spot-apply only when needed.
5) Lindane in Lice Shampoo  – Check lice shampoo labels to make sure lindane, an EPA-banned pesticide and neurotoxin, is not on the ingredients list.
With some simple cleaning tricks to eliminate these risks for good, families can ensure they aren’t exposing their loved ones to harmful toxics. We’ve got quick, easy solutions outlined here that can help people rethink spring-cleaning with health and safety in mind.
Additionally, NRDC has been taking legal action to push agencies like FDA get off the sidelines and do its job to protect the health of our families by getting these toxic products off store shelves.

NRDC senior scientist and mother Dr. Sarah Janssen blogs more about these crucial ongoing fights here:
· My Toxic Couch’s Days Are Numbered: New Furniture Flammability Standard Proposed
· http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/sjanssen/

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*