Common Household Toxins  by Dr Elaine Cebuliak

It’s amazing some of the toxic elements that are part of our home and front and backyard! This month we address some of these areas and some natural alternatives.

Coal Tar Driveway Sealant

If you’re looking to seal your driveway, you may not have considered safety. Coal-tar sealants, “contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, which studies suggest can be toxic, causing cancer or other genetic mutations in your body. When rainwater and other precipitation hit your driveway, the toxic chemicals run off into your yard and into your local drinking water supply.” Pets walking on wet driveways, licking their paws or drinking from puddles will be put at risk.

Alternatives: Gravel, so that rainwater can seep through your driveway and into the ground safely and naturally. However if your paved driveway needs to be sealed, simply make sure that it is not coal-tar based. The bigger stores have already banned them, but be sure to read the product in order to be safe.

Synthetic Pesticides

Be it for insects, weeds, fungus or moulds, pesticides are designed to kill something. Our dogs are at risk simply due to their proximity to the application of them.

Alternatives: Cleaning up food and crumbs from the floor and sealing food in storage should avoid most interior pests. Take a walk around your home and seal any entry points to also help to protect your home. For a healthy green lawn, research organic solutions to lawn maintenance. Healthy grass has deep, thick roots that choke out weeds naturally. Or consider an alternative to lawns altogether by planting native flowers and plants. Choosing native plants generally means less maintenance as they are best suited to your area by their very nature.

Harsh Cleaning Products

It’s a contradiction in terms to “clean” something with toxins that may trigger asthma attacks, cause cancer and skin irritation. Is it really clean if you had to wear gloves to place it on a surface? Your dog won’t have a choice while he’s walking around.

Alternatives: Vinegar! 1:9 ratio to water will kill 90% of bacteria and many spores. Increase the ratio for cleaning glass to 1:1. It dries to a lovely shine and is completely safe for your pets to come into contact with. Keep in mind that a sterile home is NOT a healthy home. Healthy people and healthy pets with healthy immune systems can fend off any threats naturally.

Food Storage Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a hormone disrupting chemical linked to male infertility, diabetes and heart disease. Canned food, plastic storage or feeding bowls can leach BPA into your dog’s food or water. While it’s been banned from children’s products, pet products are slower to change.

Alternatives: Stainless steel feeding bowls and glass storage containers will protect your pets. They’re also environmentally friendly!

Synthetic Fragrances Chemical fragrances can be found throughout every home and almost every product. While everyone loves a “fresh scent” that chemically induced scent is dangerous. Chemicals used are known to be carcinogens, endocrine disrupters, and reproductive toxicants, even at low levels.

Alternatives: Always select unscented. In the end, general household cleaning and good ventilation will win out every time.

To book an appointment with Dr Elaine and her holistic vet team visit: www.animalwellness.com.au

Dr Elaine Cebuliak

Dr Elaine is a highly experienced holistic vet and pioneer of Animal Wellness in Brisbane. She also assists with many charitable projects in Australia and in Bali.

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