Healthy home guide

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The environment affects human health, often in more ways than you might think. Your home environment is no exception. The air you breathe, water you drink, things you touch, and types of chemicals in your home affect your health.

You can take action to improve the health of your home by learning to:

  • Spot hazardous household products.
  • Store hazardous household products properly.
  • Clean your home with safer chemicals.
  • Shop for safer products.

I want to:

How can you improve the health of your home?

Click the image to go to our Healthier Living Starts at Home publication.
There are simple things you can do today to improve the health of your home and environment:

  • Know what hazardous products are in your home.
    Look for products labeled "Caution," "Warning," "Poison," or "Danger."
  • Store hazardous products properly.
    Keep hazardous products in a tray, tub, or bin. Make sure containers have the original label (tape it down if it comes loose). Keep out of reach of children and pets.
  • Clean out and dispose of hazardous products.
    Always dispose of hazardous household products correctly. Never dump them down the drain, sink, toilet, or trash.
  • Choose safer products.
    Look for products with less toxic chemicals, such as those with the Safer Choice label.

How to spot and store common hazardous products at home

Many common products you have at home can contain hazardous chemicals. Be sure to:

  • Store these products in bins, trays, or other storage options. 
  • Keep these products out of reach of pets and children.
  • Keep the labels on so everyone knows what the product is.
Warning labels: Skull and cross bones, red X, yellow triangle

How do you know if a product is hazardous?

Look for warning labels. Many products that are hazardous have words or pictures to show:

  • Danger.
  • Warning.
  • Poison.
  • Caution.

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Are there toxic chemicals in household products with no labels?

Yes! There are products in most of our homes that contain toxic chemicals that come with no labels. Why? Because there are toxic chemicals widely used that are unregulated (i.e. there is no oversight to their use).

Shop for safer products

Part of improving the health of your home involves choosing products that are less-toxic to start with. Here are our recommendations for how to find products that are effective at what they do, but contain less toxic chemicals.

Look for EPA's Safer Choice labels

If you see the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Safer Choice program label on products, this is because the product is certified to:

  • Contain the safest ingredients.
  • Be just as effective as similar, more toxic products.

Click the image to go to Cradle to Cradle's website
Other safer products​

Cradle to Cradle is another certification program that lists many products (clothing, building materials, etc.) that are certified as less toxic, responsible, and ethical.

Find Cradle to Cradle Certified products and brands online or in stores. They certify based on a tiered system.

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Are you a business owner?

Business owners can improve their impact on the environment too by: