New Year. New, Clean Habits.

For most of us, these chillier winter months mean more hours spent indoors and tucked away from the harsh cold and its elements. But cozying up with loved ones in a tightly sealed environment, like a warm house or apartment, can mean more pollutants in the air and health risks to you and your family. That’s not exactly the way you want to start 2017.

It’s especially important during the colder months to have good ventilation throughout your home. House fans work well to direct room air outwards and houseplants are an easy, natural way to clean the air of pollutants. It’s also a good idea to have your air ducts and heating/cooling vents cleaned regularly.

But what about what you’re bringing into your home?

Along with those New Years resolutions, 2017 should be your year to eliminate any and all toxic, chemical-based household products from your living space.

A study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development found levels of common pollutants to be 2 to 5 times higher inside homes than outside, regardless of whether the homes were located in a rural or highly industrial areas (source: EPA.gov). Even more reason to reduce the number of chemicals you bring into your home.

Harmful toxins, in general, can lead to short- and long-term adverse health effects. Children are especially susceptible to airborne toxins found in chemical cleaners and can unfortunately fall victim to them. In 2000, cleaning products were responsible for nearly 10% of all toxic exposures reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers, accounting for 206,636 calls. Of these, 120,434 exposures involved children under six, who can swallow or spill cleaners stored or left open inside the home (source: OrganicConsumers.org)

How to make the switch to healthier cleaning products.

Purchase a citrus- or hydrogen peroxide formula rather than one that’s chlorine-based. Though many manufacturers don’t list their ingredients, the product label should at least list the active ingredient.

Steer clear of any household cleaners with “toxic” hazard warnings on the label. By law, manufacturers need to list such a warning if it applies.

Avoid formulas containing potentially harmful but commonly used ingredients such as alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs), certain glycol ethers (such as 2-butoxyethanol), or heavy metals (such as chromium or selenium).

Skip products with any significant amount of phosphate (above 0.5%). Phosphates cause problems in water bodies, contaminating water, and stressing aquatic life.

[Source: HealthyHouseInstitute.com]

So start your year off right with a greener household cleaner like CitruSafe. Each is formulated with all-natural ingredients. Its cleaning power comes from D-Limonene, a biodegradable solvent derived from orange peel oil. The entire line of cleaners is non-corrosive, non-toxic and phosphate-free making them safe to use around your home, family and pets. Fully biodegradable, CitruSafe Cleaners are also gentle on the planet.

Learn more ways to make the switch to better, healthier cleaners for your home at citrusafecleaners.com.