Tips for Healthy Homes

You have a smoke alarm and a fire extinguisher. You've got a first aid kit and flashlight. You might even have double-locks on the doors and an alarm system. By traditional accounts your home is safe. Or is it?

Your home may not be as a safe as you think, particularly from exposure to toxic chemicals. But it can be. Here are tips to get you started towards a healthier home.

Tip #1: How can I clean my home without toxic products?

Use homemade cleaners, look for third party-certified products, and choose mist spray bottles over aerosol spray cans. More >

Tip #2: Does antibacterial soap work better than regular soap?

For household use, regular soap is just as effective at killing germs as antibacterial soap, and it’s healthier for you and the environment. More >

Tip #3: Should I be concerned about storing my food in plastic?

Store your food in stainless steel or glass containers to reduce your exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) and other toxic chemicals.  More >

Tip #4: Is there a way to use my cell phone and reduce my exposure to radiofrequency energy?

Keep a distance between your phone and your body to reduce exposure to radiofrequency energy.  More >

Tip #5: How can I avoid flame retardant chemicals?

Avoid flame retardant chemicals by dusting, vacuuming, and washing your hands often. More >

Tip #6: Eeek! I've got mice – what should I do?

Seal out rats and mice, remove food and water sources, and use snap traps if needed. More >

Tip #7: How can I control insect pests in my house?

Prevention and soapy water are more effective than sprays at controlling insect pests. More >

Tip #8: When I see "fragrance" listed on the ingredients of a product, should I be concerned?

Try to look for products that do not contain "fragrance," "perfumes," or "phthalates." More >

Tip #9: What is the difference between taking my clothes to a dry cleaner or to a wet cleaner?

Wet cleaning is an environmentally friendly garment cleaning alternative to traditional dry cleaning. More >

Tip #10: Should I eat fish caught in San Francisco Bay?

Choose the right type of fish for your gender and age to avoid unsafe levels of mercury and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs). More >

 

 

Tip #11: Should I be concerned about using non-stick pans?

Use stainless steel or cast iron pans to avoid the risk of polymer fume fever. More >

Tip #12: How do I choose safer cosmetics and personal care products?

Read the ingredients list closely and check the Skin Deep or Good Guide databases. More >

The Precautionary Principle

San Francisco is the first US city to adopt the Precautionary Principle. SF Environment’s toxics and health programs are based on some of the Precautionary Principle’s fundamental guidelines: it’s better to be safe than sorry; let’s prove something is safe rather than assume it’s harmless; and let’s be cautious when something may be harmful even if it isn’t proven yet. That’s why SF Environment is working to make every home safer.