Ready to reduce home toxins by 60%? Yeah, I thought so. And you’ll love how simple the solution is. Ready for it? I’m going to tell you right here in the first paragraph: Take your shoes off.
That’s it! Reduce home toxins that easily. Seems to good to be true, right? But it is. The truth is that research has shown that 85% of the soil and contaminants inside your home can be found within 10 to 12 feet of the exterior doors. Think about all the places your feet go throughout a day. The grocery store. The gas station. The park. Now think about how many other feet are also trekking around those places. Feet that have been who-knows-where.
What’s coming in?
Research has shown that there may be a whole lot more coming into your house than you might be aware of. Things like insect fragments, lead dust, pesticides, pollen, dust mites, animal dander, hair, human skin flakes, fungal spores or cigarette ash. In other words, a lot of gross and a lot of home toxins. In fact, a recent study indicates that cockroach exoskeletons and droppings found in household dust can trigger asthma.
Fact: Around 30 to 40 percent of the contaminants inside your home are brought in from outdoors.
This can be especially problematic for children who are crawling and sitting on the floor a lot who are exposed to home toxins even more.
Reduce home toxins: Take your shoes off.
In a recent warning about lead exposure, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) specifically recommends taking your shoes off when you come inside. According to a report called the Door Mat Study, lead-contaminated soil from the outside causes almost all the lead dust inside homes, and it notes that removing shoes at the door cuts lead dust by 60 percent.
Even better: This study also explains that this simple act of taking off your shoes may reduce exposure to lawn and garden pesticides, wood smoke, industrial toxins, mutagens, dust mites, and other allergens, too.
Other barefoot benefits
Growing up, we always took our shoes off in our house (although it was because my mom had five kids and cleaning fetish). In college, as a modern dance major, I had to take my shoes off before entering the studio every day. I soon grew to love being free from restrictive shoes. Going barefoot (or even wearing socks) allows your feet to move through its whole range of motion. It’s better for your feet, posture, and health. (And then there’s the whole earthing thing, too!)
Oh yeah, removing your shoes will also:
- Decrease time cleaning. (The professional cleaning industry estimates that we track 85% of the dirt in our homes in from the outside on our shoes or paws of pets. )
- Reduce wear and tear on flooring, especially carpets.
So there you go! A super simple way way to reduce home toxins by 60% while providing all sorts of other benefits, too. Plus, I love my little shoe bench. In my book that’s a SUPER WIN!
Are you concerned about home toxins? Do you take your shoes off?
Roberts, J.W. & Ott, W.R. (2007). Exposure to Pollutants from House Dust. In Ott, W.R., Steinemann, A.C. & Wallace, L.A. (Eds.) Exposure Analysis, 319–345. New York: Taylor & Francis.