Every day we all come into contact with hundreds of chemicals, only a fraction of which have been thoroughly tested for safety. These chemicals enter our homes on the soles of our shoes, in the products we use to clean our kitchen floors, in the furnishings we buy. They lurk in shampoos, in shower curtains, and even rubber duckies. Some of these chemicals are known—and yet simply unregulated—carcinogens.
As we build tighter, more energy-efficient homes, chemicals increasingly linger in our air and dust. Indoor air has been described as one of the most serious environmental threats to human health. Yet we still lack data on the sources and implications of many of these toxic exposures.
This lack of data should not paralyze us, though. We can adopt the precautionary principle, which guides us to make decisions based on the information we have now. This principle calls for preventive action in the face of uncertain but suggestive evidence of risk, especially when safer alternatives are available.
To that end, Silent Spring Institute has developed a mobile app called Detox Me, an interactive guide that empowers consumers to eliminate toxic chemicals from their daily lives. The free smartphone app draws on more than 20 years of research by Silent Spring Institute on the health risks associated with everyday exposures, and walks users through simple, research-based tips to help each of them live a healthier life. For more information, visit detoxmeapp.org.
Also, on this page, you will find more ideas for taking action. For an in-depth look at how our studies offer guidance for reducing exposures, check out Too Close to Home.