It seems like nearly every day there is a new report coming out about the potential for toxic exposure in even the most unlikely places. Toxins are everywhere from in the food we eat to the air we breathe. They’re in the products we put on our body, the drinks we have, and even in our water.

Our bodies absorb these toxins through our skin, our airways and when we swallow them, and the effects can be wide-ranging and particularly very harmful. There can be not only short-term effects of toxins, such as allergies or respiratory problems but also long-term effects. Many toxins are carcinogens meaning they may contribute to the development of cancer later on, or they could lead to serious issues with the reproductive or endocrine systems.

While you can’t necessarily avoid every toxin, there are easy things you can do to reduce your exposure in your everyday life.

Read Labels

The most important thing you can do to protect yourself against toxins and harmful substances is to learn not just to read labels regularly but to understand what they mean. A little bit of self-education can go a long way to help you protect yourself as a consumer.

It’s not just food labels you should be reading. You should also be looking at cosmetics, household products and really anything you use on a regular basis.

Go Natural with Grooming Products

Some cosmetic and haircare companies are moving toward more natural shampoos, conditioners and styling products, as well as makeup and other cosmetics. When you’re choosing hair care products and other grooming and cosmetics items, again, read the label, and also try to choose brands that specialize in natural ingredients.

Clean Your House Regularly

There’s probably not many of us who enjoy deep cleaning our homes, but it’s important not just from a lifestyle perspective. It’s also a good way to eliminate your exposure to some toxins. You and your family are always bringing toxins in the house including dust and dirt, so try to clean and in particular mop, sweep and vacuum often.

Be Wary of Air Fresheners

Air fresheners and varieties of scented candles might make your home smell great, but unfortunately, they can also be a source of toxins and pollutants.

Many standard air freshener brands have something called Phthalates, which are chemicals that can increase your chances of developing asthma and even reproductive problems. If you are going to use scents or candles, again, read the label and try to find a natural brand with limited ingredients.

Exercise

Finally, another way you can get rid of toxins in your life and your body is to exercise. Sweating out toxins is one of the best things you can do for your body, and it’s much more effective than doing something like a juice cleanse.

Your body can store toxic chemicals so when you workout regularly you’re not just breaking down the fat cells, but you’re also flushing toxins out at the same time. If you want even more of a detox effect, visit the sauna after your workouts.