We care­fully watch what goes into our mouths and on our bodies—organic this, petroleum-​​free that. But when it comes to keeping a healthy home, knowing what to do isn’t so easy. In fact, the average house may con­tain as many as 400 chem­i­cals, some of them toxic, many untested, according to a 2009 study in the journal Envi­ron­mental Sci­ence & Tech­nology. Short-​​term con­tact with one toxin in small amounts isn’t going to kill you. But with so many ques­tion­able chem­i­cals swirling around us, “you def­i­nitely want to take simple mea­sures when­ever pos­sible to lower your expo­sure,” says Phil Brown, PhD, director of the Social Sci­ence Envi­ron­mental Health Research Insti­tute at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity in Boston.


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