29 Detox Your Grange and Basement

Breast Toxins in Your Garage and Basement

This section is adapted from my upcoming book, Home Detox (Storey, 2023)

Mildew and Mold

Basements and garages are often poorly lit, so water leaks may go unnoticed. Stagnant water collects mold spores that can grow into full-fledged mildew that can develop quickly on porous surfaces like drywall, wood, and concrete. Some forms of mold and mildew can affect immune function. Making sure that your home is free of fungus is important for those whose immune systems are burdened with cancer.

Remediate growth by first removing the water and drying the area with fans and open windows. If you can smell mildew, you may need to set up an air purifier to remove spores. To keep air dry, consider a reusable silica gel desiccant. Once the moisture is under control, mist the area with diluted tea tree essential oil: 1 part tea tree essential oil to 1 part water. This will kill the remaining spores and prevent regrowth. Check the area weekly to make sure it remains dry and mold-free. Use tea tree essential oil as necessary to stop any new growth.


Chronic radon exposure is linked to lung and breast cancer. In outdoor air, radon is diluted and is not a health concern, but as it leaks into houses, the gas accumulates, reaching high concentrations, and becomes a health hazard. 

Use a radon home lab test kit, especially in the basement where radon can become trapped and concentrated. Remediate if needed using a professional service.


Walk down the aisle of the hardware store where products are sold to kill mice, rats, moles, and gophers, and you will be able to smell the poison. These toxins increase cancer.

Use essential oils to deter pests from coming into your home by sprinkling drops of concentrated essential oil around doorways and areas of entry.


A solvent is a substance that dissolves another substance. We find them in many everyday products, including nail polish remover, printer ink, cleaning products, art supplies, rust remover, and paint thinners. Solvents vaporize easily and stay in the air for months. Immediate symptoms of toxic exposure to solvents include feeling lightheaded, dizzy spells, nausea, and vomiting, and long-term exposure can lead to neurological problems and potentially the development of neurological diseases, including multiple sclerosis. So if you smell solvents, such as turpentine in your garage, hunt down the source and remove it. 

Avoid products that contain solvents by reading labels and being on the lookout for benzene (found in paint, glues, detergents), perfluorooctane (in ski wax and water-resistant sprays for sportswear), toluene (in nail polish remover), turpentine (a paint thinner), and xylene (in paint and varnish). Use nontoxic alternatives, such as water-based glues, natural cleaning supplies, plant-based wax or beeswax, and water-based paint, which requires only water for cleanup. 

Detox Your Garage and Basement Summary Checklist

O Remove breast toxins from your garage

O Remove breast toxins from your basement

O Deep clean to remove dust and chemical residue in your garage and basement