The home is where the family dwells. For many, it’s considered to be the safest place one could ever be. While we aim to keep our house clean and in order, little do we know that we are actually surrounded by toxic chemicals in our own sanctuary. The majority of the products we use daily have hidden toxins and can bring irritation to the eyes and skin, or worse, serious health damage. Here are some home items that have chemicals that may be polluting your home.
“The majority of the products we use
daily have hidden toxins and can bring
irritation to the eyes and skin, or worse,
serious health damage.”
Personal care products
Shampoo, soap, nail polish, sunscreen, and make-up are products that most of us use every day. Unfortunately, they contain known or possible carcinogens, mutagens, and reproductive toxins. Some cosmetics and personal care products also contain triclosan, a form of dioxin associated with physical effects such as decreased fertility, birth defects, weakened immune system, and hormone disruption. Even products that claim to be organic may contain the chemical 1,4-Dioxane, a toxic contaminant, so be more vigilant.
Many household cleaning products contain toxic chemicals that could irritate the skin, eyes, and the respiratory system. Some cleaners contain hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid, and lye. Cleaning products are also known to be a cause of accidental child poisoning. There are households that avoid these by using microfiber cloths or towels. This new cleaning method uses only water and these reusable cloths. Regular rags don’t pick up dust and a fingerprint as well as microfiber cloths do. Switching to this style can help you and your family reduce chemical use.
Plastic water bottles
Bisphenol A (BPA), a xenoestrogen chemical, is found in epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics, which are often used in containers for storing food and beverages. Thus, food stored in plastic and water sold in plastic bottles may be contaminated. Exposure to BPA can possibly have effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. Avoid BPA as much as possible by using a BPA-free container. Also, don’t ever refill a plastic water bottle because this type of plastic bottle is only recommended for one-time use.
Coatings on pans and furniture
Your ever-reliable non-stick pans are made that way because of Teflon. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is used to manufacture Teflon. They are stain-resistant coating and therefore also used in carpets, clothing, and furniture. PFOA exposure is linked to high cholesterol, cancer, and pregnancy-induced hypertension.
Upholstery and carpet shampoo
Rug cleaners contain perchlorethylene, which is considered to be one of the most carcinogenic chemicals to humans. It can cause liver, kidney, and nervous system damage. Instead of using carpet and upholstery shampoo, you can opt to use non-chemical cleaning agents. For instance, salt can take out wine or fruit stains, club soda can remove lighter stains, and baking soda will help freshen your carpet’s smell.
Most air fresheners contain formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. It is associated to allergic reactions, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, chest pain, and immune dysfunction, among others. You can add scent to your home by going for essential oils and incense sticks, or by simply opening the windows to get some fresh air.
How have you replaced toxic products with safer ones in your home?
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