Every year more people are getting diagnosed with cancer. Due to poor chemical regulation, many known carcinogens such as formaldehyde, naphthalene, BPAs, triclosan, among many other health damaging toxins, end up in the water we drink, the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the products we use on a daily basis.
Because they are available on the market many of us assume that they are completely save and aren’t aware of the many health problems they could cause.
Here’s a list of common household products you should get rid of to protect your family’s health and wellness:
1. Air Fresheners and Cleaning Products
In a 2008 study at University of Washington, Anne Steinemann and her team found that many air fresheners on the market are loaded with cancer-causing chemicals. Essential oils are a much better and safer way to freshen up your home.
Moths nibbling holes in your favorite fabrics, not the most pleasant creatures to have in your house. But mothballs aren’t the best method to keep them away. Most types contain paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene, which can cause cell damage and cancer. A much safer and natural alternative: cedar chips.
According the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) 40 percent of the candles sold contain lead in their wicks to make them firmer. They release 5 times more lead than what our children can handle and can cause hormone dysfunction, behavioral issues, and learning disabilities. To protect your family opt for beeswax candles with cotton wicks, or why not try and make your own.
4. Nonstick Cookware
When non-stick or Teflon cookware is heated at high temperature or gets scratched it releases perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and other chemicals which end up in our food. Safer cookware for you to use: glass, cast-iron, copper or ceramic/porcelain coated pans.
Similar to the dirty dozen food list the Environmental Working Group created, National Geographic’s Green Guide lists toxic chemicals found in skin care products. These include lead, formaldehyde, mercury, parabens, and phthalates, and are all known to cause serious health issues, including cancer. Opt for organic, natural skin care products or try and make your own.
6. Conventional Deodorants and Antiperspirants
Deodorants are made so they remain on our body for hours and most of their ingredients get absorbed through the skin. Including cancer-causing compounds such as aluminum, triclosan, and phthalates
7. Shower curtains
Much better is to install a glass panel or door on your shower as some of the curtains available on the market release volatile toxic chemicals or VOCs into the air you breathe.
8. Pressed Wood
Many studies have linked high formaldehyde levels to several types of cancer. Pressed wood is made out of different kinds of wood particles which are glued together with a urea-formaldehyde based substances. Pressed wood has shown to be one of the biggest sources of indoor formaldehyde emissions.
9. Plastic Bottles or Containers and Cans
Plastics bottles or containers and cans often contain bisphenol A (BPA), a phthalate and estrogen-like substance associated with reproductive issues, heart diseases, and cancer. Diethylhexyl adipate (DEHA), another cancer-inducing chemical is often used to make plastic bottles more pliable.
10. Common Pesticides
Many studies associate an increased risk of cancer (especially brain cancer in children) to the use of insecticides, fungicides, disinfectants or other varieties. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made it mandatory to include toxicity level on the label, but it is still up to you to handle them with care and they should be kept out of reach of children. Even better is to opt for an organic way of killing weeds and other pests.
Possible carcinogens to watch out for: chlordane, heptachlor, tetrachlorvinphos, carbaryl, propoxur, lindane, dichlorvos, phosmet, and permethrin.
11. Art Supplies
According the EPA, many paints, varnishes, waxes, and permanent markers contain VOCs which are especially harmful for children. So be mindful what you give your kids to get creative or paint your walls with. Look for the “low-VOC” labeled paints and work outdoors or in well ventilated rooms if possible.
“Cancer: 101 Solutions to a Preventable Epidemic”, by Liz Armstrong, Guy Dauncey, and Anne Wordsworth