A couple weeks ago, I decided to do a few posts about organic products. The first post explained which fruits and veggies one should really try to buy in organic form as well as the non-organic produce that’s not going to hurt you. I know, I know, organic can get pretty pricey, but that’s where my second post comes in. I share 20 different money-saving tips that aren’t a pain in the butt (meaning they don’t require making or growing anything).
Now, on to today’s topic.
I have to say, researching for the post you’re about to read has been a huge eye opener. It seems as though the majority of us are literally surrounded by products or objects containing toxic chemicals that increase our risk of cancer, and other major health issues.
Exposure to a few of these chemicals are pretty much inevitable, but at the same time, limiting our contact with many harmful toxins are well within our control.
Keep reading to find out what toxic chemicals are lurking in and around your home so you can get them out of that house of yours.
1) Plastic Containers
By now, I’m sure we’ve all heard that one should look for plastic containers that are BPA-free. But I am willing to bet not nearly as many of us know that even if the container doesn’t have the toxic chemical, it still has phthalate, what rheumatologist Ali Cohen describes as “an endocrine-disrupting chemical.” Phthalate could increase your risk of infertility, endometriosis, diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
This goes for pre-packaged frozen meals as well (which if you think about it, not only is the container plastic, the covering is too).
Say you throw food that’s chilling in some sort of plastic in the microwave, heat causes the plastic to release chemicals that go right into your food.
Sucky news, huh?
So if you haven’t done so already, start putting your food in glass containers before heating it up.
2) The “Nonstick” in Nonstick Pans
This really blows a donkey because I just received nonstick pots and pans as a wedding present not too long ago. They’re fantastic. I no longer need to use oil to keep the food from sticking, simply because Teflon, the nonstick stuff coating the cookware, takes care of it. And less oil means less calories.
Well, not quite.
This magical coating, that’s been banned in Norway, contains the chemicals Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). When these are heated to high temperatures, it emits toxic fumes.
The American Cancer Society states that studies using lab animals that have been exposed to high levels of PFOA have an increased risk of tumors in the liver, pancreas, mammary glands as well as the testicles.
However, the American Cancer Society basically says just because PFOA causes cancer in animals, doesn’t mean it causes cancer in humans.
I don’t quite understand this conclusion when it’s been shown that people exposed to high levels of PFOA in the workplace have a higher risk of kidney and bladder cancers.
May I also add that a study was done on the employees from the West Virginia plant producing the chemical, and they figured out the higher level of PFOA the workers were exposed to, the higher chance of testicular cancer.
If that’s not proof that this crap causes cancer, I don’t know what is.
Ok, even if they say it hasn’t been determined whether or not PFOA is linked to cancer (which I call bull sh*t), it’s a fact that when this stuff is overheated, the fumes can give you flu-like symptoms called, “polymer fume fever.”
Oh, and did I mention it can bump off birds?
So what do you buy instead of Teflon coated cookware? The website The Kitchn (no, that’s not a typo) recommends cast-iron cookware. Not only does it conduct heat really well, it’s also inexpensive (you can buy a skillet for around $15), and it will last for a buttload of years.
3) Plastic Wrap/ Plastic Food Storage Bags
Plastic wrap as well as food storage bags are so convenient, but they both contain Bisphenol A (BPA) and didehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)…that would totally be a mouthful if I knew how to pronounce it.
These chemicals can leach into your food, and according to Livestrong, “have been linked to tissue changes, genetic damage, chromosomal errors, miscarriage, birth defects, early onset of puberty and hormonal changes.”
It can also harm children’s developing immune systems, disrupt hormones and cause behavioral problems.
Your best bet is to store your food in glass containers.
Did you know that manufacturers for themselves decide whether their products are safe or not? The FDA only covers food and pharmaceuticals, not cosmetics. You could be putting rat vomit on your face or body and never even know.
According to the EWG (Environmental Working Group), out of the 82,000 ingredients that make up personal care products, only “13% of them have been safety-tested, by an industry panel, over the past 30 years.”
A bunch of cosmetics including powder, eye liner, concealer and mascara contain retinyl palmitate, a toxic chemical linked to cancer in lab animals.
And then there are parabens, a preservative found in 75%-90% of all cosmetics. The website Collective Evolution states that in one study, “parabens were detected in human breast cancer tissues.” They are also thought to hamper with hormone and male reproductive functions as well as mimic estrogen.
Another chemical to be leery of is diethanolamine (DEA). You’ll find this in sunscreens, moisturizers, soaps and shampoos. This is the same chemical used in oil refineries to “scrub hydrogen sulphide from process gas emissions.”
The European Union considers DEA unsafe, due to the fact that it can cause liver cancer and changes to the skin and thyroid.
If you check the ingredients in most antiperspirants, you will see Aluminum among them. It is linked to Alzheimer’s, other brain disorders and is associated with breast cancer.
Now I have just scratched the surface here folks, but if you go to Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetics Database, you can check over 64,000 personal care products to see if they’re toxic.
5) Weed Killer
The popular weed killer, Roundup, is sprayed all over, including public parks, golf courses, and schools. But research is now discovering that the herbicide is linked to anywhere from pregnancy issues and birth defects to Parkinson’s Disease to, yep, you got it, cancer.
Organic Consumer shares that “in a comparison of two villages, in the one where Roundup was sprayed, 31 percent of residents had a family member with cancer, while only 3 percent of residents in a ranching village without spraying had one.” This is due to glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, causing DNA damage.
Guy Dauncey states that “if you create a map of the geographical hotspots in the USA for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the map follows the Great Plains agricultural areas, which have the highest level of pesticide use.”
He goes on to say that farmers, pesticide applicators, and golf course supervisors have higher rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It’s also known that dogs are twice as likely to get the canine version of non-Hodgkin’s when their owner sprays their lawn with weed killer.
To find out more crazy facts, read Environmental Working Group’s article on Roundup and cancer.
Be on the lookout for my next post listing five more household products that are toxic to your health. If you are forgetful as me, subscribe to my blog for FREE and never miss another post.
My post is partying here this week:-)