You’d like to think that your home is your sanctuary, but did you know that it could also be filled with toxic culprits? From seemingly innocent fragrance to cosmetics and even shower curtains, unsuspecting hazards abound. Lean in as we uncover 15 toxic products lurking in your home and uncover tips on how to create a healthier and more balanced living space. Let’s dive in!
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Fragrance – There can be over 3,000 ingredients lurking in the word fragrance alone. Some of the hidden ingredients in fragrances have been linked to cancer, asthma, birth defects, kidney damage, and allergic reactions. Fragrance can be found in air fresheners, candles, perfume, cleaning products, cosmetics, soap, lotions, and even more of our personal care products. There are very few companies that use the term fragrance and have clean ingredients. But this is very rare and I suggest emailing the company to confirm what the ingredients in their fragrance really are.
Cleaning Products – Bleach, Clorox, Lysol, and the list could go on and on.
A lot of mainstream big-name cleaning products have toxic chemicals in them. The EWG rates Clorox Bleach an F and states concerns for aquatic toxicity, respiratory effects, allergies, damage to vision, cancer, reproductive effects, and skin irritation.
Fabric Softeners/Dryer Sheets – Fabric softeners coat your clothing in toxic substances including fragrance, preservatives, and artificial colors. They may also contain ingredients that are toxic to marine life. We switched all our laundry needs to Truly Free. Get 50 loads free here.
Cosmetics – The last time Congress voted to regulate cosmetics is 80 years ago. The law that was made in 1938 prohibits cosmetics from poisonous and deleterious substances but the US only has banned 11 chemicals while the EU bans 1,300 chemicals in cosmetics. My favorite toxin-free beauty company.
Antiperspirants – In a study done in the European Journal of Cancer published in December 2003 states that when you shave your underarms and apply antiperspirants that it was associated with an earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis.
Non-Stick Cookware – Is coated with PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) otherwise known as Teflon. When Teflon heats up at 500% or over it releases toxic chemicals into the air. When you breathe in these fumes you can get flu-like symptoms. There have been cases reported of lung damage. Cast iron, stoneware, and stainless steel are safe options.
Plastic – Plastic food containers, plastic water bottles, plastic wrap, and anything plastic is harmful to our health. Plastic contains chemical additives such as BPA. This has been linked to infertility, neurodevelopment disorders, obesity, and immune disorders. When we use plastic we eat, drink, and breathe in microplastics daily. When able switch to glass or stainless steel.
Bug Spray – DEET is a common ingredient in mainstream bug spray because it is effective in repelling bugs. DEET is a neurotoxin. Neurotoxin definition is a poison that acts on the nervous system. Large doses of DEET have been linked to skin irritation, memory loss, seizures, headaches, and shortness of breath.
Canned Food – Besides canned food is high in sodium, high in sugar, added preservatives, and has fewer nutrients canned food can contain BPA. As you read above in the plastics section BPA has been linked to multiple health problems.
Mattresses – VOCs be lurking in your mattress. VOCs may include formahylde, benzene, and acetaldehyde. Side effects from VOCs may be headaches, organ damage, and irritation in your eyes, nose, and throat. There can also be other chemicals such as flame retardants and plastics.
Microwave Popcorn – Microwave popcorn has been linked with cancer. It’s not the popcorn itself but the chemicals from the bag and or ‘butter’. PFCs (perfluorinated compounds) may be found in the bag and are released when you heat the bag up. There is also a chemical called diacetyl which gives popcorn the ‘buttery’ taste. A better way to make popcorn is with an air popper or making it on the stovetop. We ditched our microwave years ago and we have never looked back. (Even though our family keeps trying to gift us theirs.)
Hand Sanitizer – Two ingredients you should avoid in hand sanitizers are methanol and 1-propanol. Methanol is an ingredient used to make antifreeze and rocket fuel. The CDC has reported people who have died after consuming. 1-Propanol ingredient is used in making industrial solvents and can also lead to death if swallowed. Most people know not to drink hand sanitizer but for a kid who doesn’t know better, it’s best to ditch any hand sanitizer with these ingredients.
Shower Curtains – Many shower curtains have PCV (polyvinyl chloride) which releases VOCs. When looking for a shower make sure it’s PCV-free.
Sunscreen – Oxybenzone is an endocrine disrupter and is in a lot of popular sunscreen brands. It is also linked to allergic skin reactions and organ toxicity. Octinoxate is also an endocrine disruptor that is linked to reproductive toxicity. Homosalate enhances the absorption of pesticides. Titanium Dioxide (NOT the nanoparticles) and Zinc Oxide are safer ingredients if you use sunscreen.
Flame Retardants – The chemicals in flame retardants can affect your immune, endocrine, reproductive, and nervous systems. Flame retardants can be used in clothing, furniture, building, and construction materials. Having good ventilation and adding a high quality air purifier to your home will help reduce your exposure. We love and trust the AirDoctor in our home.
One of the best things you can learn to do is how to read labels. A good rule of thumb is if you can’t pronounce the ingredient look it up. If you’re having trouble reading ingredients or finding clean products download my toxin-free living guide here.
You can also check out my favorite clean companies here.
insights/news/80-years-later- cosmetics-chemicals-still- unregulated
health/what-to-know-about- aluminum-in-deodorant#debate- around-cancerous-toxins
plastichealthcoalition.org/#:~ :text=Plastic%20products% 20contain%20chemical% 20additives,disorders%20like% 20ADHD%20and%20autism.
education/chemicals-bug- repellent/#:~:text=Large% 20doses%20of%20DEET%20have, and%20learning%20and%20memory% 20dysfunction.
health-news/consumer-group- says-canned-foods-still- contain-dangerous-chemical
disorders/news/20190710/is- your-mattress-releasing- toxins-while-you-sleep#:~: text=Mattresses%20are%20known% 20to%20release,and%20plastics% 2C%20the%20researchers%20said.
consumer-updates/your-hand- sanitizer-fdas-list-products- you-should-not-use#:~:text= Methanol%20or%20methyl% 20alcohol%2C%20also,including% 20permanent%20blindness%2C% 20and%20death.