As a conscientious consumer, you don’t only have to be aware of toxins in your food and drink; you also have to be savvy when it comes to household toxins. Many of the products you buy for your home could include toxic chemicals that may ultimately make you sick. Much in the way you limit your exposure to unhealthy foods, you can limit your exposure to these toxins as well.
Here are 6 toxins to replace in your home.
1. PVC or Vinyl – Though it’s still sold in the US, PVC is banned in more than 14 countries and the European Union. That’s how dangerous this material can be. PVC, or vinyl, is found in shower curtains, garden hoses, building materials, toys, and even credit cards. The problem is that it can leech phthalates, known hormone disruptors, potentially linked to cancer and infertility. Look for PVC-Free labels on your plastics before bringing them home. If something is made with PVC, it will have that unmistakable “new shower curtain scent.”
2. Antibacterial soaps and liquids – Triclosan is a compound found in antibacterial soaps and liquids. While it’s been “sold” as an answer to stopping the spread of germs, it’s responsible for spreading antibiotic resistance instead. It actually encourages those germs to evolve into super-bacteria. Also, when mixed with chlorine, the poisonous gas chloroform is created.
3. BPA – Bisphenol-A is a compound found in plastics. You’ll find it in food and drink containers, and in the lining of canned foods. BPA has been linked to hormone disruption which means it can lead to fertility problems, behavioral issues, and even faster physical development in girls.
4. Fragrances – Whether you’re talking about the fragrance in dryer sheets or the scents you plug into your wall, fragrances can spread microscopic toxins throughout your home. Not only do these scents irritate sensitive airways, in the case of asthma, but they can also contain phthalates. Phthalates do not have to be listed as an ingredient, but their link to cancer and hormone disruption indicates a good reason to shun scented products.
5. VOCs – Normally found in oil-based paints and finishes, VOCs are volatile organic compounds that can have adverse health effects. Opting for low- or no-VOC paints is a far better choice.
6. Lead – Despite not being used in paint anymore, you can still find lead in lipsticks. Lead is a neurotoxin and there is no safe level of exposure. Because cosmetic companies don’t have to list all of their ingredients, your lipstick could contain this frightening toxin.
Keeping your home free of dangerous toxins is easy once you know what to look for.