Every day, we come into contact with many different items, and we are often not aware that some of them can have health risks which can accumulate and aggravate over time. We see their labels and read names of chemicals which don’t sound harmful, yet they are. Only after noticing some health issues you will suspect their safety.
Besides them, there are other everyday items, such as your office chair or electronics, which are more harmful than useful in the long run.
27 Everyday Items You Are Better Off Without
Around 40 percent of today’s candles, especially scented ones, contain lead wires within the wicks, as shown in a U.S. CPSC study. They are used to strengthen the wicks. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says these candles release 5 times the amount of lead regarded as dangerous for children, an amount which also surpasses the EPA’s pollution standards for outdoor airs.
Exposure to high amounts of lead can cause behavioral problems, hormone disruption, and learning disabilities. To avoid these health risks, use beeswax candles with cotton wicks.
2. Air Fresheners
According to a study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council, most of the 13 analyzed common household air fresheners contain chemicals which can worsen asthma and cause problems with the reproductive development. Some of them are carcinogens, such as phthalate.
In 2008, Anne Steinemann of the University of Washington discovered that all chemicals released by air fresheners are harmful and toxic by federal laws. They don’t have safe exposure levels, and are carcinogens. What’s more, not a single chemical released from a household air freshener is part of the Material Safety Data Sheets. Use essential oils instead of air fresheners as a safer alternative to fragrances.
Most conventional shampoos contain various toxic chemicals in an amount that is dangerous to our health. To avoid any health risk related to these products, use homemade shampoos.
4. Insecticides and Pesticides
Most lice, flea, and tick control products contain potentially carcinogenic ingredients not only for pets, but also for humans. Some of them are permethrin, carbamates, and organophosphate insecticides.
5. Shower Curtains
That’s right. Plastic shower curtains are another household item that releases toxins known as volatile organic chemicals or VOCs, in your bath, shower, and entire home.
6. Art Supplies
Numerous researchers have suggested that the content of art supplies include dangerous chemicals linked to organ damage, cancer, and allergies. Some of them are Epoxy, permanent markers, rubber cement glues, solvents, and acrylic paints.
Children are especially endangered by these items, since their immune system is not fully developed and because of their higher metabolism, which is why they are more prone to the harmful effects.
The not fully developed immune system of children and their faster metabolism, make them most prone to the harmful properties of these chemicals. Instead, use green, non-toxic alternatives.
The content of most conventional antiperspirants and deodorants includes many harmful chemicals linked to virulent cancers. These chemicals can be absorbed through the skin, as they usually remain there for hours. This of course causes various health issues. The best and safest option is to use homemade antiperspirants and deodorants, for which you can find many recipes online.
8. Ajax Cleanser (Colgate- Palmolive. Inc.)
Colgate-Palmolive Inc. is the manufacturer of one of the most popular cleansers in the world – Ajax Cleanser. However, the label of this product doesn’t list the toxic chemical called crystalline silica, even though it’s been found in its content. This chemical has been related to cancer, and lung, skin, and eye irritation. Material Safety and Data Sheet has listed this chemical as carcinogenic around 20 years ago.
9. Whole Milk (Borden, Lucerne, etc.)
The label of whole milk hides the following toxins:
- ANTIBIOTICS – some antibiotics are carcinogenic and can cause resistance and/or allergies.
- DDT – a carcinogenic xenoestrogen
- HEPTACHLOR – a neurotoxic carcinogenic xenoestrogen
- DIELDRIN – a carcinogenic xenoestrogen
- HEXACHLOROBENZENE – a neurotoxic carcinogenic reproductive toxin
- RECOMBINANT BOVINE GROWTH HORMONE plus IGF-1 – it can cause colon, prostate, and breast cancer
10. Alberto VO5 Conditioner (Main Ingredient of Neutral Henna)
You can see all the toxins on the label, including:
- FORMALDEHYDE – this carcinogenic/neurotoxic substance can cause contact dermatitis
- FRAGRANCE – it’s a term that covers few ingredients which can cause contact dermatitis
- POLYSORBATE 80 – polluted with the carcinogenic compound called 1,4-dioxane
- FDC RED #4 – linked to cancer
11. Talcum powder (Johnson & Johnson Inc.)
It can cause lung irritations and ovarian cancer.
12. Crest Tartar Control Toothpaste (Procter and Gamble Inc.)
Here are some of the toxic ingredients included in its content:
- SACCHARIN – carcinogenic
- FDC BLUE #1 – carcinogenic
- FLUORIDEE – A potential carcinogenic
13. Covergirl Natural Finish Makeup (Procter and Gamble Inc.)
Some of the toxic ingredients found in this popular product are:
- Triethanolamine – once combined with nitrites, it forms carcinogenic nitrosamines
- Fragrance – it stands for many toxic, unlabeled, and untested compounds related to contact dermatitis
- Lanolin – often “enriched” with carcinogenic pesticides and DDT
- Parabens – associated with contact dermatitis
- Talc –associated with lung irritations and cancer
- Bha – a carcinogenic
14. Zodiac Cat and Dog Flea Collar (produced by Sandoz Agro Inc.)
It contains PROPOXUR – a carcinogenic and neurotoxic ingredient.
15. Beef Frankfurters such as those from Oscar Mayer Foods
It includes the following unlabeled toxins:
- Carcinogenic and feminizing hormones
- Carcinogenic and allergy-causing antibiotics
- Lindane – neurotoxic, carcinogenic compound which kills blood-producing cells
- Hexaclhorobenzene – carcinogenic, teratogenic, and neurotoxic
- DDT– carcinogenic, xenoestrogen
- Benzene hexachloride – a carcinogenic
- Dieldrin – xenoestrogen, carcinogenic
- Dachtal – sensitizer, irritant, and carcinogenic (it might contain dioxin)
- Heptachlor – neurotoxic, xenoestrogen, carcinogenic, and reproductive toxin
Here is the labeled toxic ingredient:
- Nitrite –in combination with meat amines it can create nitrosamines, and cancer in kids.
16. Ortho Weed B-Lawn Weed Killer by Monsanto Co.
You can see the following labeled toxin:
Sodium 2,4 D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetate) – a reproductive toxin, neurotoxic, and a carcinogenic. It might cause tissue sarcoma, lymphoma and different types of cancer.
17. Lysol Disinfectant Spray (Reckitt and Colman Inc.)
It contains labeled and unlabeled toxins, such as:
OPP or Ortho-phenylphenol– carcinogenic and irritant.
18. Clairol Nice’n Easy (Hair color by Clariol Inc.)
Its content includes many labeled toxins, such as:
- Propylene glycol – it can cause contact dermatitis.
- Phenylenediamine – contains carcinogens and dangerous ingredients that might cause contact dermatitis and carcinogenicity.
- Diethanolamine or DEA – in combination with nitrites, it creates carcinogenic nitrosamine
- Quartenium 15 – neurotoxic, sensitizer, carcinogenic, releases formaldehyde, causes contact dermatitis
- Fragrance – can cause contact dermatitis and multiple myelomas, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other types of cancer. Some of its ingredients are not labeled.
19. Zud Heavy Duty Cleanser (Reckit and Colman Inc.)
Its content includes the following unlabeled toxic ingredient:
- Crystalline Silica – can cause eye, lung, and skin irritation, carcinogenic.
20. Artificial Sweeteners
Sucralose (Splenda), aspartame, and other artificial sweeteners trick the human’s body into storing fat, increasing the risk of diabetes. It’s the same with foods or drinks that include artificial sweeteners in their content, like diet soda. Not only that artificial sweeteners promote weight gain, and worsen insulin sensitivity, they also promote stroke, heart attacks, and Alzheimer’s.
The reason why they promote disease and obesity is their ability to disrupt the intestinal microflora. They change metabolic pathways linked to metabolic function. It was also discovered that artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance and gut dysbiosis in healthy people.
21. Plastic Food Containers and Bottles
They are made of plastic which contains endocrine-disrupting chemicals like phthalates, bisphenol-A (BPA), and bisphenol-S (BPS). The endocrine system regulates the growth and development, mood, metabolism, tissue function, sexual function and reproductive processes. As you can see, it has lots of important functions which can be affected by the endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Here are some of the adverse effects:
- High blood pressure. A randomized, controlled trial have shown that BPA from plastic bottles or cans can increase the blood pressure within just a couple of hours of ingestion
- Reproductive health problems
- Hyperactivity, impaired learning and aggressiveness
- Reduced intelligence in babies in wombs
- Thyroid, breast, and prostate cancer
Using old plastic containers that have been subjected to heat or washing means more leached chemicals. It’s not even safe using “BPA-free” plastics as it was discovered they can leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals. The best thing is to replace them with glass containers and bottles.
22. Non-Stick Cookware
The non-stock coating contains PFOA – perfluorooctanoic acid which is known as a “possible” carcinogenic. Replace all of your non-stick pans and pots with glass or ceramic cookware. The non-sticking properties of PFOA come from fluoride, which once heated, vaporizes. Once into the air, the toxic fluoride can harm your family and even kill small birds.
23. Antibacterial Soaps and Detergents
Antibacterial compounds like triclosan promote the development of drug-resistant bacteria, and are related to numerous harmful health effects, especially in infants. It was proven that this compound can interfere with fetal development and alter hormone regulation. Triclosan has been associated with:
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Endocrine disruption
- Inflammatory responses
- Weight gain
All you really need to eliminate disease-causing microbes is a mild soap and warm water. Even the FDA has said that so far, there’s no scientific evidence that antibacterial soaps prevent illnesses more effectively than water and plain soap.
Triclosan is also found in Colgate Total toothpaste, acne cream, toys, and cutting boards. A great and safe disinfectant is 3% hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. You can use them to clean bathrooms, cutting boards, and kitchen counters. First spray with one of the liquids, and then immediately with the other, using separate spray bottles.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University has run some tests on this spray combination, and discovered that it can kill potentially lethal bacteria like Shigella, Salmonella, and E. Coli.
24. Personal Care Products
According to the Environmental Defense, concealers, foundations, blushes, powders, eye liners, mascaras, lipsticks, eyeshadows, lip glosses and other 40 makeup items are all hidden sources of heavy metals which are very effectively absorbed through our skin. This was reported in “Heavy Metal Hazard: The Health Risks of Hidden Heavy Metals in Face Makeup.” It turned out all of the tested products had serious heavy metal contamination, with:
- 20% of them containing arsenic
- 51% of them containing cadmium
- 61% of them containing thallium
- 90% of them containing beryllium
- 96% of them containing lead
Using conventional makeup everyday means absorption of around 5 pounds of chemicals into your body annually, without even considering deodorants, body lotions, conditioners, shampoos, and other personal care products. It’s best to use homemade natural alternatives, such as coconut oil which can substitute a slew of potions, lotions, and hair treatments, or choose organic brands of cosmetics and toiletries.
25. Stale Spices
When it comes to cooking spices and herbs, freshness matters a lot! Although they provide powerful and unique medicinal properties, if they are expired and staple, they won’t be beneficial at all. Check your pantry and see if you have any old spice bottles. Spices especially beneficial at quelling inflammation are ginger, cloves, thyme, and rosemary.
26. Electronic Devices
Since nowadays most of us are surrounded with various electronic gadgets, especially teenagers and kids, we are exposed to wireless radiation and long-term harm of EMF on a daily basis. The WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer had issued a report on May 31, 2011, stating that radiofrequency electromagnetic fields are possible carcinogenic to people, which makes cell phones possible cancer-causing devices.
Even though your pocket or bra might seem like convenient place for keeping your phone, avoid carrying it on your body for longer periods if you want to lower your risk of cancer. Even if you’re not using it, your phone emits radiation intermittently as long as it’s on.
27. Your Chair
Numerous researches have suggested that your chair might be the most hazardous item to have around you in terms of your health. Even if you’re fit and exercise regularly, if you sit for long periods your risk of chronic disease increases, and your life expectancy reduces. Besides obesity, sitting is the new health risk which similar to smoking, raises your risk of lung cancer by over 50%.
In fact, sitting is more dangerous that secondhand smoke. It has been discovered that it raises your chances of death from numerous health problems, like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, etc.
Remember, the more you exercise, the less pronounced the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting. If you work a desk job and you can’t avoid your chair, try to make small pauses every 40 minutes and stand up, walk around, or do some stretch. Another option is a standing desk.