Among many other cancer causing products commonly found in the home, this dirty dozen list has made it to the Hall of Shame. The Cancer Prevention Coalition (CPC) and Ralph Nader have released a “Dirty Dozen” list of consumer products used in most homes, and manufactured by giant U.S. corporations.
In the modern era, we are exposed to many different harmful chemicals on a daily basis. Workplaces and restaurants all have to adhere to certain safety measures to ensure that workers and customers alike are not exposed to dangerous amounts of these substances.
However, just as many toxic chemicals can be found in your home as well. The “Dirty Dozen” products contain a wide-range of carcinogenic and other toxic ingredients and contaminants to which most of us are exposed daily.
Non-stick cookware is by far the most common cookware used by Americans, yet there is an adverse side effect they have on our health. They are proven to release toxic chemicals into food during cooking. When non-stick cookware is heated up, its coating begins to break down at a molecular level.
When the coating breaks down it releases a variety of toxic particles and fluoride-based gases, many of which are carcinogenic (cancer causing). Instead of toxic non-stick cookware, purchase glass or ceramic pots and pans that don’t release harmful fumes.
Many people think that they are doing their body justice when swapping sugar for one of its alternatives. Although there are many healthy natural sweeteners out there, the most commonly used ones tend to be a lot worse for you than sugar. If you have any of the following sweeteners, throw them out immediately:
- Acesulfame K: may be carcinogenic, causes tumors and affects pregnancy
- Aspartame: has been linked to skin cancers and can be deadly for people with phenylketonuria
- Saccharin: may cause bladder cancer, is indigestible and gets excreted by the liver unchanged
- Sorbitol: is only partially digested in the intestines, causes diarrhea, bloating and gas
Instead, replace these artificial sweeteners with ones that can be naturally found and cultivated without refining. This include:
- Stevia: can lower blood pressure and blood sugar
- Erythritol: has no effect on blood sugar, insulin or cholesterol levels
- Xylitol: can improve bone density and reduce risk of tooth decay
- Yacon syrup: feeds good bacteria in intestines and can help fight against constipation
Talc in it is labeled, and it can lead to lung irritations and ovarian cancer.
Researchers detailed findings in The Lancelet journal that a majority of ovarian tumors had particles of talc deeply embedded in them.
That study was followed by another published in 1982 in the journal Cancer, which provided supporting research linking the powder and ovarian cancer. Since then, more than 20 studies showed similar cause-effect relationships.
Most recent is a June 2013 study published by the journal Cancer Prevention Research. Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital reviewed data from eight research papers that involved nearly 2,000 women. Their analysis showed an increased risk of ovarian cancer of between 20 and 30 percent for women who used talcum powder for intimate personal hygiene.
Plastic Bottles And Food Containers
When you drink liquid or eat food from containers made out of plastic, the chemicals in that plastic leach into whatever you are putting in your mouth and eventually gets digested in your body along with it. Among these chemicals are Bisphenol A, which is used to harden plastic in products such as water bottles.
Many studies have linked Bisphenol A to having adverse health effects. In 2010 the FDA changed their stance on the chemical, expressing “some concern” over its effects on the brain, behavior and prostate glands in fetuses, babies, and young children.
Instead of using disposable plastic water bottles, opt for reusable metal or glass ones. The same goes for food containers. Not only are you saving the environment, but you’re keeping your body safe as well.
Air fresheners are often advertised as being able to rid your house of pungent odors and noxious gas. However, recent research suggests that the fumes emitted from air freshener cans are actually more dangerous than cigarette smoke. These fumes have also been found to cause many health problems:
- Respiratory conditions such as asthma
- Hormone imbalance
- Cancer! Studies have shown that common air fresheners contain a “considerable” amount of formaldehyde, which the United States classifies as a “known human carcinogen.” Overexposure to air fresheners has been linked to cancers of the nose and throat.
A natural alternative to conventional air fresheners is the use of essential oils. Not only are they effective at creating pleasant aromas, but they have also been proven to be able to provide numerous health benefits as well. One study found that inhaling rosemary oil could improve your mood and stimulate the nervous system.
To use essential oils as an air freshener, add 10 to 15 drops of essential oil into a spray bottle with approximately one cup of distilled water. Spray this around the house as your would a conventional air freshener.
Commercial Cleaning Products
The average household usually has a variety of cleaning products for many different parts of the house. Although cleaning substances are necessary to keep your house free from the build up of harmful bacteria, most commercial cleaning products have been linked to many health problems, such as:
- Respiratory disorders and asthma
- Hormone disruptors: studies found that these cleaning products include substances such as parabens, triclosan, phthalates, and BPA.
Thankfully, vinegar and baking soda provide natural antimicrobial cleaning properties without the same side effects as commercial cleaners. One study found that they were effective against a variety of bacteria including staph, salmonella, and E.coli.
The Humble Toothpaste
Unfortunately, the innocent looking toothpaste found in a regular household holds many scary secrets! With ingredients such as Saccharin and Fluoride, both carcinogens (cancer causing), toothpaste is not something you would want anywhere near your mouth.
- Saccharin: an artificial sweetener, mentioned above. It is said to be approximately 350 times sweeter than sugar. Considered to be a human carcinogen, so it’s something to keep away from!
- Fluoride: Another human carcinogen, fluoride can have a myriad of unhealthy effects; from causing cavities to severely damaging your thyroid. Find out how using coconut oil could be the healthy alternative to supermarket toothpaste you never even thought of.
Anti-dandruff shampoo like Head and Shoulders “Dry Scalp 2-in-1” product contain methylchloroisothiazolinone, which is a suspected mutagen. They also contain ammonium laureth sulfate, which, although won’t cause any health problems on its own (apart from stinging if it gets in your eye), can sometimes be contaminated during the manufacturing process such as 1,4-dioxane. Early rat studies found that this contaminant causes cancer, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has said it’s reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen as well.
There certainly is a reason they prevent your clothes from getting eaten by moths - they’re highly toxic! Containing an ingredient called Naphthalene, these innocent looking balls can cause many healthy problems, such as:
- Kidney and liver damage
- Hemolytic Anemia (it destroys red blood cells!)
- Can cause cancer in animals - so keep them well away from pets! This means it has been labeled a human carcinogen, but there is no sound proof that they are directly linked to one another.
Antibacterial soap certainly sounds like it’s going to do what it says - get rid of bacteria and nasty germs! However, recent studies by the FDA have shown that these soaps contain an ingredient called Triclosan, which:
- Interferes with hormone levels in animals
- Spurs the growth of drug-resistant bacteria
- Increases risk of infertility, early puberty, and cancer.
Avoid using chemical ridden soaps and opt for a more natural approach. This homemade soap is a great way to avoid Triclosan and any other unwanted chemicals found in antibacterial soap.
Dr. Philippa Darbre, an oncologist at the University of Reading in the U.K., has published more than 30 research papers on those substances found in underarm deodorant and other personal care products. She says that many of these ingredients are concerning on their own. But the health risks of each may be greater—and more difficult to identify—when you consider the complex chemical cocktails that form when they combine.
For example, her research has detected parabens—a category of chemical that acts as a preservative in some underarm and personal care products — in women’s breast tissue, though how those parabens got there and what happens when they are in breast tissue is unknown.
Flea and Tick Treatment
You might think you’re helping your beloved pooch out, but unfortunately, flea and tick treatments may be more harmful than helpful! Tests on laboratory animals have shown an enormous amount of problems with fipronil - a substance found in many liquid fleas and tick treatments. This product can cause:
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Mild Skin irritation
- Seizures and dizziness
- Considered a ‘possible human carcinogen’.
If you haven’t done it already, get to it! Ditch these common household products to prevent so many health problems that you could do without.