Hidden Hazards in Your Home

Hidden Hazards in Your Home

Has Your Home Become an Incubator for Cancer?
Michael Dufresne, a leading environment researcher did a study in 2003 which concluded that people who stay at home and work, have a 54% higher risk of developing cancer than those who work outside.

He pointed out that people assume that the cleaning and cosmetic products that line the shelves of the stores, are tested and safe. They are not. Just because industry is not required to put warning labels on their products, we think they are safe. This is an illusion. “The industry and the regulators know the cancer risks associated with cosmetics but there is virtually no consumer knowledge. Unlike cigarettes, there are no warning labels on cosmetics and virtually no FDA regulations policing them,” said Dr. Dufresne.

There are over 100,000 synthetic chemicals in common household products. Residues from these chemicals accumulate in the body and 400 of them have been identified in blood and fat tissue. Over the span of a lifetime, exposure to the chemicals in these products adds up and begins to affect us in many different ways. The problem is that it is next to impossible to trace any particular disease back to one product. If you pay more for the products will they be safer? There is no evidence of any relationship between cost and safety.

Fifty years ago, it was common to read in the obituaries, “died in her sleep”. Nowadays, we see references like “donations to the Cancer Society gratefully accepted” in many death notices. Such common everyday products as toothpaste, dish washing liquid, garden pesticides, sunscreens, bleach, and especially cosmetics like hair spray, shampoos and conditioners, blush, nail polish, anti-perspirants, face powder, mascara, eye shadow and lipstick pose a major threat to health.

Childhood leukemia and brain tumors have increased dramatically in those homes where parents use garden pesticides, herbicides and insecticides on the lawn and garden. Women who believe they are protecting their families by keeping fresh-smelling air in the home, and meticulously cleaning the floors and furniture with chemical cleaners, are in actuality putting their pets and and children in more danger. Do you use Lysol, Murphy’s Oil Soap, Pledge, Ajax, Febreeze, Sunlight, Tide or Arm & Hammer heavy duty detergents? Such products often don’t even list the chemicals being used in them, and if you did see the names, would you be any wiser?

Bleach has been linked to breast cancer. Talc in the genital areas has been linked to ovarian cancer. Mouth, tongue, and throat cancers have been linked to mouthwash, with alcohol content over 25%, which have dyes, and PS60/80 in them. Burning candles with lead in the wick is spreading lead into the air. Off-gassing from new carpeting, plastic products and particle board, can be cancer-causing. The chemically treated compressed logs that burn so nicely in your fireplace are not so innocent either, if you are breathing the smoke that comes from them. How many of these products do you use everyday?

Dr. Dufresne, a research professor at the University of Windsor, who is also a research coordinator for Cancer Care Ontario and a member of the U.S. Barbara Karmanos Cancer Institute says that we need to be aware of what we are buying, and how we use these products. There is no cause for panic as long as we can make informed choices. We do have a choice. But we have to make the effort to protect ourselves and our families.

Are These Dangerous Ingredients in the Products You Use?
Just check your cosmetic creams, deodorants, and pain creams for these toxic ingredients. These chemicals are everywhere, treated as if they are totally benign and perfectly safe. They are not! They have a strong link to cancer, liver and kidney failure, paralysis, respiratory failure, and the appearance of tumors. Read the ingredient lists on everything you buy, if you find one of these in anything you are about to buy, be forewarned.

    * Acrylamide – potential neurotoxin, found in potato chips, french fries, coffee – which are processed at high temperatures.
    * Dioxane – found in products that create suds, like shampoo, liquid soap and bubble bath – even baby bath products – usually not listed on the label because it’s a by-product of processing.
    * Mineral Oil and Petrolatum – in Vaseline, Petroleum Jelly, and many ‘baby care’ products. They are a by-product of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil. Petroleum based products can exacerbate eczema and similar skin conditions, and are a suspected cause of some cancers.
    * Paraffin Wax – found in candles
    * Parabens – methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben – a preservative in cosmetics and food products such as: candies, frozen dairy products, fruit juices, jellies and jams, mayonnaise, mustard, processed vegetables, spicy sauces, soft drinks, and syrups.
    * Phenol carbolic acid – found in skin creams and lotions, sunscreens and hair dyes.
    * Propylene glycol – in most cosmetic products – used to enhance the absorption of chemicals into the skin.
    * Sodium laurel sulfate or lauryl sulfate – a detergent and surfactant found in many personal care products like soaps and shampoos.
    * Toluene – very poisonous – found in most skin care products and almost all synthetic perfumes, nail polishes, cosmetics. Known to damage the central nervous system, liver and kidneys. Studies show that pregnant women exposed to toluene have given birth to deformed babies.

toxins in deodorant

How many products do you use everyday with these chemicals in them?
It’s not likely that a single product with one of these ingredients will cause harm on it’s own. However, repeated exposure from different products add up. But, if you are pregnant, you need to be especially vigilant! We all have to make decisions everyday on the products we buy. Do you want to take a chance on compromising your health by buying products containing these chemicals?

Parabens is an ingredient found in many personal care products like skin creams and cosmetics. It is also found in food, and pharmaceutical products. It mimics estrogen and therefore, the body will take it and place it where you would normally find estrogen, like breast tissue. It has been known to cause breast cancer. It is just as potent as BPA, a hormone-disrupting petrochemical used in plastics. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not take chances on putting into my body with any cancer causing chemicals.

By reading the ingredient list on anything you are about to buy, you will find a lot of these ingredients. Become familiar with the various names for this chemical: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben. Unfortunately, many food products like candies and baked goods don’t always list the chemicals that are used in them. For more on parabens see the Advanced Natural Medicine website.

Becoming Consciously Aware of What’s Toxic in Your Home
In this 7 minute video Suzanne Somers talks about the shocking amounts of toxins we live with in our own homes. She tells you where to look for them and how to protect yourself with your new awareness. She speaks with a mother who has taken steps to detox her home. Dr. Russell Blaylock also talks about how these chemicals affect our bodies.

Where do you find safe alternatives?
Check health food stores and places online that are known for selling healthy skin creams, such as:
Stakich Skin Creams
Green Pasture Products.

We all know that there are hidden hazards lurking in the household cleaners we use.
Cleaners – for clothes, floors, carpets, dishes and cookware are something we come into contact with on a regular basis. Yet more and more toxic chemicals are being added to these cleaners to make them more powerful. It’s wise to spend a little time reading the ingredient list on your cleaners – that is, if you can find it – and to look for eco-friendly products when you buy your cleaners. If you can’t understand the ingredient list that’s a clue that maybe you should not be using that product.

But cleaners aren’t the only thing that pose a health risk in our homes. Here are some hidden health hazards you may not be aware of.

How to Spot Toxic Fabrics in Your Wardrobe
Did you know that certain fabrics, used in the making of the clothes you wear, are hazardous to your health?

Clothing that is labelled “no iron” or “wrinkle-free” is usually coated with chemicals called perfluorochemicals that make them “stain resistant“. This family of chemicals cannot be broken down in the body once absorbed. They have a cumulative effect over time, and are known to cause liver and bladder cancers, reproductive and developmental malformations.

Polyester which is used extensively in clothing and home furnishings can contain carcinogens like polyvinyl chloride. Numerous washings will remove some of this chemical but not all.

The best thing to do is to avoid clothing items labeled as “wrinkle free,” “stain resistant,” or “static resistant.” Choose natural fibers like 100% cotton, linen, wool, hemp, silk or cashmere.

How to Buy Healthy Scents For Your Home
Did you know that, the fresh fragrances you spray on your clothes, and the scents used in your detergent and fabric softeners to freshen your laundry, are made from synthetic chemicals, that can trigger diseases like cancer and asthma, and damage your lungs?

Rule of Thumb: Keep in mind – the fresher smelling the fragrance in laundry products and household air fresheners, the more unhealthy they are likely to be. Fragrances in air fresheners, detergents, fabric softeners, and bedclothes fresheners, are created with a combination of petroleum-based chemicals. Know that these can trigger abnormal reactions in the body when you breathe them in. Cancer may not be the immediate result, but be aware that you are compromising your health, and increasing the chance that cancer may show up in your life when you least expect it.

Harmful Effects of Air Fresheners

What Alternatives Are Available?
Natural scents, like fresh flowers, essential oils, food extracts – dipping a cotton ball in pure vanilla extract, or pure orange or lemon extract will leave a delightful scent where you want it. Even citrus peels heated in a warm oven will permeate the area with a natural scent. If you want to eliminate all odors and not have any scent. Take a spray bottle and fill with 2 cups of water and 2 tsp of baking soda. Shake. Mist the air. It kills all those strong cooking odors and bathroom odors.

Useful Tips
To soften clothes – Add a quarter cup of baking soda to the wash cycle, and a quarter cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to freshen clothes.

To Preserve Your Favorite Clothes – Keep them from getting thin and then having to throw them out before you are ready to part with them, by always hanging them to dry after washing. Don’t use the dryer. That lint tray is evidence that your clothes are gradually disintegrating.

Most Mattresses are Fire Hazards – How to Pick a Healthy Bed
The mattress you sleep on could be a hotbed of chemicals, that in a fire would be likely engulf you in a flash.
Most modern mattresses are made with polyurethane, which is so flammable its nicknamed “solid gasoline”. On top of that, mattresses are usually treated with flame retardant chemicals. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and heavy metals like antimony are used. These can interfere with normal brain functions and disrupt hormone balance. If you have a new synthetic mattress what can you do? To minimize chemical absorption let it outgas outdoors or in a garage for a few days before you sleep on it.

What are the alternatives?
Consider replacing it with an organic mattress made with natural latex and wool.

hidden toxins at home

What’s wrong with Tylenol?
It pays to be selective about the Cold Remedies you use. Did you know that Tylenol, one of the commonest cold remedies recommended by doctors and hospitals, is a known major health hazard?

Tylenol is in hundreds of cold remedies. It has 35% of the pain killer market in America. In the commercials it is associated with “feeling better” and “returning your life to normal”. But this is a short term effect.

Tylenol is known to be toxic to the liver and kidneys. It causes 3x as many liver failures as all other drugs combined. See a history of the Hazards of Tylenol at wikipedia.

When used with alcohol it causes irreversible liver damage. Combined with caffeine, it increases the chances of liver damage, esp in heavy caffeine users. It also accumulates in the body over time.

If you feel pain in your abdomen, or nausea or lethargy after taking Tylenol seek immediate treatment. Remember, after taking Tylenol, your body then has to deal with the introduction of a toxic substance. For more information on what to do when you suspect something is wrong see: About Tylenol Poisoning

What Other Common Products are Hazardous to Your Health?
Besides Tylenol, other common hazardous substances we use everyday are:
Aspartame – a sweetener in soft drinks which has 92 known health side-effects associated with it.
Fluoride a neurotoxin – in toothpaste and tap water, is associated with mottled teeth, reduced ability to think clearly, and ADD.
Sodium Aluminum Phosphate used in baked goods. Baking powder contains aluminum which has been linked to Alzheimer’s and brain deterioration.
Aspirin – depletes the body of folic acid, iron, potassium, sodium, and vitamin C. Symptoms of folic acid depletion include anemia, birth defects, elevated homocysteine – a significant heart disease risk factor, fatigue, headache, insomnia, diarrhea, increased infection and hair loss. Twenty thousand people die each year in the US from aspirin-related complications.
Antiperspirants – 99% of them have triclosan and aluminium zirconium in them, that’s what stops the sweat from staining your clothes, but the chemical reaction turns your clothes yellow. I know many women who religiously apply antiperspirant under their arms in the mornings, and they haven’t sweated for years from those glands. Aluminum and triclosan are toxic to the human body.

Do a web search on any of these products and see what they say. Be informed and protect yourself.

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
What Does Lighting Have to Do With How Well You Sleep?
Since the invention of the electric light bulb, our ability to feel truly rested after a night’s sleep, has declined dramatically.

Artificial Light: With the invention of electric light, we rarely go to bed when the sun goes down. And if you live in a city, which most of us do, it is next to impossible to experience a truly dark night. Why is that important?

The human body is evolved to be exposed to light during the day, but not at night. The kind of light we are exposed to, affects the body’s production of melatonin which regulates our sleep patterns. If you have less melatonin than your body needs, your sleep will not be satisfying and restful. And lack of restful sleep, as we know, affects everything else in our life.

Melatonin is produced at night, when the body expects lower levels of light. The amount of melatonin in your body can greatly affect immunity and the aging process. Lack of it can lead to degenerative conditions like heart disease.

Melatonin production seems to be more affected by blue or white light that comes from television and computer screens.

What can you do based on this information?
To encourage a restful sleep, keep your bedroom completely dark, and block external light sources with dark curtains. If you must use night lights opt for those using red instead of blue or white. You might like to try a trial of a few days without artificial light in your life, and see how you feel.

You can also find melatonin at health food stores. Take a couple of drops on alternate days to supplement your body’s natural production. But do not take it over a long time, or it will lose its effectiveness. The idea is to get your body to make its own melatonin.

And if you really want a good nights sleep, move all computers, smart phones and TV’s out of the bedroom. Reserve your bedroom for sleeping.

Be Informed – Be Wise – Be Healthy
If we want to stay healthy, we need to keep watch over what we breathe, eat, drink, wear, what we sleep on, and even the kind of lighting in our environment. The quality of your life is in your hands. Keep alert for hidden hazards in your home.

Household Tip
plastic scrubberMicrowave ovens may be useful for more than just heating up leftovers. Did you know that microwaving your kitchen or bathroom sponges and plastic scrubbers sterilizes them quickly and efficiently? Bacteria and viruses embedded in your cleaning tools will be gone in two minutes. Instead of putting your sponges and scrubbers in the dishwasher to disinfect them, use your microwave, every few days. This works best when they are wet. Then, rinse them in hot water and they are good as new.

That being said, however, microwave ovens are a hazard to your health if you use them to cook food. They destroy the nutrients, vitamins and minerals in the food.

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