Although many chemicals around us appear safe yet aren’t. What’s more, they are not likely to be suspected when your health starts deteriorating.
The list of “offending” items can certainly be made much longer, but here we list 10 common items that you’d better throw away.
1. Plastic food containers and bottles
A basic step toward reducing your exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals like bisphenol-S (BPS), bisphenol-A (BPA), and phthalates is to toss your plastic food containers and plastic bottles.
Your endocrine system as a whole is instrumental in regulating your mood, tissue function, metabolism, as well as sexual function and reproductive processes, and endocrine-disrupting chemicals have been linked to a number of side effects, namely:
- reproductive health
- high blood pressure: according to one randomized, controlled trial, BPA from cans or plastic bottles can raise your blood pressure within just a few hours of ingestion
- reduced IQ in children
- hyperactivity, increased aggressiveness, and impaired learning abilities
- breast cancer, prostate cancer, and thyroid problems
Heat, along with wear and tear through multiple washings can increase the amount of chemicals being leached from containers and bottles, so holding on to old containers is not a good idea.
While many doctors have recommended switching to BPA-free containers, it has now been publicized that even BPA-free plastics can leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are just as harmful as BPA.
Hence, if you already have endocrine-system problems, your best bet is to avoid plastic containers and bottles altogether, and replace them with glass bottles and containers. Most important, opt for glass baby bottles if you have toddlers and young children. Make the switch to glass, and you won’t have to struggle figuring out which plastic might be safer than another.
2. Artificial food sweeteners
Aspartame and sucralose (or Splenda) are artificial sweeteners which trick your body into storing fat and raise your risk of diabetes. So, you’d be better off throwing those colorful little packets for maintaining your slim figure in the garbage can. The same thing goes for any food or beverage containing artificial sweeteners, such as diet soda. These sweeteners not only worsen insulin sensitivity, but they also PROMOTE weight gain, and other more serious health problems, including heart attacks, strokes and Alzheimer’s.
How do they worsen your health?
One of the mechanisms by which artificial sweeteners promote obesity and disease is by disrupting your intestinal microflora. Specifically, artificial sweeteners alter metabolic pathways associated with metabolic function. This decreased function has been seen in certain pathways associated with the transport of sugar in your body. Then, they have also been found to induce gut dysbiosis and glucose intolerance in otherwise healthy people.
3. Non-stick cookware must be thrown or used less frequently
To further “healthify” your kitchen, toss or retire your non-stick pots and pans for a while, and replace them with ceramic or glass cookware. A chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is used to make the non-stick coating. This chemical has been labeled a “likely carcinogen” by an independent scientific review panel that advises the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
PFOA is essentially a complex chemical which “relies” on fluoride for its non-stick properties. The problem is that once you heat a non-stick pot or pan, the fluoride vaporizes into the air where it can kill small birds and do harm to you and your family. You can easily avoid this unnecessary health risk by switching to ceramic or glass cookware that does not emit toxic fluoride while cooking in it.
4. Ahhhh those air fresheners
It is good to know that room deodorizers frequently contain 2,5-dichlorophenol (2: 5 DCP), a metabolite of 1,4 dichlorobenzene (paradichlorobenzene), which has been linked to mature puberty and other health problems, including cancer. Endocrine-disrupting phthalates are also commonly found in air fresheners and room deodorizers.
So, you’d be wise to address the root causes of unpleasant odors rather than covering them up with chemical sprays.
Airing your abode from time to time can do the job, and will also improve the general air quality in your home or office. If you want a specific air scent, then opt for high-quality pure essential oils, which can actually add to your health and wellbeing.
5. Antibacterial soaps and detergents
It is a common practice to disinfect hands and the rooms where people live, work and study. But routine disinfection of your body and your surroundings may actually cause far more harm than good in the long run. The antibacterial compounds such as triclosan have been linked to a number or harmful health effects, especially in young children. For example, research has shown that triclosan can alter hormone regulation and may interfere with the development of fetus/-es) in pregnant women. This antibacterial ingredient has also been linked to:
- thyroid dysfunction
- endocrine disruption
- weight gain
- inflammatory responses
What do you need for a clean-up?
Warm water and a mild soap is all you need to safely eliminate disease-causing microbes. Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have stated that “there is currently no evidence that antibacterial soaps are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water.”
Besides, in hand soaps and products specifically marketed as antibacterial, triclosan as a compound can also be found in various household and personal care products, such as cutting boards, toys, acne cream, and the Colgate Total toothpaste—all of which are best avoided.
Make this homemade all-purpose disinfectant
It works great for kitchen counters, cutting boards, and bathrooms i.e. all places where germs thrive:
This is what you need:
- 3% hydrogen peroxide
Simply put each liquid into a separate spray bottle, then spray the surface with one, followed by the other one. In tests, done at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, pairing the 2 mists virtually killed all Salmonella, Shigella, and E. coli bacteria on heavily contaminated food and tainted surfaces when used in this way, making this spray combination more effective at killing these potentially lethal bacteria than chlorine bleach or any commercially available kitchen cleaner.