Hidden Toxins in Everyday Household Items
It’s common knowledge that things like bleach, flysprays and cleaning products all contain toxins that we should avoid around the house.
But did you know there are hidden toxins in things we may not even think of?
These are just six that you should double check around the house. I also have some alternatives for you as well, because finding these things out can be quite disheartening. Remember, knowledge is power and the more you know, the safer you and your family can be.
Sorry tea lovers, but your tea bags may be made of a nasty plastic (and we know plastic and boiling water is not a good combination). Paper tea bags may be bleached or treated with epichlorohydrin (a compound that has been identified as potential carcinogen).
Solution? Contact your tea manufacturer and ask questions about the tea bag or just stick to loose leaf tea (hey, I think it tastes better anyway). I use a teapot – a small one for myself and bigger one for guests. You can also use stainless steel tea diffusers if you only want to make one cup.
2. Dental Floss.
Some dental floss can contain perfluorinated polymer – also known as a PFC (the same thing that is in Teflon) to help it be all slidey on your teeth. PFC is nasty stuff – it can cause cancer, damage your immune system and disrupt hormones. Ever seen antibacterial dental floss? Well that might have triclosan in it – which may pass through your skin and disrupt hormones.
Solution? Check the ingredients of your dental floss or use a natural one like these.
3. Baking Paper and Plastic Wrap.
That paper you are baking your biccies on may be bleached, contain chlorine and/or coated with Quilon which contains heavy metals like chromium. Plastic wrap? Well plastic isn’t so great anyway, but the ‘antibacterial’ plastic wrap is also coated in triclosan.
4. Disposable Nappies.
As well as being not so eco-friendly, disposable nappies can contain a chemical cocktail sitting on your baby’s precious bum and being absorbed into their blood stream. You can expect to find dioxin, sodium polyacrylate (the absorbent gel), phthalates, heavy metals and more. Check out this great article at Small Footprint Family for more details of how toxic these chemicals are.
5. CFL lightbulbs.
CFL (compact fluorescent lightbulbs) contain mercury and if they are broken, mercury vapour is released. Now, it’s not a huge amount but mercury is a potent neurotoxin and exposure should be avoided where possible.
Solution? Handle carefully to avoid breakages and follow these guidelines for clean up if you do break one. It’s also important to dispose of them properly.
6. Kids’ pyjamas.
Kids’ clothing, particularly pyjamas made from synthetic materials, are often treated with flame retardants. There is growing concern that these chemical compounds are suspected carcinogens and neurotoxicants. Unfortunately fire retardants can also be present in bedding and furniture too.
Solution? Look for clothes without the flame retardant or choose organic clothing for your kids.
Did you know about these toxins? Where else have you found hidden toxins?