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Category Archives: Health Warning
It seems like just about every day we learn about another toxin in our presumably safe home. Whether it’s that water bottle you’re drinking out of or the plastic dishes you store your food in some plastics are leaching poisons into your home and into your body. However, not all plastics are bad. Plastic in general is a very useful resource because it enables us to reuse products time and time again, thus conserving resources. Let’s take a look at a few different types of plastic and learn which ones are safe to use.
This plastic is responsible for releasing Bisphenol A which has been in the news a lot lately because it’s found in a number of water bottles, certain types of Nalgene bottles, baby bottles, car parts and other common manufactured food storage containers. The easiest way to identify this plastic is to look at the recycling label on the bottom of the container. If it says 7, other, or PC then steer clear of it.
This plastic is commonly used for water bottles and soda bottles. It’s safe for one time consumption however multiple uses, like refilling that same plastic water bottle over and over again, is not healthy. The plastic will begin to degrade and leach and bacteria can begin to grow.
High density Polyethylene
This is what milk containers and those plastic grocery bags are made from. It is recyclable and is generally labeled HDPE
This is an extremely toxic plastic and is commonly called PVC. It’s used in window frames, to wrap meat in your grocery store, in shower curtains in your plumbing and in many baby toys like rubber duckies and mattress covers. To identify this plastic look for the recycling label 3 or PVC.
This plastic is used to make plastic silverware, coffee cups, take out containers and egg cartons. It’s commonly called Styrofoam. It has been linked to cancer. It’s labeled PS or 6 for recycling.
Polypropylene or PPE is a commonly used and safe plastic. You’ll find food bags, cups and plastic bottles, medicine bottles and other food storage items are often sold in this plastic.
Low density polyethylene
Another safe one, this plastic is what makes up your garbage bags, ketchup squeeze bottles and the plastic wrap you use to store food in your refrigerator. It’s commonly labeled 4 or LDPE for recycling purposes.
By and large manufacturers are getting better about using safe plastics to create their products. However, it always pays to know what your buying and potentially putting into your body. The plastics to look out for are PVC, Polycarbonate, and Polystyrene because they are the most toxic and when thrown away will continue to leach toxins into the soil. Keep your family safe and learn what plastics are toxin free.
You’d like to believe your home is the safest place on earth however, there are many chemicals and gasses which are emitted from regular every day products that cause cancer. Below is a list of 7 potential cancer causers in your home.
#1 Air fresheners and deodorizers. Our homes can harbor many unpleasant smells. Whether it’s the stinky gym shoes, the kitty litter box or the bathroom, we often get rid of those smells with air fresheners. However, fresheners often contain naphthalene and formaldehyde, two very toxic and cancer causing agent. There are wonderful natural fresheners, and essential oils or simply open the windows.
#2 Radon. Radon kills about 20,000 people a year. It’s a primary cause of lung cancer and unfortunately it’s an odorless, tasteless and invisible. Radon is produced by the decay of naturally occurring uranium in soil and water. Which means it can easily seep into your home through cracks in your foundation and drains. You can purchase tests at your local home store to test for radon or hire a professional to come out and make sure your home is radon free.
#3 Adhesives and paints. Epoxies, rubber cement, glues, acrylic paints, carpet adhesives, paint cleaning solvents markers and other art supplies often contain carcinogens. The good news is there are many environmentally friendly options today.
#4 Dry cleaning stores use a often use perchlorethylene, a known carcinogen, to clean them. If you cannot find an eco-friendly dry cleaner in your area, remove the plastic from the clothing and let them air out in a well-ventilated area before placing in your closet.
#5 Pesticides. Products like those flea and tick collars and even lice control products often use lindane-based pesticides to keep these creatures away. Lindane is a neurotoxin and a carcinogen – keep it out of your home and away from your pets and family.
#6 Asbestos. While asbestos is no longer used in home building products and insulation. If you have a home built before 1980 you may want to check to make sure you do not have it in your home. The inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer.
#7 Candles. Candles made from petroleum, as many scented candles are, release chemicals into the air. Many of these chemicals are known carcinogens including formaldehyde, toluene and benzene. A healthier, non-cancer causing, candle base would be beeswax or soy, which both burn fairly clean.
Cancer causing agents are all around us, however, due to increasing awareness of these chemicals healthier options are available. Take care to fill your home with safe, natural and environmentally conscious products. Your family, your body and your planet will thank you.