There are a huge number of known carcinogens in our homes of which many people are completely unaware. We assume that if it’s for sale in the store, it must have been tested and proven to be safe, right? This can be a dangerous assumption, and it’s one that no one should make in today’s world.
As we said, the list of carcinogens is a long and ponderous one, and we could not possibly list them all here. However, we have made a list of 12 of the most common carcinogens found in the average American household.
Keep reading and see if your home has any of these cancer-causing items so that you can remove them and make your home safe again.
Shampoos are loaded with chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, ammonium laureth sulfate, synthetic colors and parfum. Parabens are known carcinogenic and are linked directly with four types of cancer. A study found 99% of tissues from breast cancer patients had contained parabens.
While chemicals like ammonium laureth sulfate won’t be the cause of any health problems but these can be easily contaminated if not handled with extreme care during the manufacturing process with impurities like 1,4-dioxane. And according to the Department of Health and Human Services, it is an anticipated human carcinogen.
Non-stick cookware comes with a synthetic coating of what is commonly known as Teflon (polytetraflouroethylene) which releases toxins dangerous for human health when heated at 450F or higher.
According to research by Environmental Working Group, it was observed that Teflon coatings can begin to break apart after just 2-5 minutes of the utensil on the stovetop. This releases fluoride-based gases and toxic particles, some of which are believed to be carcinogenic. An alternative would be to switch to ceramic and glass cookware.
These are used in a variety of artificially sweetened products and the most commonly used one is aspartame. It is added to diet sodas, protein shakes, teas, energy drinks and other beverages with artificial flavors. While these increase the risk of diabetes, they have also been found to have been linked with cancer according to this study. Natural alternatives to artificial sweeteners can be organic cane sugar, honey, and maple syrup.
4.Plastic containers and bottles
Food containers and bottles contain many harmful chemicals. When you eat food or drink something from plastic bottles and containers, you also consume these chemicals and eventually gets digested in your body along with it. One of the chemicals is Bisphenol A, which is used to harden plastic in products such as water bottles, tupperware, and many other food and drink containers.
A lot of studies proved that this chemical is toxic, and cause problems in the brain, behavior, and prostate glands, in the fetus, babies, and young children. Replace those bottles and containers with glass, and metal bottles and containers. Not only are you saving the environment, but you’re saving your body as well.
A study by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found out that air fresheners contain chemicals which aggravate conditions like asthma and affect the reproductive development of humans. All the air fresheners we see around us whethe, in our homes, cars or bathrooms are fragranced with artificially produced chemicals called perfum which are basically a cocktail of toxic chemicals.
None of this is displayed on the labels to keep the particular composition from being replicated by other companies. However, certain harmful ingredients are also hidden by doing so. According to a study by Anne Steinemaan of the University of Washington, all tested products gave off potentially harmful chemicals including carcinogens.
The average household usually has a variety of cleaning products for many different parts of the house. For the windows, under the kitchen sink, in the bathroom. 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 respiratory disorders such as asthma.
Also, other studies have found that many cleaning products contain substances that are known hormone disruptors. These include substances such as parabens, triclosan, phthalates, and BPA.
Luckily, 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.
7.Soaps and detergents
Laundry detergents have a crazy mixture of ammonia, naphthalene, phosphorus and phenol among others which cause itchiness, rashes, and dryness of skin as well as acne and sinus problems. Chemicals like MEA, DEA, and TEA which are found in almost all liquid laundry detergents can react with nitrites in water resource or as a preservative in another product to form carcinogenic nitrosamines.
Recent research by the FDA shows that anti-bacterial hand soaps, dish soaps or body washes, liquid or otherwise contain Triclosan which is a potential carcinogen as found in a study by Michael T. Dinwiddie, Paul D. Terry, and Jiangang Chen.
You have seen numerous “Dentists approved” toothpaste commercials over the years. However, one of the worst ingredients to be found in toothpastes is fluoride, which is a known carcinogen. It is so toxic, that a Fluoride Action Network has been established to raise awareness about its potential dangers. The FDA now requires a poison warning on every tube of fluoride-containing tube sold in the US.
Chemicals have the tendency of easily making their way into your body via your skin. While it is advisable to alter your eating habits and be watchful of processed foods, it would also be a wise decision to take a look at your vanity. Makeup has heavy metals in its composition and women need to be especially watchful of this one.
According to the Heavy Metal Hazard: The Health Risks of Hidden Heavy Metals in Face Makeup report, makeup bags of six different Canadian women were tested by Environmental Defence. They isolated 49 face makeup items including foundations, concealers, powders, bronzers, mascara, eye liners, eye shades, and lipsticks. The results were not, ironically, pretty:
- 96% had lead
- 90% had beryllium
- 61% had thallium
- 51% had cadmium
- 20% had arsenic
According to scientists, if you use heavy makeup on a daily basis, your skin ends up absorbing a total of 5 pounds of chemicals per year. The Environmental Working Group has a wide database to help you find organic and safe alternatives to a heavy metal containing makeup products.
Sunscreens contain Retinyl Palmitate. In a research by Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, it was established that Retinyl Palmitate (RP) causes an increased chance of growth in cancerous tumors and skin lesions. The Environmental Working Group has also issued a warning against sunscreens with RP due to their photo-carcinogenic properties. Experts recommend applying a clear zinc sunscreen and to ditch the other ones altogether.
There is an entire page on the National Pesticide Information Center warning against the health issues Moth balls may cause including headaches, nausea, dizziness, hemolytic anemia, diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain and painful urination. It is advisable that clothing packed with naphthalene balls should be washed before use especially for younger children.
According to the American Cancer Society, the mineral talc, used for manufacturing talcum powder, in its natural form might contain asbestos a substance which is known to cause cancer. Talcum powders are used in baby powders, adult facial and body powders as well as in a range of other consumer products.
Due to awareness, all talcum-based products in the US have been asbestos-free since the 1970s. Very recently, Johnson and Johnson paid a Californian woman $70 million in a lawsuit against the company on the claim that their baby powder caused her ovarian cancer.