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The Top 10 Household Toxins

Our indoor air is 5-7 times more toxic than our outdoor air and in new construction, 100 times more toxic (Environmental Protection Agency)

Diseases from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.

Immediate effects may show up after a single exposure or repeated exposures. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable.


Certain immediate effects are similar to those from colds or other viral diseases, so it is often difficult to determine if the symptoms are a result of exposure to indoor air pollution.


UN Report on Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals In Domestic Products »


Everyday chemicals linked to diseases - See the World Health Organisation Report »

1. Household Cleaning Products

Common Toxic Chemicals are Getting into our Homes, Our bodies, and Our Children
Have you ever wondered what is in all of those cleaning products that you use around your household? Most household cleaners have toxic chemicals in them that affect our bodies. 

Solution: Purchase natural household cleaning products. Be sure to check the labels as some claim to be natural, yet still contain toxic chemicals.

A list of common toxic chemicals in cleaning products:

Formaldehyde – Found in furniture polishes, car cleaners, disinfectants, rug and upholstery cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners.

Ethylbenzene – Found in bathroom tub and tile cleaners, floor and furniture polish, laundry starch preparations, and rug upholstery cleaners.

Petroleum Distillates (Petrochemicals) – Found in furniture polish and cleaners, lubricating oils, pet flea and tick products and collars, petroleum products, floor and furniture polish, dishwasher cleaners, aerosol sprays, and laundry detergents.

Chlorine – Found in dishwashing detergent, laundry detergent, kitchen and all purpose cleaners.

Note: Any substances containing chlorine, when mixed with ammonia, toilet bowl cleaners or vinegar will produce deadly toxic fumes (chloramines or chlorine gas).

Benzene - Used as optical brighteners (in surface cleaners, laundry and dishwashing detergents, surface polishes), laundry starch preparations, lubricating oils, rugs, bath mats and bath sets.

Butyl Cellosolve – Found in window cleaners and other all-purpose-cleaning products.

Phenol – Found in disinfectants, antibacterial, antiseptics, hard surface cleaners, paint and varnish removers, and synthetic resin and rubber adhesives.

Biggest Offenders:

  • Dishwashing Detergents
  • Oven Cleaners
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Floor and Furniture Polishes
  • Air Fresheners
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaners
  • Antibacterial Cleaners and Soaps
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Hard-Surface Cleaners (esp. Kitchen Cleaners)
  • Carpet and upholstery cleaners

2. Flame Retardants - Decabromodiphenyl Ether (DECA)

A recent study showed flame retardants are present in the body of almost everyone in the U.S.A, and they are known to be a possible cause of hormonal, neurological, liver and other health problems.

Source: Electronics, furniture, carpets

Risks: Permanent learning and memory deficits; hearing defects; decreased sperm count in animals

Comment: Industry began phasing out the chemical in December 2009.

Flame retardants are commonly found in:

  • Pillows & Mattresses (Especially Polyurethane foams)
  • Computers
  • Car seats
  • Televisions 

3. Carpets

Many chemicals are released from new carpets and furniture such as formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and xylene. 

Carpet fibres themselves, the rubber backing, the glues, dyes, fungicides, and stain resistant treatments all outgas the above  chemicals for up to three years after installation. 

Really old carpets can be full of moulds and other allergens.

4. Furniture – Formaldehyde

Much furniture uses pressed laminated wood containing formaldehyde which is extremely poisonous.

These chemicals are so harmful because they make their way into the dust you and your children breathe.

5. Toxic Beauty - Personal Care Products (PCP’s) – Soaps, Shampoos, Cosmetics

Over 125 ingredients in PCP’s are suspected of causing cancer

“Personal care products are defined as “ non-medical products used in the topical care and grooming of the body and hair. These often are applied to a body, human or animal, for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body’s structure or functions.

PCP’s are used for cleansing, toning, moisturizing, hydrating, exfoliating, conditioning, anointing, massaging, colouring/decorating, soothing, deodorizing, perfuming, and styling.”


Common Personal Care Products (PCP’s):

Soaps, Detergents, Cosmetics, Shampoos, Toothpastes, Babycare Products, Deodorants etc. 


a) Toxic Soaps, Cosmetics, Shampoos, and Detergents - Diethanolamine (DEA)

Diethanolamine (DEA) is found in over 600 home and personal care products such as soaps, lotions, cosmetics, bubble baths, laundry and dishwashing detergents and more.  DEA is a foaming agent used in shampoos and is also used in lotions and creams.


b) Babywipes, Toothpastes, Lotions, Deodorants, Processed Foods - Propylene Glycol 

Propylene Glycol is present in antifreeze and hydraulic.  It is also found in childhood vaccinations, cosmetics, toothpastes, shampoos, deodorants, lotions, and processed foods (including pet foods).  Propylene Glycol helps products retain moisture, and when used on your skin, helps it stay soft and moist.  That’s why it is found in most baby wipes and skin lotions.


c) Soap, Shampoo & Toothpaste - Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) In

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is toxic and is used as a degreaser to clean concrete floors, engines and is used in carwash detergents. Unfortunately this same toxic degreaser is used in practically every soap, shampoo and toothpaste on the market today.


d) Toys, Plastics, Food Packaging & Babycare Products - Phthalates

Pthalates are dangerous chemicals found in plastics that cause endocrine disruption and cancer. Phthalates are also found in baby care products.

What Are They: Chemicals that give plastic its resilience and flexibility

Source: Toys, raincoats, shower curtains, vinyl flooring, detergents, food packaging, shampoos

Risks: Animal studies show reduced sperm counts and reproductive abnormalities; evidence of a link to liver cancer in humans 


e) Nanotechnology & Nano Particles

This involves engineering and using tiny particles similar in size to atoms. This means that they can penetrate and enter into the body almost freely due to their size.

This technology is unregulated and almost no tests have been carried out to determine the health effects of such particles. Nanotechnology is of a concern because it is now being used in virtually all personal care products from make-up to toothpaste and perfume. 


f) Preservatives in Moisturisers, Haircare & Shaving Products - Parabens

What areThey? Synthetic preservatives

Source: Products like moisturizers and hair care and shaving products

Risks: Causes hormone disruptions and cancer in animals

Solution: Use paraben free products


g) Cosmetics - Oxybenzone

What is it? A chemical used in cosmetics

Source: Sunscreens, lip balm, moisturizers

Risks: Linked to hormone disruption and low-birthweight babies

Comment: About 97% of Americans have the compound in their urine.

6. Plastics, Food Packaging, Baby Bottles  - Bisphenol A (BPA)

What is it? A chemical used in plastic production

Source: Water bottles, baby bottles, plastic wraps, food packaging

Risk: The US Government's National Toxicology Program has concluded that there is some concern about brain and behavioural effects on foetuses and young children at current exposure levels.

Solution: Use glass products when possible

7. Toothpaste & Tap Water Contain Fluoride Which is BANNED

What  is it? A form of the basic element fluorine

Source: Toothpaste, tap water

Risks: Neurotoxic and potentially tumorigenic if swallowed; the American Dental Association advises that children under 2 not use fluoride toothpaste

Many countries have banned fluoride from being used in their water supply because it is deemed toxic! Yet it is used in our toothpaste…..Over 95% of the toothpaste sold in the U.S. now contains fluoride?

Countries which have banned Fluoride include: 
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Japan, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland, Sweden and even China.

For more information: 

8. Food Additives - Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)

What is BHA? An additive that preserves fats and oils in food and cosmetics

Source: Chewing gum, snack foods, diaper creams Health hazard May promote cancer in lab animals

Solution: BHA is hard to avoid in foods. Try to avoid processed food.

9. Teflon Cookware - Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)

What Is It? Teflon is made up of chemicals that have proven to cause health problems and birth defects in factory workers as well as those who live within proximity of the manufacturing site.

PFOA is a component of Teflon nonstick coatings

Source: Tap water, nonstick pots and pans

Risks: Has been found to cause hormone disruption and reproductive abnormalities in animal and human studies

Comment: The EPA is urging makers to stop using PFOA by 2015.

Solution: Use stainless steel cookware and cook with extra-virgin olive oil at low to medium heat or coconut oil at high heat to reduce sticking.

10. Indoor Mould

One of the most unknown causes of widespread neurotoxic illness is caused by mould.

Mould is a big problem mainly due to modern constructing methods.

• Most mould is unseen.

• If your house is damp or your basement gets wet, you have mould if there is water there is mould.

• 25% of the population is sensitive to toxins produced by mould.

Symptoms of mould toxicity can be: morning stiffness, brain fog, fatigue, sleep disturbances, digestive issues, and trouble seeing at night.

Solution: Reduce household humidity levels to less than 50° to eliminate mould, using dehumidifiers, improving household ventilation, heating and insulation.  

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