The household environment can expose us to so many toxins. In fact, as many as 24,000 toxins can cause various negative health effects to our cardiovascular, nervous, respiratory, endocrine, immune and reproductive systems. Toxins could also cause mental issues in various popular, due to hormonal imbalance inside their bodies. Here are some of the most common household toxins that you should know:
- Triclosan: It’s an antibacterial agent that is quite similar to dioxin. Triclosan is linked to immune system dysfunctions. It can be found in deodorants, soaps, children’s toys, kitchenware, cosmetics and toothpaste.
- Phthalates: Large phthalates are added to plastic to improve flexibility and resilience, while small phthalates are useful for prolonging the fragrance of scented products. Phthalates could potentially cause developmental, reproductive and endocrine problems. They can be found in many items, like plastic food packaging, vinyl flooring, plastic bags, children’s toys, detergents, shower curtains and various personal care products.
- Bisphenol A: Bisphenol A is found in epoxy resins of metal cans lining. It is used to make polycarbonate plastics for food containers. Bisphenol A is often linked to endocrine problems. It can be found in baby bottles, food containers, metal food cans, dental sealants and toys.
- Carbon monoxide: Carbon monoxide forms due to incomplete fuel combustion. Higher level of carbon monoxide in interior environment could reduce the ability of our body to deliver oxygen to cells. Carbon monoxide intoxication directly results in nervous and cardiovascular system failures. In households, carbon monoxide is caused by chimney, leaking furnace, fireplace, gas stoves, gas water heater backdraft and car exhaust from garage or nearby heavy road traffic.
- Perfluorinated chemicals: These substances are often used for non-stick surfaces and stain repellents. Exposure to perfluorinated chemicals causes developmental problems among children and various types of cancer. In your house, likely sources of perfluorinated chemicals are microwave popcorn bags, Teflon-coated cookware, carpets, polished furniture and anti-stain clothing.
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): VOCs can be released as gas into the air. VOCs are linked to developmental, respiratory and reproductive problems. They may also cause various cancers. VOCs can be easily found in hair spray, air fresheners, carpets, paints and cleaning products.
- Radon: Radon is an odourless radioactive gas that’s found naturally in rocks and soil. In some areas, radon concentration is relatively high and it’s linked to lung cancer, due to prolonged inhalation. The best way to avoid radon exposure is to check the soil condition for level of radioactivity. Higher level of radon concentration can be found in confined basement spaces that are poorly ventilated. If the interior of the house is poorly insulated as well, especially during winter, the level of radon can be relatively high.
- Lead: Lead slowly builds up in our tissue, due to exposure from lead-based paint, lead plumbing pipes and various imported plastic products. Lead is often linked to developmental problems, reproductive issues, hormonal imbalance and neurological dysfunction. Lead is also believed as a carcinogenic substance.
- Pesticides: Pesticides can be found from industrially farmed or grown foodstuff. Some homeowners also use herbicides to manage their lawn.