In today’s world, it seems as if everyone is concerned about the toxic chemicals surrounding their everyday life. From the food we eat to the clothes we wear to the products we use, one would think we are highly conscious about our consumption and the chemicals that accompany it. However, there are many everyday products we use that are actually toxic.
Are you guilty of using a highly toxic product? Find out, ahead.
1. Your mattress
Think your back is the only thing falling victim to your mattress? Think again. Many mattresses — especially some of the older ones — contain harmful chemicals called PBDEs. And overtime, these chemicals may start to leak, causing a disruption in hormones, memory function, reproductive ability, cancer, and more. Fortunately, certain PBDEs are banned in the U.S. — however, they may still linger in your home and accumulate in your body.
2. House plants
While some plants are known to be living air-purifiers, others can cause some serious damage to our health. According to Poison Control, plants such as caladium, daffodil, elephant ear, and iris can be harmful if ingested (by a small child or pet). If your favorite plant also happens to be poisonous, consider moving it outdoors or purchasing a fake version, just to be safe.
3. Iron pills
Think your bottle of iron pills are harmless? Think again. According to Poison Control, if a child gets their hands on iron pills — and swallows them — it could have a dangerous effect on their body. In fact, in less than an hour of consumption, the child may start throwing up blood and experiencing bloody diarrhea. To be safe, keep your vitamins up high and out of reach of small children.
If you’ve ever taken a look at the back of your tube of toothpaste, you may have noticed that it has some sort of warning about seeking medical attention if you ingest the product. Now, that’s pretty standard for cleaning products — but a product that is meant to clean the inside of our mouths? That is questionable.
That being said, according to MedlinePlus, if your toothpaste contains fluoride or triclosan, it may be poisonous to your body. To be safe, make sure to never swallow toothpaste (obviously) and consider making the switch to a fluoride and triclosan-free toothpaste.
5. Your laptop
Another shocking item that may be causing harm to your health? Your laptop. While there isn’t conclusive evidence to prove this just yet, there have been concerns about the potential dangers of your device’s electromagnetic field. To play it safe, try going on a digital detox every now and then to remove your body from the potential dangers of your devices.
6. Laundry detergent
Another product that may contain scary levels of toxicity? Your laundry detergent. In fact, a study conducted by Women’s Voices for the Earth showed that go-to laundry brand, Tide, showed problematic levels of carcinogenic contaminants in Tide Free & Gentle, as well as Tide Original Scent. That being said, it’s better to be safe than sorry and go with brands like Seventh Generation and The Honest Company.
7. Your deodorant
Commercialized deodorants have gotten a bad rap lately — and for good reason. According to this article by Time Magazine, you can find nasty ingredients like parabens, aluminum, and phthalates in your regular old deodorant. Not only have some of these ingredients been linked to breast cancer in women, it has also been noted that they can tamper with thyroid levels and impair reproductive ability. As a precaution, consider switching to a natural deodorant — such as, Ursa Major’s Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant ($18).
While your sunscreen may protect you from the sun, it can also harm your body. According to the EWG, there are quite a few concerning active chemicals found in sunscreen — think: oxybenzone and octinoxate — that can cause things like hormone disruption, skin irritation, and more.
Everywhere we look, it seems as though all-natural cleaning products are taking over — and with good reason. Many popular window cleaning products — such as, Windex — contain poisonous ingredients. And while there is no real proof that Windex causes cancer, it has been linked to respiratory and asthma problems. What’s more? It’s fairly easy to fall victim to window cleaner poisoning. According to MedlinePlus, “window cleaner poisoning occurs when someone swallows or breathes in large amounts of window cleaner.”
That being said, if you’re someone who prefers Windex over a natural alternative, always wear a mask around your nose and mouth while cleaning.
10. Your shower curtain
We hate to break it to you, but your new plastic shower curtain may cause more harm than good. In fact, you may want to reconsider your purchase altogether. While not all plastic shower curtains are dangerous, some may contain phthalates, aka a chemical used to soften plastic and vinyl shower curtains. While the effects of phthalates on humans are still not entirely known, they are considered a human carcinogen and can lead to various types of cancers and other ailments in the body.
Perfume may smell nice, but it doesn’t play nice. According to this article on Hello Glow, perfumes may contain a carcinogen known as butylated hydroxyanisole, which has been linked to skin depigmentation. And that’s not all. Studies conducted on animals found that BHA can cause stomach cancer, reproductive problems, interfere with thyroid hormone levels, and liver damage. Not to mention: Most of them consist of synthetic fragrances, anyway.
12. Makeup and skin care
It’s not secret that makeup and skin care products have seen a lot of scrutiny for the dangerous ingredients found in their formulas (think: coal tar, petroleum distillates, sodium lauryl sulfate, and more). Fortunately, with so many natural beauty alternatives rising in popularity, it’s fairly easy to avoid the bad stuff.
13. Bug spray
Bug spray may be one of the more obvious ones on this list, but it should not be overlooked. Thanks to DEET — the active ingredient found in most bug repellents — bug spray has gotten a bad rap. While there is still a lot up in the air about the ingredient (some say it causes cancer, others say it is completely safe), if you are concerned about the side effects of DEET, we recommend trying an all-natural alternative, such as Organic Bugscreen ($18).
14. Toilet bowl cleaner
Another everyday item Poison Control says to be wary of (especially if you have small children)? Toilet bowl cleaner. While it may make your throne look sparkly and clean, it can cause severe burns to the mouth, throat, and stomach.
15. Plastic water bottles
Warnings against plastic water bottles are nothing new. In fact, many water bottles are now BPA-free (this means they won’t cause toxic chemicals to leak into your water). That being said, glass is always better than plastic — for both you and the environment. Investing in a glass water bottle can help you feel more confident about what you are putting into your body and the environment.