In the modern era we are exposed to many different harmful chemicals on a daily basis. Workplaces and restaurants all have to adhere to certain safety measures to ensure that workers and customers alike are not exposed to dangerous amounts of these substances. However, just as many toxic chemicals can be found in your home as well. This is why I’m going to tell you about five common household items that you need to get rid of to improve your health and the natural alternatives that you can replace them with.
Non-stick cookware is by far the most common cookware used by Americans. This is despite the fact that it has been proven to release toxic chemicals into your food during cooking. When non-stick cookware is heated up, its coating begins to break down at a molecular level, meaning that you are not actually able to see this happening. When the coating breaks down it releases a variety of toxic particles and fluoride-based gases, many of which are carcinogenic. Instead of toxic non-stick cookware, purchase glass or ceramic pots and pans that don’t release harmful fumes.
Many people think that they are doing their body justice when swapping sugar for one of its alternatives. Although there are many healthy natural sweeteners out there, the most common ones tend to be a lot worse for you than sugar. If you have any of the following sweeteners, throw them out immediately:
- Acesulfame K, may be carcinogenic, causes tumors and affects pregnancy
- Aspartame, has been linked to skin cancers and can be deadly for people with phenylketonuria
- Saccharin, may cause bladder cancer, is indigestible and gets excreted by the liver unchanged
- Sorbitol, is only partially digested in the intestines, causes diarrhea, bloating and gas
Instead, replace these artificial sweeteners with ones that can be naturally found and cultivated without refining. These include:
- Stevia, can lower blood pressure and blood sugar
- Erythritol, has no affect on blood sugar, insulin or cholesterol levels
- Xylitol, can improve bone density and reduce risk of tooth decay
- Yacon syrup, feeds good bacteria in intestines and can help fight against constipation
Plastic Bottles And Food Containers
When you drink liquid or eat food from containers made out of plastic, the chemicals in that plastic leach into whatever you are putting in your mouth and eventually gets digested in your body along with it. Among these chemicals are Bisphenol A, which is used to harden plastic in products such as water bottles, tupperware and many other food and drink containers.
Many studies have linked Bisphenol A to having adverse health effects. In 2010 the FDA changed their stance on the chemical, expressing “some concern” over its effects on the brain, behavior and prostate glands in fetuses, babies and young children. Instead of using disposable plastic water bottles, opt for reusable metal or glass ones. The same goes for food containers. Not only are you saving the environment, but you’re saving your body as well.
Air fresheners are often advertised as being able to rid your house of pungent odors and noxious gas, however recent research suggests that the fumes emitted from air freshener cans is actually more dangerous than cigarette smoke. These fumes have also been found to cause respiratory conditions such as asthma and can interfere with hormone balances.
One study conducted by Public Health England’s Center for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards showed that common air fresheners contain a “considerable” amount of formaldehyde, which the United States’ National Toxicology Program classifies as a “known human carcinogen.” Overexposure to air fresheners has been linked to cancers of the nose and throat.
A natural alternative to conventional air fresheners is the use of essential oils. Not only are they effective at creating pleasant aromas, but they have also been proven to be able to provide numerous health benefits as well. One study found that inhaling rosemary oil could improve your mood and stimulate the nervous system.
To use essential oils as air freshener, add 10 to 15 drops of essential oil into a spray bottle with approximately one cup of distilled water. Spray this around the house as your would a conventional air freshener.
Commercial Cleaning Products
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.
Other studies have also found that many cleaning products contain substances that are known hormone disruptors. These include substances such as parabens, triclosan, phtalates and BPA.
Thankfully, 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.