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4 Toxic Products That Could Be Hiding in Your House


Living a healthy and clean lifestyle can be challenging in the modern era, no matter how often you clean your home from top to bottom. 

But, did you know that some common household products can potentially be housing nasties? To help you keep your home safe, here are four toxic products that could be hiding in your house.

Non-Stick Cookware

When it comes to the kitchen, you’ll want to choose your cookware carefully.

Many non-stick pans contain the chemical perfluorooctoanoic acid (PFOA), a carcinogen that’s been linked to neonatal mortality, endocrine disruption, reduced birth size and physical developmental delays. 

That said, the problem only exists if these pans become overheated, says emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, Robert L. Wolke. 

When this happens, the coating on the pans may begin to break down, releasing toxic gases. 

So how hot is “too hot”? Experts agree that anything over 500 degrees Fahrenheit is too hot. 

Keep your pans cooler by not pre-heating them empty, covering the whole pan with food and using a low to medium heat as much as possible. 

Of course, you can also switch to cast iron and stainless steel, which are safer.

Plastic Food Containers

Organizing your pantry in style can often involve countless containers and jars to keep everything in order. 

While most plastic is fine, some containers should be avoided, or at least not be reused. 

Avoid polyvinyl chloride (found in fruit juice and cooking oil bottles and clear food packaging; look for the symbol “V”) and polycarbonate (which may contain bisphenol A, or BPA; look for “PC” or “Other”).

Stain Repellants

Products that can keep stains off your upholstery can also be harmful. 

Over time, the fluoropolymers in the sprays can break down into perfluorochemicals (PFCs). 

While the jury is out on their long-term health effects, PFCs have been linked with changes in liver and thyroid function, increased tumor sizes in some organs and reproductive issues. 

Look for sprays that do not contain fluorochemicals or PTFE resin.

Household Cleaners

It might be surprising, but manufacturers of household cleaning products are not obliged to list their ingredients (unlike makers of cosmetics and toiletries, for example). 

This means we can never be exactly sure of what’s in our kitchen spray. 

Most health experts agree that these cleaners probably won’t cause us harm, but a recent UN report called for more research into products with potential endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). 

If you’re worried about what’s in your Ajax, check out our tips for non-toxic cleaning.

General Rules for Lowering Toxicity

  1. Choose fragrance-free products. Anything with an added scent is likely to contain phthalates, which are known as endocrine disruptors. Steer clear of air fresheners and aerosol sprays. Open a window instead, or use our simple recipe for linen water to make your home smell fresh and amazing in a snap.
  2. Add plants to your home — they detox the air naturally.
  3. Get dust under control. Not only does dust aggravate allergies, but it can also contain hazardous particles — we’re talking lead, fire retardants, and pesticides. Vacuum regularly (with a HEPA filter) and be sure to get under furniture and into every nook and cranny.
  4. Use glass instead of plastic whenever possible. Don’t microwave plastic, even cling wrap.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to love.

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