What do dry-cleaned clothes and coffee tables have in common with lethal carbon monoxide poisoning? They’re all dangerous for your family’s health, and they can all be found in common household items. In this article, we’ll detail the top five common items found in your household that pose a dangerous risk to your family’s health and safety. Some of these dangerous substances lurk in commonly-used household items found everywhere. We’ll show you how to locate these household health risks, and also show you healthier, safer and natural alternatives to protect your family.
Top Five Common Dangerous Household Items to Avoid…and Safer Alternatives!
1. Moth Balls: Commercial moth balls, found in closets in many homes, are made of a toxic chemical called naphthalene. It kills moths and other insects by releasing toxic fumes; if you think naphthalene’s fumes are only dangerous for moths, think again. Commercial moth balls with naphthalene can potentially cause anemia by attacking red blood cells, as well as host of other health problems. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Toxicology Program has found that the naphthalene in moth balls can cause cancer.
A healthier, safer alternative to moth balls are natural mothballs, such as those you make yourself out of natural herbs like thyme, rosemary and chamomile (recipe for natural moth balls).
2. Dry Cleaned Clothes: Dry cleaning your clothes involves various chemicals, including those such as perchloroethylene that are linked with cancer. New York’s state representative Carolyn Maloney says that “conventional dry cleaners rely on perc, a powerful degreaser commonly used to clean heavy machinery, to remove spots and stains from clothes. It is classified as a hazardous air pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency, and a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Nonetheless, it has remained the industry standard” (source). Thankfully, there are healthier, safer alternatives to dry cleaning that don’t cause cancer, such as the process called ‘Green Earth’ dry cleaning.
3. Plastics with BPA: Plastic, ubiquitously used in many homes, can often contain a chemical called BPA. BPA has been linked to a variety of diseases and health problems, such as cancer and heart disease (source). A healthier alternative is switching away from toxic plastics, or using containers and water bottles made of other materials.
4. Lead: Lead can be found in many areas of your home, including your house paint, water, toys, and wiring. Lead is especially dangerous for young children who are susceptible to it in their toys and playthings. The U.S. Center for Disease Control says that “toys that have been made in other countries and then imported into the U.S. or antique toys and collectibles passed down through generations put children at risk for such exposure. To reduce these risks, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issues recalls of toys that could potentially expose children to lead”.
5. Pesticides: Many homes use pesticides to control pests in yards and gardens. However, while pesticides are useful for landscaping, it poses a significant health risk to your family. Instead, practice natural insect control by using all-natural, environmentally-friendly pesticides made of safe chemicals derived from natural plants.