Many household chemicals are dangerous, even if they are not classified as toxic.
They may be safe to use as directed but become dangerous with improper use. Some may only become dangerous as they break down over time.
While we certainly cannot avoid being exposed to environmental chemicals on a whole, we can reduce the ones we bring into our home.
The next time you shop for household items, avoid purchasing products that contain one or more of the following hazardous chemicals.
- Ammonia: Commonly found in many cleaning products.
- Bisphenol A (BPA): Often found in plastic bottles and food containers. Is also found in the lining of most canned food items.
- Carbaryl: Is an ingredient flea powder so yes, it’s toxic to fleas but also to you and your pets.
- Flame-Retardant Chemicals: Many of today’s electronics, baby products, polymers, furniture, carpet and carpet padding are treated with flame retardant chemicals Often listed as TB 117 or Brominated flame retardant (BFR) they may also be listed as Brominated polystyrene, Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD or HBCDD) or Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA or TBBP-A)
- Fluoropolymers (Teflon, Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)—also known as C-8): Most often found in nonstick cookware and bake ware. Typically safe unless pans reach a temperature above 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Formaldehyde: Used in fertilizers, glues, plywood, fiberboard, particleboard and certain types of insulation. It can also be found in some disinfectants, antibacterial soaps and even beauty products.
- Fragrance: Any products that contain “fragrance” or “parfum” are full of harsh chemicals
- Hydrochloric acid (Muriatic acid or Hydrogen chloride): Can be found in many of the same products as Lye as well as air fresheners, fabric softeners, lime, calcium and rust removers, insect killers and even some shampoos.
- Phthalates (phthalate plasticizers): Can be found in vinyl shower curtains and flooring, fake leather furniture, toys, clothing, artificial fragrances and personal care products such as hair spray, deodorants, soap, nail polish and makeup.
- Sodium Hydroxide (Lye): Found in many drain cleaners, toilet cleaning products and oven cleaners. Can be found in many automotive cleaning products, paint and varnish strippers, laundry detergents, bleach and dish washing detergents.
- Sodium Hypochlorite (Calcium Hypochlorite, Hypochlorous acid, sodium salt, hypochlorite bleach): Found in many items such as drain cleaners, mildew and mold cleaners, disinfectants, all-purpose cleaners, bleach products, bathroom and oven cleaners and dishwashing soaps.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) (Petroleum distillates): Found in many shampoos, body washes, bubble bath products, car wash and car polish products
- Synthetic Pesticides & Fertilizers: Lawn and garden products as well as indoor pest products.
- Trichloroethylene (Perchlorethylene PCE or Perc): Mostly found in automotive cleaners and lubricants but can be found in some carpet cleaning products, arts and crafts adhesives and stain removers.
- Triclosan: Found in antibacterial soaps
- VOCs (a term for a variety of chemicals): Can be found in many things such as plywood and particleboard, personal care products like perfumes, nail polish and remover, paint strippers, odor masking products, dry cleaning products, aerosol sprays, upholstered furniture, adhesives, model cement and moth balls.
Consider this; when reading the ingredients of any product, if you feel like you’re sitting in a chemistry class, chances are, it’s not good for you.
If there are caution, warning or danger notices on the container, look for a different, safer product.
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