Common Household Toxins
Dr. Ben Kim
to household toxins is linked to just about every disease that we know of, most
notably cancer. Numerous animal studies have linked
many of the more than 24,000 toxins that exist in our environment to negative
health effects on the following systems:
household toxins have also been linked to mental and physical developmental problems
we are unable to feel, see, smell, or taste many household toxins at first contact,
it is important to be aware of the most common household toxins and to proactively
take measures to prevent or reduce our exposure to them.
most common household toxins are as follows:
an antibacterial agent that is chemically similar to the dioxin class of compounds.
Linked to: immune system dysfunction.
commonly found in: many liquid soaps and in some deodorants, toothpastes,
cosmetics, kitchenware, and children's toys.
large phthalates are chemicals that are added to plastics to impart resilience
and flexibility. Smaller phthalates are used to prolong the length of time that
a scented product maintains its fragrance.
endocrine, reproductive, and developmental problems.
found in: vinyl flooring, plastic food packaging, plastic bags, plastic
clothing, detergents, children's toys, shower curtains, and personal care products
like soap, shampoo, nail polish, and hair spray.
used in epoxy resins that line some metal cans, and to make polycarbonate
plastics utilized in a variety of food containers and baby products.
Linked to: endocrine problems.
found in: food and drink containers, baby bottles, teethers, toys, metal
food cans, and dental sealants used to prevent cavities.
monoxide: formed from incomplete combustion of fuel. Carbon monoxide
decreases delivery of oxygen to cells.
Linked to: cardiovascular
and nervous system failure.
Most commonly produced by:
leaking furnaces and chimneys, gas stoves, wood stoves and fireplaces, back-drafting
from gas water heaters, and auto exhaust from an attached garage or nearby traffic.
to make stain-repellents and non-stick surfaces.
many different types of cancer and developmental problems in children.
Most commonly found in: teflon-coated cookware, microwave popcorn
bags, and stain-guarded clothing, furniture, and carpets.
organic compounds (VOCs):
chemicals that are released into the air as gases.
reproductive, respiratory, neurological, and developmental problems. Also linked
to different types of cancer.
Most commonly found in:
air fresheners, hair spray, perfumes, cleaning products, paints, carpets, and
furniture made out of pressed wood.
odorless gas that forms as uranium in rocks and soil breaks down.
to: lung cancer.
Most commonly found in: confined
spaces, the most common of which are poorly ventilated basements that have cracked
walls and/or floors.
a heavy metal that can build up in our tissues.
cancer, neurological dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, reproductive problems,
and developmental problems in children.
Most commonly found
in: lead plumbing pipes found in older homes, lead-based paint, crystal
tableware, and some varieties of imported mini-blinds.
linked to problems with the nervous system, and possibly a risk factor for cancer,
developmental challenges, and reproductive problems.
found in: non-organic food supply, non-organic farming regions, and non-organic
landscaped areas that are well maintained.
we are all at risk of experiencing health problems due to exposure to the household
toxins listed above, particularly worrisome are the effects that these toxins
may have on babies growing in their mothers' wombs.
study conducted in 2004 by the Environmental Working Group found that umbilical
cord blood from 10 newborns contained chemicals used in consumer products, pesticides,
and by-products from gasoline, garbage, and the burning of coal.
average, the blood from each newborn contained 200 industrial pollutants and chemicals.
Of the 287 toxins that were found in the newborns' blood, 180 are known to cause
cancer in humans or animals, 217 are known to be toxic to the brain and nervous
system, and 208 are known to cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal
think it's import not to become obsessed with living in a way that minimizes exposure
to household and other toxins. I firmly believe that such an obsession can quite
possibly become an emotional stressor that creates more of a negative impact on
our health than toxins themselves.
within the context of living emotionally balanced lives, we can significantly
lower our risk of developing many different types of chronic disease by doing
our best to avoid the most common sources of the toxins listed in this article.
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