Indoor pollution is one of the greatest health risks we have in our lives.  You may be shocked to know how many carcinogens you unknowingly bring into your home.

In a study of 5 yr olds and 600 households, it was revealed that the average home is up to 70 times higher in toxins than those found outdoors.  It also revealed that more than one-third of all personal care products contain at least one known carcinogen. The average woman is exposed to approximately 126 chemicals daily.  Some skincare products add penetration enhancements which could allow carcinogens from other products to be drawn into the body.

Cleaning your home can also be a  risk.  The EPA found that household cleaners are three times more likely to cause cancer than outside pollution, even those trusted brands. There is no FDA regulation on most household or personal products, thus there is no public watchdog.  Due to “trade secrets ” and other loopholes many of the unknown or potential carcinogens aren’t required to list on product labels.

There is a product safety guide called that ranks the health safety of over 15,000 name brand products. There is also a site that can give lots of good information on natural alternatives to avoid chemicals.

Carcinogens are in household cleaners, cosmetics, personal care, baby products, air fresheners, detergents, textiles, pressed wood furniture, aerosol sprays, pet products, pesticides, PVC plastic, and products treated with flame retardent (PBDE’s), which includes many computers, TV’s, and mattresses.

We as consumers can use our buying power to pressure companies to clean up their acts. Share information and vote with your wallet for safer products. Contact the manufacturer and encourage regulations to get on board.


The following are a list of the 12 most harmful chemical to avoid called the “dirty dozen”.

  1. BISPHENOL  A (PBA) – A chemical used to make plastics. It is used in food and beverage containers, and the linings of most food and beverage cans.                           Avoidance tools – opt for fresh food in glass jars or waxed cardboard cartons.  No PBA or PG or recycling #7.  , say no to cash register receipts, they contain PBA.
  2. ATRAZINE – This is the most widely used pesticide.  It is applied to most of the U.S. corn.
  3. ORGANOPHOSPHATE PESTICIDES – Used as an insecticide that targets the nervous system of insects.                                                                                                       Avoidance tools – Buy organic.
  4. DIBUTYL  PHTHALATE – DBD – Used in nail polish, soft and flexible plastics like shower curtains, raincoats food wraps and bowls.                                                               Avoidance tools – Limit PCV plastics and soft plastics for storing foods.
  5. LEAD – Lead harms every organ in our body’s system. Lead causes a staggering array of health effects including IQ, miscarriage, kidney damage, and nervous system problems.                                                                                                                         Avoidance – Be careful when removing old peeling paint and use a water filter.
  6. MERCURY – This is toxic to the brain, kidney, liver, heart and nervous system. Especially dangerous to pregnant women and can affect the fetus.
  7. PFC’s – This is widely used to make stain repellant coatings.                                           Avoidance – Buy products not treated with stain repellents, like clothes that contain Gortex, carpets, furniture. Avoid non-stick pans,  mico popcorn bags, and only use personal care products without PTFE or fluoride.
  8. PHTHALATES – These chemicals are used in PVC plastics to make vinyl toys soft.  Also used in solvents and synthetic fragrances.                                                Avoidance – This chemical is used in fragrance,  so use personal care products, and cleaning products without fragrance.  Also in plastics, so don’t use plastics in the microwave. Try to stay away from anything plastic. Use wood or glass if possible.
  9. DIETHLYHEXYL  PHTHALATE  (DEHP) – This affects the thyroid levels.                 Avoidance – Same a #8.
  10. PBDE,s – This is a chemical fire retardant used in polyurethane foam products before 2005, including furniture, mattresses, pillows, couches, carpet padding, and electronics.                                                                                                                           Avoidance – Avoid products manufactured before 2005 and buy those made after 2014. Carefully read labels.
  11. TRICLOSAN – This is an ingredient used in hand soap, dishwater soap, and many personal care products.                                                                                                            Avoidance – Don’t use antibacterial soap and other antibacterial products.
  12. NONYLPHENOL – This chemical is used in industrial and consumer products like detergents, paints, personal care products, and plastic.                                                    Avoidance – Check out EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning and avoid products with this listed in the ingredients.

Let’s all do our part in being healthy and leaving a cleaner and healthier world for our children and grandchildren.

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