We’ve previously mentioned the dangers of poison confusion with regular, safe products, especially where children are concerned. However, confusion isn’t the only way for exposure to poisonous toxins to occur.
Knowing where hidden toxins lay is the first step. It’s time to educate yourself on common toxins you may be exposed to during spring cleaning, your daily routine, or as a result of consumer products.
What Poisonous Toxins Should I be Worried about?
When you hear the word “poison” your mind may jump to insecticides, rodent repellent, iron poisoning, or other more common and publicized issues. Poison can be found all throughout the home, whether in the form of naturally occurring toxins or human engineered chemicals. For ease of information, we’ve separated these toxins into common places they’ve been found.
Toxins in Building Materials
Minerals found in construction materials are often toxic to humans, especially when airborne. Worries of lead paint and asbestos in the walls of your home may seem like a relic of times gone by, but they can still pose a danger to your family in the present day. Even though these materials are not commonly used in new construction, renovations that may uncover or destroy these minerals can lead to health problems for you and your family. It’s important to keep the paint and insulation of houses built before the 1980’s in good repair, as they’re most likely to contain toxins. Additionally, if your house is exposed to a natural disaster, rebuilding, or additions, be sure to contact an abatement professional before beginning your construction.
Toxins in Cosmetics & Body Products
Sometimes, the things we put directly on our bodies can be the most dangerous. Chemicals found in makeup, baby powder, and sunscreen can be very harmful to the human body. Asbestos, also mentioned above, has recently been confirmed by the FDA to be present in certain products from children’s makeup brand, Claire’s. It’s also been found in baby powder manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. Asbestos can cause serious respiratory issues like mesothelioma cancer and is a known carcinogen.
Substandard or mass-produced makeup may also be home to parabens, which can lead to hormone disruption and even breast cancer, in concentrated amounts. The Scientific American reported that 90% of grocery items contain “measurable amounts of parabens”, so avoiding them wherever you can by switching to more natural brands can reduce the effect of parabens in the bloodstream.
Toxins in Plastics
Though becoming less common, Bisphenol A, more commonly known as BPA, is used in some plastic packaging and may seep into our food. Microwaving plastics or putting them in the dishwasher can result in the release of BPA into food, since the heat helps to breakdown the resin. Though the FDA has reported that these are usually in small quantities, BPA can pose a risk to our internal organs and the development of children and fetuses. Avoid these toxic consequences by buying food not packaged in plastics and storing leftovers in glass, ceramic, or non-plastic-coated metal containers.
How do I move forward?
Of course, these are not the only toxins to be aware of, so be sure to do your research on common toxins you may encounter in your daily life. Taking the time to avoid these materials could be the difference in your child’s development, your avoidance of a cancer diagnosis, and even the health of your pets. When in doubt, consult health sources that you trust and err on the side of caution.
Photo credit: Nathan Fertig on Unsplash