Getting families to embrace a healthy and waste-free lifestyle begins at home. However, there are a number of common house items that are potentially unsafe and may put your health on the line. Here are 10 common items found in your home that you should discard immediately:
Too much sugar is bad for you, which is why people switch to “healthy alternatives” that can counter effects of sugar intake. Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners like Splenda (sucralose) and aspartame are no better because they can:
- Worsen insulin sensitivity
- Induce gut dysbiosis and glucose intolerance
- Disrupt intestinal microflora
- Promote weight gain, obesity, and diseases like heart attacks, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease
Dr. Mercola instead recommends natural sweeteners like Stevia and Luo Han to flavor your dishes and drinks.
2. Plastic Food Containers and Bottles
Plastic containers used to store food items and drinks are a common sight in most households. Despite their convenience, these items contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals like bisphenol-A, bisphenol-S, and phthalates, which can leach out when these containers are subjected to heat and wear and tear when they’re washed.
Some of the potential dangers of these endocrine-disrupting chemicals include:
- Reproductive health problems
- Hyperactivity, increased aggressiveness, and impaired learning
- Breast, prostate, and thyroid cancer
Switching to glass containers or bottles is highly recommended by Dr. Mercola. This is especially true when the containers are being used by or for young children.
3. Non-Stick Cookware
Non-stick cookware is coated with a chemical called perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA) that’s been labeled as a “likely” carcinogen, and relies on fluoride. Once the cookware is heated, fluoride is released into the air which can potentially harm people, especially when it’s inhaled.
Using ceramic or glass cookware can prove to be a wise decision, since it will not emit toxic chemicals into the air when heated.
4. Air Fresheners
Deodorizers and air fresheners make homes smell fragrant, but they usually contain two chemicals named 2, 5-dichlorophenol (2, 5-DCP) and 1, 4-dichlorobenzone (1, 4-DCB), which are linked to precocious puberty and other health problems like lung damage. Add endocrine-disrupting phthalates to this mix as well.
To keep your surroundings smelling fresh, Dr. Mercola recommends essential oils , which can also help your well-being, or to improve air quality by opening the windows from time to time.
The need to eliminate germs and bacteria is understandable, but too much can be a bad thing. These types of soaps and detergents can promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria, and antibacterial compounds can be connected to harmful health effects.
One notorious compound in particular is triclosan, which can set the stage for allergies, thyroid and endocrine disruption, weight gain, inflammatory responses, and liver and kidney tumors.
Ditching these products and just washing hands with mild soap and warm water can be effective in combatting disease-causing microbes.
6. Commercial Cleaning Products
When purchasing home cleaning products, it pays to check labels, because trusted brands might carry chemicals like glycol ethers, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and formaldehyde, just to name a few.
Keeping homes spick and span can be done without using harmful chemicals. Dr. Mercola recommends making your own cleaning solutions using these items:
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Liquid castile soap
- Organic essential oils
7. Personal Care Products
There’s nothing wrong with using personal care and cosmetic products to feel beautiful, but beware: some of the products in the market are laced with toxic heavy metals and chemicals. Lead, beryllium, thallium, cadmium, and arsenic were found in 49 different make-up items, according to a report by Environmental Defense.
Dr. Mercola suggests purchasing products from organic make-up brands. You can check out the Environmental Working Group’s database for a list of safe personal care products.
8. Stale Spices
It is no secret that adding spices and herbs to your food not only makes it more sumptuous, but increase the nutrients in your food as well. There’s just one catch – these herbs have to be fresh and/or at their prime. Herbs that have been kept too long and have gone stale lose both their flavor and nutrients .
To keep herbs fresh, take note of expiry dates, and organize store-bought herbs properly. If you have enough space, plant your own herbs in your backyard or in potted containers to ensure a steady and fresh supply.
Smart phones and other devices have made our lives easier nowadays, but a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), begs to disagree. Frequent cellphone use could cause cancer, as the radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) it emits are carcinogenic to humans.
Cell phones emit radiation for as long as they’re turned on, even if they’re not being used. Dr. Mercola encourages avoiding carrying cell phones to reduce exposure especially to our bodies, and refrain from using these devices for periods of time to enjoy life outside the digital world.
10. Your Chair
Just to be clear, the chair itself is not actually the problem, but it’s the habit of prolonged sitting. Recent studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time can be detrimental to your health. By increasing your risk of lung cancer and death from illnesses like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease your chair may well be your coffin if you sit for too long.
Dr. Mercola stresses on the importance of standing up and walking around as much as possible, preferably about 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day. Opt for a standing desk instead if your job requires long periods of sitting down in front of the computer.
It’s never too late to curb bad habits by getting rid of these objects and making changes to your lifestyle. Your family will thank you for making your home healthier.