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How to Avoid Harmful Chemicals

Every day, you try to make the healthiest choices for you and your family. Maybe you buy organic, or pay attention to additives in your food. But are you missing some of the most obvious things that could be harmful to the health of you and your family? Here’s how you can protect you and yours from the harmful chemicals you may come into contact with in everyday life.


This one you’ve probably heard of. You may see a lot of products advertised as “BPA” free. Water bottles, sandwich bags and other plastic food containers have included it in the past, but now the FDA has stated that while they’re not entirely sure of its impact on health, it’s also not totally safe for everyday use.

Research is currently looking into neurological and hormonal dysfunctions that can be caused by BPA and cardiovascular problems as well. This substance should go in the “avoid it if you can” category, just because its potential harm is unclear.

One place you may not know that you are being exposed to BPA, however, is on the receipts you get at stores. Receipts are coated in BPA so that the printer ink with the chemicals will react with the paper. It may be safer to get a digital receipt!

Soothing Scents

Sure, it’d be nice to come home to a house that smells like a Hawaiian breeze, but what are you really exposing yourself to with air fresheners? Well, you’re getting a big dose of phthalates, which are chemical compounds that can trigger or induce asthma. They have also been linked to hormonal abnormalities, birth defects and reproductive issues, so they are definitely something you need to put on your “stay away from” list. You can, however, find air fresheners that are phthalate free, but make sure to read the label so that you can be sure.

Also remember that scented candles are in this category too. If you want to burn a candle, then try beeswax or an oil diffuser. They are safer for the health of you and your family.

Nail Salons

Sure, it’s relaxing to go in and get a mani-pedi, and you assume that you’re going to get exposed to some chemicals in the process. But, do you know what you’re not only exposing yourself to but also applying to your body? Acetone, DBP, EMA and toluene are present, just to name a few. These substances can cause headaches, dizziness, irritation to the eyes and throat, nausea, numbness and even possibly damage to your liver and kidneys.

Make sure to limit your time in the salon and even bring your own polish that is toxin-free. It might even be worth it to pay more so that you know you’re getting more high quality products.

Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of goblinbox_(queen_of_ad_hoc_bento)

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