Do you ever walk through someone’s home and take note of items that could potentially be hazardous to their health? I know I do! I don’t mean to judge, but I can’t help but notice when people have fluoride-filled toothpaste sitting on their bathroom counters or chemical-ridden cleaners hiding in their cabinets. But, what if some of these items are sitting in your own home?
Most people have toxic products linked to cancer in every corner of their homes, often without even realizing it. It’s not like the labels of these products all have a huge warning sign that reads, “I can cause cancer!”
Nevertheless, whether people knowingly purchase these cancer-causing products or not, we need to educate one another on their potential harmful effects.
The following list highlights some of the most popular products found in North American homes that are linked to cancer:
One of the most common items hiding in most people’s homes are chemical-ridden hair products, particularly shampoos and conditioners. Some of the typical chemicals within conventional shampoos include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), parfum/fragrance, parabens, synthetic colours, and more.
Parabens are a known carcinogen, as they’re directly associated with different types of cancer; for example, one study found that 99% of breast cancer tissues tested had parabens in them. Some common ingredients in parfum/synthetic fragrances are benzene derivatives, aldehydes, phthalates, and many other toxins associated with cancer, birth defects, nervous-system disorders, and allergies.
Head & Shoulders specifically contains fragrance, synthetic colours, and SLS, amongst a myriad of other chemicals in the toxic cocktail that makes up their shampoos and conditioners. Some of their shampoo products also contain methylchloroisothiazolinone, a potential mutagen.
2. Non-Stick Cookware
When I first discovered non-stick cookware, I absolutely loved it! That was, until I found out about the potential health risks that come with cooking with these products. The issue is that non-stick cookware is created using a synthetic coating of polytetrafluoroethylene, otherwise known as Teflon, a plastic polymer that will actually release toxins when heated at 450 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
One study found that heating cookware coated with Teflon for only two to five minutes on a conventional stovetop can cause the coating to break apart and emit toxic particles and gases. Even just inhaling these once can cause people to become sick with what’s known as the “Teflon flu.”
Some of the chemicals within that coating are also considered potential carcinogens.
3. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are in so many products, and one of the most prevalent ones used is aspartame. Aspartame is commonly thought to only be in diet sodas, but it’s often added to teas, energy drinks, protein shakes, milk products, juices, and other artificially flavoured beverages. Aspartame has been linked to numerous health problems, including cancer.
There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the aspartame/cancer link, and many corporations that profit off aspartame have funded research in efforts to disprove the causal link. However, a study performed in 2007 showed that aspartame can cause leukemias/lymphomas and mammary (breast) cancer.
Instead of using artificial sweeteners, try a natural alternative such as maple syrup, raw honey, Xylitol, Stevia, organic cane sugar, or dates.
4. Plastic Bottles and Food Containers
So much of our “food” comes in plastic bags, containers, and bottles. Even our fruits and vegetables are commonly wrapped in plastic. Not only is this extremely wasteful and bad for the environment, but it isn’t very good for our health, either.
If you’re drinking from a plastic water bottle, the chemicals within that plastic that are touching your lips can literally seep into your mouth, especially if your water has been sitting in the bottle for a while. Left your bottle in a hot car? That’s even worse, as the heat expedites this chemical leaching.
You’ve probably noticed more and more “BPA-free” labels on plastic bottles, and that’s because people have become increasingly aware of how using plastic containers can harm our health, as many contain BPA, which can cause cancer in people.
An easy solution is to use a refillable water bottle and glassware, which is not only better for your own health, but the health of the environment, too.
5. Air Fresheners
This is a big one. Air fresheners are all over people’s houses; from bedrooms to bathrooms to cars, people love them. Typically they’re made with synthetic fragrance, otherwise known as parfum. Parfum is basically a cocktail of toxic chemicals, but instead of listing all of these chemicals on the back of products, it’s conveniently labelled as “parfum” so that companies can keep their signature fragrance a trade secret.
Unfortunately, this also allows companies to hide harmful ingredients, many of which are known carcinogens, in their products without the consumer even knowing.
For a more natural alternative, try brands like Saje Natural Wellness or DoTerra, or make your own using essential oils and water! You could even use natural disinfectants like tea tree and pine essential oils.
6. Conventional Cleaners
Most families have an entire shelf filled with toxic cleaners because corporations convince consumers they need different products to clean specific surfaces. Even though most of these products have toxic warning signs on them that clearly state they’re poisonous and/or corrosive, people continue to, quite literally, buy into this corporate propaganda. Not only are they breathing in these fumes while cleaning, but so are any of their household visitors and/or children.
According to the David Suzuki Foundation, some of the common chemicals found in household cleaning products include 2-BE (causes reproductive problems), ammonia (associated with kidney and live damage), coal tar dyes (causes cancer and harms nervous system), and the infamous “fragrance” or parfum. For an all-natural, all-purpose household cleaner, check out Dr. Bronner’s.
Commercial toothpastes primarily use toxic substances as a means to “clean your mouth,” as the ingredients in regular toothpastes can cause enamel damage, dental flourosis, stomach ailments, skin rashes, and more.
One of the worst ingredients found in most conventional and “dentist approved” toothpastes is fluoride, a known carcinogen. Fluoride has been a known neurotoxin for a long time, but the government claims it benefits our teeth. In reality, it hasn’t actually been proven to prevent the buildup of harmful oral bacteria; however, it has proven to be toxic, with long-term ingestion linked to brain, heart, and bone issues. You can get fluoride free toothpaste here.
“In point of fact, fluoride causes more human cancer deaths than any other chemical. When you have power you don’t have to tell the truth. That’s a rule that’s been working in this world for generations. There are a great many people who don’t tell the truth when they are in power in administrative positions. This amounts to public murder on a grand scale, it is a public crime. . . . It is some of the most conclusive bits of scientific and biological evidence that I have come across in my 50 years in the field of cancer research.”
– Dr. Dean Burk, Biochemist, Founder of Biotin and Former Chief Chemist at the National Cancer Institute of Heal (source)
Whether it’s dish soap, hand soap, or body wash, conventional soaps often contain a wide array of chemicals. Antibacterial soaps regularly contain Triclosan, which is a potential carcinogen, along with many of the other ingredients often found in typical soaps. Conventional soaps also often contain parfum/fragrance.
The good news is that organic/all-natural soap is widely available! Dr. Bronner’s makes a great dish soap, as does Green Beaver, and there are tons of great body products made by all-natural brands like Andalou and Saje Natural Wellness.
9. Laundry Detergent
Laundry detergents often contain phosphorus, enzymes, ammonia, naphthalene, phenol, and sodium nitilotriacetate, all of which can cause rashes, itchiness, dryness, and sinus problems. These chemicals are easily absorbed through your skin from your clothes and bed sheets. In addition, many conventional detergents contain artificial scents and “fragrance,” which is a code name for a sweet cocktail of hazardous chemicals and potential carcinogens. My favourite all-natural detergent is doTERRA’s On Guard Laundry Detergent.
10. Baby Powder
Many baby powders are talc-based, meaning that they contain high amounts of talcum powder. According to the American Cancer Society, talc in its natural form, which contains asbestos, can cause cancer. One of the most popular baby powders used produced by Johnson and Johnson is talc-based. The company has been sued many times and has paid millions of dollars to those who claimed their baby powder caused their cancer.
A more recent case against Johnson & Johnson involved a California woman who was awarded more than $70 million in her lawsuit against the company, as she claimed their baby powder caused her ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson, like many other companies, has failed to disclose the dangers of using their products. Although there are many all-natural alternatives available, here’s a link to a DIY Natural recipe for baby powder.
The great part about all of this is that there are incredible, all-natural alternatives to all of these products! You don’t need to be living in fear that you’ll get cancer because there are so many things you can do to prevent it, starting with replacing these products with all-natural alternatives.
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