There are numerous chemicals in the home that are harmful to your health. With many products, you may not notice immediate side effects. However, with continued exposure, some chemicals lead to serious health issues.
It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to buying safer products. However, taking the time to read ingredients before making a purchase will make a difference. The following information takes a closer look at chemicals found in your home and their negative impact on your health.
Chemicals in Dry Cleaning
The process of dry cleaning clothing involves a chemical, perchloroethylene, which has been classified as a “likely human carcinogen” by the EPA. When inhaled, this chemical can cause respiratory irritation, headaches, dizziness, and vision problems.
To avoid the chemicals used in dry cleaning, learn more about your fabrics. Some items can be washed on the delicate cycle in your machine. Others can be hand washed and laid flat to dry.
Lead is One of the Unsafe Chemicals in the Home
Lead-based paint hasn’t been sold since 1978, however, lead paint is still present in older homes. Have your home tested for lead. If you suspect lead-based paint, keep young children away from peeling or flaking paint. Don’t begin scraping or removing paint until you have the test results. Doing so spreads lead dust into the air.
There are laws in place to protect children from lead exposure, however, some toys made in countries without such regulations, like China, still contain harmful amounts of lead. The side effects of lead exposure include cramps, aggression, sleep problems, irritability, memory loss, and kidney dysfunction.
According to the EPA, toy jewelry, chalks and crayons, painted plastic toys, and some clothing are sources of lead. Watch for toy recalls and be especially aware of cheaper plastic toys, like from carnivals or vending machines.
PVC in Shower Curtain Liners
Shower curtain liners made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are another surprising source of chemicals in the home and can be dangerous. PVC can cause dizziness and respiratory issues. It is also classified as a human carcinogen.
To avoid PVC, purchase fabric shower curtains and clean them regularly to prevent mold and mildew. If you have a PVC shower curtain, improve indoor air quality by opening windows or turning on the ventilation fan to increase circulation in the bathroom until you can replace it.
Common Chemicals in the Home: BPA
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a common ingredient found in plastic bottles. It leaches into your beverages and can produce side effects like heart problems, cancer, and issues with your brain and behavior, to name a few. BPA can also be found in other products, such as canned foods, receipts, and plastic food containers.
Look for BPA-free products when shopping. Opt for glass, porcelain, or stainless steel containers for foods. If you are using plastics, don’t microwave food in them, as heat releases more of this chemical.
Protect your family from harmful substances by researching products before purchasing so you can reduce chemicals in the home.