We are a country founded on capitalism, a.k.a. consumerism. So it’s hard to listen to someone say that there are things we should go without. We’re used to buying the latest and greatest products, even though many times those products are harmful to our health. Today, I’ll show you five toxic products that you should definitely live without.
1) Artificial Air FreshenersEveryone likes a fresh smelling house (especially the bathroom), but picking up one of the multitude of air fresheners at the store is the wrong move despite having the right intention. Most of those air fresheners do nothing to actually eliminate odors; all they do is rely on synthetic fragrances to mask the odors...or worse, desensitize your sense of smell with chemical anesthetics. Spray air fresheners also often use aerosol cans that spray out tiny droplets of the chemicals, which can then be inhaled into your lungs. There are plenty of alternatives like baking soda, zeolite or essential oils. Or you can simply open a window if the weather permits!
2) Common Household CleanersAgain, I’m not saying you have to live in stinky filth, but you don’t have to rely on harsh, toxic chemicals to enjoy a clean house. The most toxic household cleaners are typically drain, oven and toilet cleaners because of their corrosive and caustic nature. Most rely on lye and acids that can burn your skin, irritate your eyes and even damage your internal tissues like your lungs. The natural health world offers several highly effective cleaning products that are not only much safer for you, they’re much safer for the environment. Baking soda, vinegar and apple cider vinegar are among the most common ingredients in homemade cleaners.
3) Bottled WaterBut isn’t water good for you? Well, yes, of course water is good for you. It’s the plastic containers that are the problem. From the manufacturers producing the plastic bottles to the landfills in charge of disposal, bottled water creates an enormous amount of pollution, which in turn damages the water reserves. Do the world a favor and spend the extra few dollars for a stainless steel water bottle and maybe a water filter if you’re worried about contaminants and pollutants in your tap water. (Note: many studies on bottled water confirm that it is no safer for you than tap water, and in some cases IS actual tap water in disguise as “spring” or “mineral” water.)
4) Food in CansThis is a tricky one, as the convenience of canned food has become so ingrained in our everyday life. Canned fruit, canned veggies, canned meat even...nearly every American kitchen has a pantry shelf filled with canned foods. They last forever and usually taste pretty good. The problem is you can’t taste the toxic BPA (bisphenol-A) that lines most all of the cans. BPA has been linked to hormone disruption, obesity, heart disease, and much more. Eden Foods (which Swanson Health Products carries!) is one of the scant few manufacturers that used BPA-free cans for their beans and other organic foods. For everything else, go with frozen, fresh or jarred foods.
5) Smell Good (a.k.a. perfume and cologne)This is probably the easiest product on the list to give up. After all, as long as you’re not running a half marathon each day, your body isn’t likely to perspire enough in a single day to cause any odor problems. However, there are some—like myself—who can break a sweat reading a book. But I digress... Perfumes and fragrances often contain hundreds of chemical compounds that can soak into the skin and cause a whole bunch of problems. Phthalates in particular are suspected carcinogens and hormone disruptors that are increasingly being linked to reproductive disorders. The problem is, phthalates are claimed as trade secrets (just one of thousands of toxic chemicals shrouded in secrecy) and are exempt from federal labeling requirements, making it almost impossible to know for sure if your preferred fragrance is phthalate-free. Be on the safe side—avoid them altogether.
Posted by Ben