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Dangerous Household Products: Get Rid of Them!

By HERWriter
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Dangerous household chemicals are unfortunately a pervasive part of modern life. They seem to be everywhere, but with determined awareness, we can avoid many of them. With that in mind here is a cautionary list of some dangerous household chemicals.

Mothballs emit paradichlorobenzene, which may be carcinogenic, or naphthalene which damages red blood cells and causes gastric distress. Pesticides are toxic.

Pressed wood products contain formaldehyde which can cause eye and throat irritation, and breathing difficulties, and may be carcinogenic. Carpets can contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which cause health problems.

Some laser printers contain particles that may be linked to heart and lung disease. Peeling lead paint can damage the nervous system, brain, blood and kidneys.

Air fresheners and cleaning solutions can contain toxic glycol ethers and terpenes which, combining with ozone, can become toxic. Polycarbonate plastic baby bottles contain BPA which causes hormonal disruption.

Flame retardants contain PBDEs which cause cognitive problems, lowered sperm count and may be carcinogenic. Cosmetic phthalates, also known as plasticizers, may cause reproductive and developmental disruption.

"­Either by accident or faulty manufacturing, household consumer products injure an estimated 33.1 million people in the United States every year."


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EmpowHER Guest

Another article entitled "Dangerous Homes, What you don't see and don't know can make you sick."

Formaldehyde is known to cause cancer. The California Air Resources Board's report published December 15, 2009 states:

"Nearly all homes (98%) had formaldehyde concentrations that exceeded guidelines for cancer and chronic irritation..."

Summary: http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/apr/past/04-310exec_sum.pdf
Report: http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/apr/past/04-310.pdf
Researcher's PowerPoint: http://iee-sf.com/resources/pdf/ResidentialVentilation.pdf

Formaldehyde is elevated in 'green' homes.

Formaldehyde off gasses from fiberglass wall insulation, laminate flooring, interior doors, baseboards, crown moldings, cabinets, closet organizers, in addition to household products like furniture, wooden toys etc.

Formaldehyde in homes has gone from difficult to detect, to 14 ppb, to 29 ppb, to 50 ppb, to 75 ppb, to 100+ ppb and appears to be continuing this climb. At the same time childhood cancer and asthma are increasing. Yet you don't see the main street media reporting on this topic.

Following the Sierra Club lead, anybody culd invest $39 including the lab analysis and use a passive acs badge to determine their homes concentration. California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessments reduced their recommend cap from 27 ppb to 7 ppb in November 2008. Studies show decreased lung function in children at 30 ppb, increased asthma at 50 ppb. 100ppb is an occupational limit that assumes 8-hours/day; 5-days/week; healthy adults.

Identifying and correcting formaldehyde in homes is easy and inexpensive. It would seem that with just a litle education we could go a long way in reducing the negative health effects.

May 19, 2010 - 9:16am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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