While you may not know it, there are a couple of products you use everyday in your house that has the ability to cause or give you cancer. Here are a few of the products and how you can protect yourself and your family.
Your Cleaning Products
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen found at home in food, cosmetics, a variety of cleaning products (such as dishwashing liquids, fabric softeners, and carpet cleaners), paint, foam insulation, and on permanent press fabrics. You can also be exposed to formaldehyde by breathing smoke from gas cookers and open fireplaces.
To reduce your risk of this, choose your cleaning products carefully and read all labels to ensure that you aren’t using one with formaldehyde. Also, be sure to ventilate your cooking areas.
The dry-cleaning chemical perchloroethylene (tetrachloroethylene or “perc”) is a cancer causing substance that can build up wherever you store your dry-cleaned clothes. It’s also found in spot removers, shoe polish, and wood cleaners.
The way to protect yourself is to wear gloves when polishing your shoes and cleaning wood. If you dry-clean your clothing, try to find a dry-cleaner who doesn’t use perc.
Your Vinyl Flooring and Your Miniblinds
Phthalates are suspected of causing cancer and may also have a negative effect on human reproduction or development. They can be found in vinyl flooring, shower curtains, synthetic leather, miniblinds, wallpaper, and anything made with PVC vinyl. They’re also found in food packaged in plastic.
To protect yourself, look for products that are labeled as phthalate-free. Get rid of plastic toys made before 2008 and switch to glass and stainless containers and bottles.
Your Chicken and Rice Dinner
Everyone knows arsenic is poisonous, but in smaller doses, it can also cause cancer. However, you can also find it in foods you probably eat regularly—including chicken, rice, and certain fruit juices, as well as in degreasing products, dyes, furniture wax, glues, lubricants, nylon, and paints.
Serve only organic chicken, and wash your rice well before cooking. Check the labels on your household products; people following a gluten-free diet may be at particular risk of arsenic exposure.
Asbestos has been out of favour when it comes to insulation for years but there is a chance you will still find it in older homes. As the insulation eventually deteriorates, asbestos fibers become airborne.
Since asbestos fibers stick to clothing and shoes, workers exposed to asbestos on the job have a higher chance of bringing it into their homes.
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