We live in a toxic world and it is impossible to avoid all of the health hazards that we are exposed to daily. Some health risks are more dangerous or more easily avoidable than others however, and if you want to do something good for your body, you should avoid taking the following five health risks.
1. Using Your Cell Phone Indiscriminately
There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that the electrical magnetic fields, or “EMFs,” emitted from cell phones alter DNA structure and cause other harmful biological transformations in the human body. In fact, The World Health Organization issued a report last May stating that EMFs may be carcinogenic (cancer causing) to humans and classifying cell phones as probable contributors to brain cancer. The closer you hold the phone to your head, the greater your brain is exposed to EMFs, and unless it is an emergency, you should always use your cell phone on speaker mode and hold it away from your brain. You should also reduce your cell phone use as much as possible, keep the cell phone away from your bed and use landlines whenever you can.
2. Combining Heat with Plastic or PVC
Heat releases BPA and other toxic chemicals found in plastic and you should avoid putting plastic dishware in the microwave, or hot liquids into plastic bottles because the toxins contained within the plastic will end up in your food and drinks. Heat also causes PVC (polyvinyl chloride) shower curtains to release volatile organic compounds which you end up breathing in and it can lead to nausea and headaches and it may even increase your risk for cancer. Instead of using PVC curtains, use curtains made from vinyl acetate whenever possible and in emergency situations when you have no access to these less toxic curtains, you can limit you PVC exposure by reducing the duration of your shower and keeping the water temperature on the cooler side.
3. Using Toxic Cleaning Products
Carpet cleaners, disinfectants, toilet bowl and glass cleaners, degreasers and general cleaning products are full of toxic chemicals which can wreak havoc on your body and you want to avoid breathing them in and exposing your body to them at all costs. Butoxyethanol is one common ingredient found in cleaning products and it can affect your kidneys, liver, blood and heart. Sodium hydroxide is another common ingredient which can burn your eyes and breathing it in can cause substantial damage to your lungs. Additional problems associated with many conventional cleaning products including: contact dermatitis, burnt skin, chemical pneumonitis, edema of the pulmonary artery (the artery responsible for carrying deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs), asthma, inflammation, allergic rhinitis and an intensification of preexisting allergies. Organic cleaning products are widely available these days and should be substituted for the toxic conventional ones. Alternatively, water, lemon, baking soda and vinegar can be combined and used as nontoxic substitutes for almost any type of cleaning product.
4. Using a Humidifier
Although a brand new or well kept humidifier is unlikely to cause harm, most people neglect to clean out their humidifiers properly, or daily, and the warm, moist environment is an ideal breeding ground for fungi and bacteria. Consequently, most humidifiers release a toxic mist that you end up breathing in and breathing in those toxins can result in infections, lung problems and an increased risk for asthma. The moisture in the air also encourages the growth of mold in your home – and breathing in mold comes with its own set of health problems. If an emergency health condition calls for the use of a humidifier, be sure to clean it with hydrogen peroxide every second day and to change the water daily.
5. Using Conventional Toothpaste
Most conventional toothpaste contains fluoride and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) amongst other toxic ingredients. Although the amount of fluoride found in toothpaste is minimal, exposure to it overtime can buildup in your system, and there is enough fluoride in just one toothpaste tub to kill a child. Fluoride can also cause mouth and gum irritation and SLS attacks the mucus membranes of the mouth and it can cause canker sores as well as skin irritation, not to mention the fact that both ingredients can lead to the stubborn and unsightly skin condition perioral dermatitis. There are many natural brands of toothpaste to choose from, but some brands disguise themselves as natural as a marketing ploy, so be sure to check the ingredients label and to choose one that is both fluoride and SLS free.