2016 April, Health, Harmful Chemicals, Addesso

Harmful Chemicals in Everyday Products
by Alyssa Addesso, 2016 (posted 5-7-16)

While walking around your house, you might never expect to find some of the harmful chemicals that are cleverly disguised in common household products. Chemicals like BPA, lead, and mercury, can all have serious consequences on the body that can easily be avoided by following precautionary measures. Here is a list of 10 chemicals you should try to avoid.

  1. BPA--Bisphenol A can be found in many water bottles, containers, and metal food cans. This chemical can then leak into the food or drink within, where it can then be easily ingested. The ingestion of BPA can lead to various forms of cancer, reproductive problems, and heart disease.
  2. Arsenic--This chemical behaves like a metal and is naturally produced by the earth. Arsenic can make its way into drinking water, especially if the water is in contact with the earth’s crust. It can lead to skin, bladder, and lung cancer as well as high blood pressure.
  3. Lead--Many people do realize how harmful lead is, but nobody realizes just how common it is in everyday products. It can be found in paint, pipes and other plumbing materials, gasoline, cosmetics and batteries. If ingested, lead can cause cardiovascular diseases, decreased kidney function, and reproductive problems. 
  4. Mercury--Mercury can be found in many thermometers, barometers, and other scientific instruments. In the house, though, it can also be found in many electrical equipment including batteries. This chemical can be fatal if too much accumulates in the body. 
  5. Perchlorate--This oxidizer is commonly used in many rocket fuels, fireworks, and matches, and signal flares. It is also commonly found in drinking water, bleach, and some fertilizers. According to Scientific America, it can cause endocrine problems by “disrupting the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones needed for normal growth and development.”

So, although these products are commonly found in everyday household products, they can be avoided with some preventative measures. Be sure to filter your drinking water, and buy products that are BPA free. You can also prevent some of the harmful effects of lead by avoiding lead based paint.