Monday, August 20, 2012

Avoid These Cancer-Causing Products In Your Home

You’d like to believe your home is the safest place on earth however, there are many chemicals and gasses which are emitted from regular every day products that have been linked to various types of cancer.  Below is a list of 7 potential cancer causers in your home - and some suggestions for avoiding or eliminating them. (For more helpful tips, grab a copy of our FREE Toxic Load Checklist for ideas on making your home cleaner and greener!)

air fresheners
Air fresheners (Photo credit: coreythrace)
#1)  Air fresheners and deodorizers.  Our homes can harbor many unpleasant smells.  Whether it’s the stinky gym shoes, the kitty litter box or the bathroom, we often get rid of those smells with air fresheners. However, fresheners often contain naphthalene and formaldehyde, two very toxic and cancer causing agents. (I call them "air poisoners," as that's really what they are.)  There are many wonderful natural fresheners available, or try essential oils, or simply open the windows.

#2)  Radon.  Radon kills about 20,000 people a year. It’s a primary cause of lung cancer and unfortunately it’s an odorless, tasteless and invisible.  Radon is produced by the decay of naturally occurring uranium in soil and water.  Which means it can easily seep into your home through cracks in your foundation and drains.  You can purchase tests at your local home store to test for radon or hire a professional to come out and make sure your home is radon free.

#3)  Adhesives and paints.  Epoxies, rubber cement, glues, acrylic paints, carpet adhesives, paint cleaning solvents markers and other art supplies often contain carcinogens.  The good news is there are many environmentally friendly options available today (grab a copy of our free home checklist for more on this)

Dry Cleaning Machine
Dry Cleaning Machine (Photo credit: AndyRobertsPhotos)
#4) Dry cleaned clothing.  Dry cleaning stores use a often use perchlorethylene, a known carcinogen, to clean clothes. If you cannot find an eco-friendly dry cleaner in your area, remove the plastic from the clothing and let them air out in a well-ventilated area (preferably outside your home) before placing in your closet.

#5)  Pesticides.  Products like those flea and tick collars and even lice control products often use lindane-based pesticides to keep these creatures away.  Lindane is a neurotoxin and a carcinogen – keep it out of your home and away from your pets and family.

#6) Asbestos.  While asbestos is no longer used in home building products and insulation, if you have a home built before 1980 you may want to check to make sure you do not have it in your home.  The inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer.

#7) Candles.  Candles made from petroleum, as many scented candles are, release chemicals into the air.  Many of these chemicals are known carcinogens including formaldehyde, toluene and benzene.  A healthier, non-cancer-causing, candle base would be beeswax or soy, which both burn fairly clean.

Cancer causing agents are all around us, however, due to increasing awareness of these chemicals healthier options are available.  Take care to fill your home with safe, natural and environmentally conscious products. Your family, your body and your planet will thank you!

Be sure to visit our website for more tips on reducing your home's toxic load, and choosing safer and healthier alternatives:
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