If you closely monitor your health (eat right, exercise regularly and find time to rest), but you do not feel well, the reason for this may be household items that you use every day.
We know that it is impossible to protect ourselves from everything, but if there is an opportunity to reduce risks for the sake of our own well-being, then this must be done.
At the end of the article you will find a cheat sheet that will help you choose a safe plastic product.
17. Pressed wood products (chipboard)
What is the danger: Shavings and sawdust glued together with urea-formaldehyde resins is a poison that adversely affects the respiratory tract, eyes and can cause cancer in animals. The risk increases if the furniture is old, since new furniture is governed by standards.
what can you do: Check product certificates. In accordance with European standards, wood materials (laminated chipboard, MDF, OSB) must have an emission class of not more than E1.
What is the danger: Glue and dyes used in carpets emit volatile organic matter (VOC), which can cause headaches, allergies, fatigue, etc. Carpet is bad because, unlike a carpet, the cover is attached to the floor, which is why it is impossible to remove dust mites (which can also cause allergies and asthma) that accumulate under it.
what can you do: If you are buying a new carpet, then give preference to raw natural materials. In addition, avoid large carpet sizes. they will be harder to erase.
15. Laser printer
What is the danger: The study showed that laser printers emit tiny particles of printing powder that penetrate the lungs into the air. As a result, a variety of lung and cardiovascular diseases may occur.
What is the danger: Toxins found in air fresheners can accumulate in the body over time. These chemicals (phthalates) can affect hormones and reproductive development. Especially negatively they affect children and pregnant women.
what can you do: Add more plants to your home: they are natural air purifiers.
13. Baby bottle
What is the danger: Polycarbonate plastic is the most common material for this type of product. A plastic made using a chemical called bisphenol A (BPA) has a structure that is very similar to estrogen, and for this reason it is called a "hormonal destroyer." It can cause serious hormonal imbalance in the child’s body.
what can you do: Look for an alternative made from safe materials and study the labeling before purchasing.
What is the danger: Many mattresses have high levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Health problems associated with exposure to PBDEs include brain damage, reduced reproductive performance and thyroid problems. PBDEs are especially dangerous for children.
what can you do: Old-style mattresses most likely contain harmful substances, so if you haven’t changed your mattress for a long time, it’s time to replace it with a new one (it’s better to prefer products made from natural organic fibers).
11. Food containers
What is the dangerA: Many plastic containers are made from chemicals such as phthalates, which can affect the body's endocrine system, the reproductive system, cause high blood pressure and insulin resistance in adolescents.
what can you do: If possible, go to glass and ceramic containers or choose polyethylene or polypropylene containers (labeled 2, 4 and 5). And never heat food in a plastic container in the microwave.
10. Plastic Bottles
What is the danger: Toxic chemicals may be released into your drink. Most bottles are now manufactured without BPA (bisphenol A), but this is not the only harmful chemical. So try to always use a glass cup.
what can you do: Pour the beverage into a glass bottle or into a stainless steel container, and also look at the plastic bottle code ("PP" or recycling code 5).
9. Fabric softener
What is the danger: Fabric softeners cover your clothes with a thin layer of toxic chemicals that can cause skin irritation, breathing problems and headaches.
what can you do: With infrequent and careful use of air conditioners can be safe, but it is better to abandon them when washing children's things. There are many natural products that perfectly soften and flavor laundry when washed.
8. Teflon dishes
What is the danger: At high temperatures, polytetrafluoroethylene, through which Teflon repels grease, water and dirt, releases a toxic gas that accumulates in the body. Animal studies show that polytetrafluoroethylene causes cancer, liver damage and damage to the immune system.
what can you do: Choose stainless steel or cast iron. If you are not ready to give up your favorite Teflon tableware, do not use a knife, fork or other metal devices when using it, otherwise the coating may be damaged. Wash this dish should be in warm water with a soft sponge and liquid detergent.
7. Shower Curtains
What is the danger: Phthalates are also used to soften the plastic that is part of the shower curtain. Phthalate harms children by affecting their brain functions, which threatens to lower their ability to learn and memory deterioration.
what can you do: Choose non-toxic plastic curtains (PEVA) or choose natural materials (cotton, bamboo, hemp fiber, etc.).
6. Game consoles
What is the danger: Phthalates and other harmful substances are found in the power cables of devices and control cables, and flame retardants that can be found in printed circuit boards and shells are associated with impaired brain development.
what can you do: Do not abuse electronic entertainment.
5. Hand sanitizer
What is the danger: Triclosan is widely used to kill germs and is found almost everywhere, from hand sanitizers to toothpaste. But triclosan can cause hormonal problems, including problems with pregnancy.
what can you do: Avoid antibacterial products, use regular soap - it will kill as many germs. If you cannot do without a hand sanitizer, choose one that is based on alcohol and does not include triclosan, triclocarban, or another related chemical.
4. Toilet paper
What is the danger: If you see the word "flavored" on the label, this means that phthalates and other harmful substances are in the composition. Although exposure to phthalates occurs mainly through inhalation, this substance can cause serious problems in contact with skin.
what can you do: The simpler the better - choose products without flavors and give preference to simpler manufacturers, because The probability of having formaldehyde in expensive toilet paper is much higher.
3. Teflon tablecloths
What is the danger: Teflon tablecloths contain high levels of lead, a neurotoxic metal that is dangerous for children and pregnant women.
what can you do: Give preference to natural textiles (cotton and linen).
2. Vinyl floor mats
What is the danger: Material in non-slip mats contains phthalate and chlorine. Scientists at the American environmental center Healthy Stuff strongly advise to avoid any products that contain vinyl.
what can you do: It is better to use the handrail for stability.
What is the danger: A fire retardant to protect tissue is most often used in sofas and contains polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which cause health problems, such as damage to the brain and reproductive system, problems with the thyroid gland.
what can you do: Replace old furniture with modern.
- PETE (PET) - polyethylene terephthalate. For single use only, phthalates are released.
- HDPE (PE-HD) - high density polyethylene. Relatively harmless, with time exposed to heat aging, which is accompanied by the release of aldehydes, ketones, hydrogen peroxide, etc.
- PVC (V) - polyvinyl chloride. Prohibited for food use. Contains bisphenol A, vinyl chloride, phthalates, and may also contain mercury and cadmium.
- LDPE (PEBD) - low density polyethylene. Relatively safe for food use, in rare cases it can release formaldehyde.
- PP - polypropylene. It is quite safe, does not contain bisphenol A, phthalates and PVC.
- PS - polystyrene (used in the manufacture of disposable tableware, cups for yoghurts, food containers, etc.). It can produce styrene, so disposable tableware is called disposable.
- №№ 7-19 - Available rooms for other plastics (polycarbonate, polyamide and other types of plastics). Some plastics from this group contain bisphenol A, and some, on the contrary, are distinguished by high ecological purity.