Welcome to Part 3 in the Detox Series! In this article, I’ll be covering the harmful chemicals that may be lurking in normal technology and household items that most of us use on the daily like pots, pans, Tupperware, even cell phones (Yeeeesh, amirite??) Let’s dive into it!
If you have done the previous activities where you go through your household products and find ingredients – Good for you! You go, Glenn Coco! What did you take away from that activity?
If you thought perhaps I would have another activity suggestion for Part 3… you thought right? If you have a minute while you read this, recount a typical day and all of the things you touch from the moment you wake up: Maybe you start by checking your phone, then touching the coffee pot to make coffee, then maybe you grab a pan to cook breakfast, etc. Throughout the entire day, how many items do you think you touch?
Why It Matters:
Not all household items are created equally safe. It is typically more cost effective for companies to manufacture goods using plastic or other materials rather than using wood, metal, ceramic, etc., which means they are usually much less expensive for consumers to buy. Unfortunately, these and even items that are marketed as high quality can have harmful impacts on our health as toxic chemicals are used in many of the items we come into contact with everyday.
The Common Toxins To Watch Out For:
- PFAS (per and polyfluorochemicals). Also known as the toxic “forever chemicals” because they do not breakdown in our bodies or our environment, these are a group of chemicals used to make heat, oil, or water-resistant coatings. Exposure to PFAS has been linked to cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility, and increased risk of asthma and thyroid disease. In addition to this, they do not break down in the environment and can move through soil which puts our drinking water and fish/wildlife at risk. PFAS are often found in:
- Teflon cookware
- Some furniture and adhesives
- Food packaging
- Insulation on electric wire
- BPA (bisphenol A). This is an industrial chemical used in many regularly used items and can leach into food and water when exposed to heat. BPA has been found to disrupt normal Endocrine system functioning, which can lead to many other health issues. Often found in:
- Takeout containers
- Plastic Tupperware
- plastic water bottles
- baby bottles
- The lining of canned food.
- Radiofrequency Radiation. How often do you have your phone on you? Probably most of the day right? The electromagnetic waves (radiofrequency radiation) emitted by wireless devices likes cellphones and tablets has been linked to damage to the nervous system and to Brain health, especially in children.
What You Can Do:
To reduce your exposure and risk of harm, the greatest armor you have is knowledge! Here are other tips for avoiding exposure:
- Swap plastic tupperware for glass. Try reusing glass sauce or soup jars, or check out your local thrift store if they are out of your budget!
- Invest in a reusable metal water bottle. Say no to disposable plastic water bottles for the health of you, your family, and the environment.
- Bring your own BPA free container for your leftovers. It may feel silly at first, but it saves waste and saves you having to come into contact with nasty toxins!
- Look for BPA-free when buying canned goods. ‘Nuff said.
- Swap your Teflon pans for Cast-iron. Yes, Teflon is convenient, but not at the risk of all your beautiful meals having carcinogens included! Cast-iron is a safe alternative, as are some ceramic pots and pans.
- Reduce your wireless exposure. Especially for kiddos, taking breaks from exposure to wireless devices is necessary for health. Take a look at suggestions from EWG.org, HERE.
Stay tuned for Part 4 of the Detox Series, coming soon!