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Is Everything Hazardous to Our Health?

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It seems like there’s something new every day that’s hazardous to your health and usually it’s like, “Well duh” but these are every day things that could be harming you and your family.

Your Shower Curtain

Not only the shower curtain, but your plastic patio furniture and your child’s toys could all contain PVC which is known to cause cancer. PVC releases pthalates in the manufacturing process and pthalates can damage your liver, kidneys and reproductive system. So, how can you tell if your plastics contain PVC? Look for a number three inside the recycling symbol and if you see the three, let it be. Instead, look for products and toys that contain a number one, two, four or five.


Water Bottles

Store bought bottled water bottles contain the number one inside the recycling symbol and you should let that be your cue to use the bottle just once and then recycle it. The bottles are safe to use, so don’t freak out and pour out all of your bottled water. The Minnesota Department of Health says that store bought bottled water bottles are intended for single use only because they picked up bacteria and you don’t want to get sick, so use the bottle once and then put it in the recycling bin.


Old Pots and Pans

Pots and pans that are old and pitted should be tossed. They could contain aluminum which has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Instead, buy pots and pans that are anodized. Those have a hard, non-stick surface, but you need to be careful. Even the best pots and pans can be harmful when overheated. If your non-stick pan has PFC or perfluorinated chemicals, they can give off fumes containing suspected carcinogens when they are heated to 650 degrees. Certain oils start smoking at just over 400 degrees, so well below that 650 degree mark, but just to be sure, keep an eye on your pans when you’re preheating them and never allow them to smolder. Take them off the heat as soon as you’re done cooking and allow them to cool properly.


Takeout Food Containers

Not just takeout from your favorite restaurant, but any food container containing the number six in the recycling symbol. Food containers are usually made from polystyrene Styrofoam that can ooze styrene into ground water and styrene has been known to stunt growth and cause cancer. The best way to avoid this is to avoid food that has been stored in styrofoam containers or just eat it all and not have any leftovers.


Did You Know?

In 2009, Minnesota actually put into legislation the Toxic Free Kids Act. The Act, “requires the Minnesota Department of Health to generate a list of chemicals of high concern.” The Act also “requires the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to make recommendations on mechanisms to reduce and phase out the use of priority chemicals in children’s products and to promote the use of safer alternatives.”

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