16 Consumer Products Now Linked To INCREASED Cancer Risk (FULL Report!)

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16 Consumer Products Now Linked By Multiple Scientific Studies To INCREASED Cancer Risk
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Here’s my in-depth free report on 16 notorious consumer products linked to increased cancer risk! This is an in-depth, carefully researched, high quality report with over 60 scientific references. Please link to this page and hit the share button!

1 – Formaldehyde
2 – Cleaning Supplies
3 – Teflon
4 – Some Plastics (Know Your Numbers!)
5 – Phthalates
6 – Talc
7 – Fluoridated Water
8 – Asbestos
9 – Cocamide DEA
10 – Mineral oils
11 – Triclosan (Antibacterial Soap)
12 – Some Art Supplies
13 – Air Fresheners
14 – Vinyl chloride
15 – Some Antiseptics
16 – Some Sunscreens (Know Your Ingredients)

1 – Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a colorless volatile organic compound (VOC) that is used in a vast number of industrial applications and is found in an enormous number of consumer products. Formaldehyde is used in the production of household items like plywood, paper products, and disinfectants. It may be off-gassed from different items such as adhesive resins and foam insulation, in addition to being emitted from cigarettes and possibly some appliances such as wood stoves and gas heaters.

Off-gassing is the term given to when a volatile substance is given off gradually for some time after the manufacturing process is complete. [1] While these items are considered safe enough to be sold on the market, continued off-gassing of the formaldehyde used during the manufacturing process is now considered potentially dangerous to health.

Exposure to formaldehyde has been linked to a variety of cancers. This is now established as fact. In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the US National Toxicology Program described formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen. A study published in 2015 by Yu, et. al. concluded that exposure to formaldehyde could cause toxicity in the bone marrow and lead to leukemia, a kind of cancer that affects the blood. This happens because the chemical causes changes in the genetic level in affected areas of the body, wherein “formaldehyde-induced genotoxicity” causes oncogenesis or the formation of cancer cells. Several studies have linked formaldehyde to cancers that affect the nasopharynx, lungs, and bones. Because off-gassing into human environments readily allows formaldehyde to enter our bodies, taking necessary precautions when purchasing items for the home is a must. [2][3][4]

Owing to its widespread use, you might have a difficult time removing formaldehyde-emitting products from your home entirely; it is a bigger problem ever before now that modern homes are much more draft proofed than ever before for energy efficiency purposes – meaning that the level of off-gassed toxins in indoor air can build up.

While the levels of the chemical in the environment may not be enough to cause short-term health problems, chronic exposure to formaldehyde (over a period of time) may potentially cause cancer. When you choose items for your home, try to select ones that are not made with formaldehyde-containing / off-gassing components. Plywood, memory foam and new cars are notorious. Keep a window open during the day or have an efficient exhaust system that allows fresh air to circulate through your home. VOC-removing air purifiers can be another option to keep your air fresh and clean; although these are expensive, they are less expensive than illness!

2 – Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning supplies play a surprising role in our exposure to cancer-causing toxins. According to research done by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, as many as 73 recognized chemicals found in consumer products and even in food are listed by the IARC as mutagenic, meaning they cause changes in the body’s cells – possibly creating cancerous tumors in different organs of the body. [5]

Studies have linked the regular use of cleaning supplies at home to specific kinds of cancer. One was published in 2010 in Environmental Health by Zota, et. al. The researchers found that self-reported exposure to chemicals was directly linked to breast cancer risk – the higher the exposure, the higher the risk. In fact, the risk was twice as high for women who used cleaning products compared to those who didn’t. This study has received criticism, wherein a factor called “recall bias” was questioned. Recall bias happens when a person has a preconceived notion that chemicals from cleaning supplies cause cancer, leading to a higher reported usage. On the other hand, it is still a positive correlation and so should not be immediately dismissed. [6]

And there are of course other studies: Specific chemicals such as organochlorines, solvents and detergents found in cleaning products, air fresheners, and cosmetics have all been linked to endocrine problems and cancer. This was seen in a 2012 study by De Coster and van Larebeke. Tetrachloroethylene, a chemical used in dry cleaning, was discovered to increase bladder cancer risk as well and The IARC has classified tetrachloroethylene as a Group 2A carcinogen, which means that it is probably carcinogenic to humans. Another solvent used in cleaning called bromopropane has been linked to lung cancer, causing changes in lung tissue when inhaled. [7][8][9]

There are numerous natural agents that have good cleaning properties. Apple cider vinegar for example is a natural disinfectant, able to get rid of stains and smells in your kitchen or bathroom. Remember to dilute ACV in a little bit of water to prevent the tile or wood from eroding or becoming damaged. Here is a full list of simple cleaning formulas you can make at home that avoid many of these ingredients.

3 – Teflon

The popularity of non-stick cookware took off with the discovery of Teflon in the 1930s. Infomercials in the 90s and 2000s further boosted the popularity of Teflon frying pans and pots, and similar non-stick cookware coated with other chemicals.

Teflon is a consumer brand name for a chemical compound called polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE – a substance that has been linked to potential carcinogenicity. A study in 2013 found that workers who handled TFE were exposed to higher risks for liver, kidney, and blood cancers. [10]

Another substance involved with the production of Teflon and Teflon-coated products is PFOA – or perfluorooctanoic acid. Research done by the American Cancer Society has found links between PFOA and cancers of the liver, testicles, breasts, and pancreas – creating tumors in those organs. In studies involving human workers exposed to PFOA during the manufacturing process had higher risks for testicular, kidney, and thyroid cancer, as well as cancers of the prostate, bladder, and ovaries. [11]

While using Teflon and non-stick cookware may seem time-saving and more “health conscious” because you don’t use as much oil, you are exposing yourself to man-made chemicals with clear links to cancer. Instead of using coated-cookware, opt for ceramic, cast iron, high grade stainless steel or glass cookware which do not expose you to the harmful effects of PTFE or PFOA.

Also worthy of note is that Teflon kills birds. It has been known for decades that under ordinary cooking conditions, Teflon-coated and other non-stick cookware can produce fumes that are highly toxic to birds such as canaries and can kill them. [12] If that small amount of fumes is enough to kill a pet bird it does not bode particularly well for human use.

4 – Some Plastics (Know Your Numbers!)

There has been much recent spotlight on the dangers of plastic usage, particularly exposure to a cancer-causing agent called Bisphenol-A (BPA). Studies have shown that BPA can affect the body’s hormones, which can disrupt normal processes and contribute to the development of cancerous mutations.

However BPA is not the only chemical of concern in the world of plastics. At the bottom of a plastic bottle or container, you will find a triangle with a number, which can be anywhere from one to seven. With the symbol you see, you can learn which type of plastic you have in your hand and just how safe – or how unsafe – it might be.

Number 1: Known as PET or PETE, this plastic should only be used once. This is because reusing PETE can expose people to a chemical substance called EPA. The plastic could also possibly emit antimony, which is a heavy metal that can interfere with the hormones in the body. The antimony-leaching effect was found to be stronger if the bottled water was exposed to warm temperatures. [13] It is also possible that PETE plastic is carcinogenic.

Number 2: If you find a triangle with the number “2” in it, the bottle is known as HDPE or HDP, which is considered “the good plastic”. It is named so because it doesn’t have as much leaching as the other types of plastics when in contact with water.

Number 3: Also labeled as V or PVC, the number 3 in the bottle means that it has two toxic chemicals that can both influence the hormones in the body. Still, PVC is the most used type of plastic around and contains phthalates, including often the carcinogenic phthalate DEHP (see our note on Phthalates below).

Number 4: LDPE plastics have the number 4 and have low chemical emissions. LDPE is widely used for plastic bags.

Number 5: PP (polypropylene) or number 5 plastics are also considered good for food use. PP plastics are common in yogurt pots and syrup bottles.

Number 6: PS (polystyrene aka styrofoam). One of the bad ones. This has been found to emit styrene, especially when hot. Styrene is carcinogenic and considered a notoriously toxic chemical linked to numerous negative health effects. [14] Despite this, polystyrene is still widely used in fast food packaging as well as in coffee cups. Polystyrene is also a serious environmental pollutant, not widely recycled and taking 500 years to decompose – an ecological nightmare.

Number 7: Finally, “everything else” is in this category where they are known as PC. You should not trust plastics without labels or marked #7 because they may emit BPA, which is a very harmful chemical. Unfortunately, PC plastics are still common in containers for food, sports drink bottles, and worse, infant bottles.

There are some compounds found in many plastics that are thought to contribute towards risk of cancer.

Dioxins are not directly found in plastic containers but there are byproducts that are released into the environment during plastic production. According to the WHO, dioxins are environmental pollutants released into the air after industrial processes and can end up in soil, sediments, and even food like dairy products, meat, and seafood. They are considered carcinogenic by the IARC and primarily cause cancers of the lung and soft tissues. [15][16] Dioxins are problematic because despite typically only being found in very small trace amounts (and thus difficult to detect) they are extremely toxic and the amounts that can cause problems are miniscule.

Phthalates, specifically DEHP or Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, are substances found in plastic and is considered by the IARC to be possible carcinogenic in humans. DEHP affects the liver, kidneys, and reproductive systems, but is not considered dangerous at low levels. However, consistently using plastic containers with this phthalate can increase your exposure and possibly your risk for cancer. DEHP can also be found in plastic medical tubings, shower curtains, garden hoses, rainwear, and even plastic toys for children. [17]

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a weak synthetic estrogen, which can act as a hormone disruptor. In a study conducted by Konieczna, Rutkowska, and Rachon in 2015, BPA was shown to play roles in reproductive health disorders including infertility in both sexes and the development of tumors associated with breast and prostate cancer. Paulose, et. al. in 2015 found that fetal exposure to BPA increased the risk for breast cancer as well. Limiting your exposure to plastic can reduce your exposure to BPA (and other carcinogenic substances) and help prevent cancer. [18][19]

If you do use plastics, be sure to use them correctly! Heating food in a plastic container containing BPA or phthalates is more likely to result in your food becoming contaminated with these harmful chemicals. Allowing plastics to come into contact with detergents can also result in these chemicals being released. If possible, switch to BPA-free containers like glass to keep your food safe from harmful chemicals. They not only last longer than plastic, but are safer for the environment and human health.

5 – Phthalates

Phthalates are a group of man-made chemicals used in making plastic and solvents. They can be found in a variety of plastic items – from food containers to medical grade intravenous tubings. We are constantly exposed to phthalates through the various plastic items (and even cosmetic products!) in our daily lives and it has practically become impossible to avoid plastic things because they are widely used as containers and packaging. But why should you avoid phthalates? How toxic exactly is this group of chemicals? Very!

There have been several recent publications over the recent years that link phthalate exposure to different cancers. In the past, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified phthalates as potentially carcinogenic substance, but not anymore. This is strange, considering the negative results of the following studies:

– Chen and Chien in 2014 found that phthalates, even at very low concentrations, caused the proliferation of breast cancer cells. The study suggested that the government revise its evaluation of phthalate use in plastic production. [20]

– The results of a study published by Lee, Hwang, and Choi in the same year (2014), found that phthalates activated a pathway that promoted the progression of prostate cancer. [21]

– Erkekoglu and Kocer-Gumusel also published a study in 2014 that exposed the genotoxicity of phthalates, showing how they caused DNA damage – a characteristic of the progression of cancer. [22]

It is perhaps surprising how the IARC took back its classification of phthalates as a carcinogen despite the results of these scientific studies. In the light of the other results it makes sense to limit your exposure where possible. Do your best to avoid items made of plastic to reduce your phthalate exposure – especially with packaged foods – and turn towards paper and cardboard packaging where possible. You are not only protecting yourself from cancer, you are also helping the environment (since plastic isn’t biodegradable)!

6 – Talc

Talcum powder, aka “talc”, is widely regarded as one of those consumer “home essential” products that most people have in their home.

What’s interesting is that despite dusting themselves with it, most people don’t even actually know what talc is! Talc is actually a mineral, scientifically called hydrous magnesium silicate – which has the chemical formula H2Mg3(SiO3)4. [23]

Talc has many industrial applications in the production of paper, plastics, paint and coatings, rubber, and even electrical cables, but its most common home use is as a face and body powder to keep the skin dry. Because talc is able to absorb moisture and odors, it is often used on babies and children to prevent diaper rashes.

With over 14,000 deaths in the United States each year, ovarian cancer is still considered relatively rare – but is the most lethal gynecologic cancer. Various studies have linked the occurrence of ovarian cancer with the use of talc, and this is no joke – with one major manufacturer being found guilty and ordered to pay millions in compensation to cancer victims. Yet one still finds talcum powder widely available. [24]

Suspicions arose decades ago about the possibility that its use contributes to certain types of diseases, mainly cancers of the ovaries and lungs, the latter due to talc inhalation by industrial workers during manufacturing processes. Various studies have found a positive correlation to cancers stretching back over 25 years! Did you know that in 1994, the Cancer Prevention Coalition (CPC) submitted a citizen petition to the FDA seeking labeling on all cosmetic talc products? The requested labeling was a warning that talcum powder causes cancer in laboratory animals; frequent talc application in the female genital area increases the risk of ovarian cancer. This petition was denied. [25]

In the 2010 monograph published by the IARC, a study showed a 30 to 60 percent increase in ovarian cancer risk among people who used talc body powder compared to people who didn’t. While the IARC states that they could not rule out pure chance as a factor, the trend was consistent among all the other studies – with risk percentages at a statistically significant 30% or higher. [26]

These statistically significant increases in cancer risk of no less than 30% should make everyone wary of using talc on their bodies and loved ones. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics has constantly warned against the use of baby powder because of the numerous cases of powder aspiration among children. [27]

However despite all this the IARC: still lists talc under Group 3: “Not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans.” [28] Not classifiable?? What this actually means is defined as follows:
“This category is used most commonly for agents, mixtures and exposure circumstances for which the evidence of carcinogenicity is inadequate in humans and inadequate or limited in experimental animals. Exceptionally, agents (mixtures) for which the evidence of carcinogenicity is inadequate in humans but sufficient in experimental animals may be placed in this category when there is strong evidence that the mechanism of carcinogenicity in experimental animals does not operate in humans. Agents, mixtures and exposure circumstances that do not fall into any other group are also placed in this category.” [29]

For a simple alternative to talc for gentle skin drying – you can opt to use cornstarch instead. However, please take note of cornstarch found in the USA and some other countries that is made from GMO corn. If you are concerned about that (as you should be!), simply make sure to purchase organic or non-GMO cornstarch.

7 – Fluoridated Water

In a move to address the growing problem of poor dental health, water fluoridation – quite literally adding fluoride to public sources of drinking water – was started in the 1940s, although research started much earlier than that (around the early 1900s). Fluoride research was started by Dr. Frederick McKay in 1901 after researching dental hygiene habits among people in Colorado Springs and discovering that in areas with higher fluoride levels in water, people had fewer cavities.

However, adding fluoride (a highly toxic substance) to drinking water may have other consequences. [30] Dr. Dean Burk, one of the 1937 co-founders of the US National Cancer Institute (NCI), denounced water fluoridation in the strongest possible terms, calling it “public murder on a grand scale.” He stated that the fluoridation of water causes cancer and that the research was “one of the most conclusive bits of scientific and biological evidence that I have come across in my 50 years in the field of cancer research…. It should be the end [of fluoridation of drinking water] by Federal Law known as the Delaney Amendment, which says that anything found to induce cancer in man or animals cannot legally be put into the food or drink of man or animals.” [31]

According to the American Cancer Society, public awareness on increased cancer risk due to fluoride intake is largely centered on a higher risk for osteosarcoma, a kind of bone cancer. A working theory is that fluoride has a tendency to collect in bone, specifically in areas of growth (“growth plates”). Fluoride causes bone to grow rapidly, which can cause cancerous mutations to form. [32]

In a 2011 study published by Sandhu, et. al., the researchers focused on serum fluoride levels in patients diagnosed with osteosarcoma. According to the results of the study, mean fluoride concentrations were significantly high in patients with osteosarcoma, suggesting that the mineral plays a role in the development of bone cancer. In fact, the results of the study show that 50% of the people with high levels of serum fluoride had osteosarcoma. [33]

This is a highly controversial area and other studies have concluded that there isn’t a definite link between fluoride intake and cancer. Because science is undecided, the public has to make their own choices regarding fluoridation of public water sources that supply their homes.

Here are a few steps you can take to protect yourself from water fluoridation and increased cancer risk:

1) The information on fluoridation is publicly available. First of all, ascertain the fluoridation level in your local area. A Google search should enable you to find out whether your tap water is fluoridated. You could also head over to your local water unit and ask for information regarding water fluoride levels.

2) Fluoride can be removed from drinking water by reverse osmosis or distillation, however these processes also remove other minerals that may be valuable. You can opt to have special water filters in your home that filter fluoride from your water; these filters may also give you the option of adding back specific minerals that were lost during the filtration process.

8 – Asbestos

Asbestos is a not a single substance but rather a set of six silicate minerals that naturally occur in our environment. This group of minerals naturally forms thin, fibrous “threads” that have a special quality of being able resist damage and destruction by heat, direct fire, or chemicals. They are also non-electroconductive. These physical properties led to the widespread use of asbestos in the construction of buildings in the 20th century. However, dust from these “mineral threads” of asbestos can easily be inhaled and settle in the lungs. It has been clearly established as fact that prolonged inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause fatal illnesses including lung cancer and mesothelioma.

The United States and Canada are among the few developed countries to not completely ban asbestos, which is still widely used in some consumer products including clothing, pipeline wraps, vinyl floor tiles, millboards, cement pipes, disk brake pads, gaskets and roof coatings. [34]

The dangers of Asbestos were brought to light around the 1970s and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the use of asbestos in the construction of fireplaces and patching of walls. By 1989, asbestos was banned from being used in new products, though asbestos-containing products created before 1989 are still legally sold in the market. [35]

Different studies have found strong links between inhaled asbestos and lung cancer risk. Świątkowska, et. al. in 2015 published a study that confirmed the strong evidence associating asbestos exposure with increased risk for lung cancer. Similar results were seen in Wu, et. al.’s 2015 publication, where high levels of exposure to asbestos lead to increased incidences of cancer of the esophagus, trachea, bronchus, and lungs. Many other studies in the past and present confirm the same findings – that asbestos use is dangerous and can lead to cancer. [36][37]

Many older homes still contain significant amounts of asbestos, however it is regarded as unsafe for the homeowner/occupier to remove the asbestos as this can generate significant dust. Dust may also be generated where the products are deteriorating due to age. It is generally advised not to interfere with asbestos but seek professional assistance. Asbestos removal and disposal may require trained professionals, safety equipment/clothing and be subject to legal restrictions – be sure to check. Also, asbestos waste is typically disposed of as hazardous waste.

9 – Cocamide DEA

Cocamide DEA is a popular ingredient used in shampoo, bath oils, and other skincare items on account of its “moisturizing capabilities”. However, cocamide DEA has been studied by the IARC and the Center for Environmental Health in California and found that this substance has been linked to the spontaneous eruption of cancerous tumors. The scary part is that cocamide DEA (or diethanolamine) from coconut oil is used by major companies in the production of their products – the CEH even names these companies: Palmolive, Palmer’s, and Toys ‘R’ Us. [38]

The IARC has labelled cocamide DEA as a carcinogen because of the results of a study conducted on test mice. After dermal application of cocamide DEA, there were incidences of liver and kidney tumors (hepatocellular carcinoma and renal tubular adenoma) among the mice. The researchers state that these kinds of tumors are highly unusual and suggested that cocamide DEA could thus have potentially carcinogenic effects on humans.

While there are currently no studies that link to incidences of cancer in humans from cocamide DEA, research has shown that use of this substance has led to severe cases of contact dermatitis – and although this allergy is rare, it has been reported when a person is exposed to high levels of cocamide DEA (especially among workers who handle cocamide DEA on a day-to-day basis). [39][40][41]

The next time you purchase your shampoo, take a look at the ingredient list first! Since cocamide DEA is still an FDA-approved substance, there is no stopping big companies from including it in your shampoo and other skincare products.

10 – Mineral Oils

Mineral oils have gained the bad reputation of blocking your skin’s pores, leading to blackheads and pimples (which is why the beauty gurus of the world advise against make-up and skin care with mineral oil). Mineral oil is also considered a known human carcinogen by the IARC and the American Cancer Society, with newer studies confirming previous notions that this substance can cause cancer in the human body. [42]

The earliest reported cases of cancer and links to mineral oils was as set of reports from the 1960s, where 100 cases of scrotal cancer were reported after skin exposure to mineral oil. In the 1980s, human carcinogenicity was seen in a group of Swedish metal workers (four were affected versus the zero expected number of cases). In 2005, Zhao, et. al. found that male aerospace workers exposed to mineral oil had a higher risk for skin cancer (melanoma). [43]

A recent study published in 2014 concluded that mineral oil induced the formation of plasmacytomas (tumors forming in soft tissue or bone) and caused mutation inside the cells. A case study in 2015 also confirmed mineral oil’s role in bladder cancer risk, calling the substance a bladder carcinogen. The IARC also lists the following cancers with links to mineral oil exposure: laryngeal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and lung cancer. [42][43][44][45]

In order to reduce your risk, be sure to peruse carefully the list of ingredients in your skin care, make up, household cleaners, lubricants, and similar substances that could potentially contain mineral oil. Be concerned about your skin looking its best but be more concerned about your risk for cancer.

11 – Triclosan (Antibacterial Soap Ingredient)

For several years, the public has been taught to believe that using antibacterial soaps on a daily basis is “necessary” to fight germs. (This of course being after millions of years of having evolved without them). However during the latter half of 2013, public concern was raised over both the effectiveness and safety of antibacterial products, specifically the ingredient Triclosan. In response to this, the US FDA required manufacturers of antibacterial products to provide data proving the effectiveness of their products versus plain soap and water.

Three years later, the FDA released a statement regarding antibacterial soap – “Skip it”. The FDA consumer update published in September 2016 states that over-the-counter antibacterial products with antibacterial ingredients like Triclosan (and Triclocarban) should not be marketed towards consumers. After their 2013 request, the FDA did not receive satisfactory evidence that Triclosan and other ingredients like it were safe for daily use by the public, and also concluded that these antibacterial products did not perform any better than plain soap in fighting infection! [46]

It’s official: According to the FDA, antibacterial formulas don’t work better than regular soap and hot water.

But of course, it gets worse: Studies have revealed links between Triclosan and cancer. Several animal studies showed that triclosan caused fetal bone malformations in mice and rats, which may hint at hormonal effects. Triclosan has also been found to cause estrogenic activities in human breast cancer cells, which may stimulate the growth and development of cancer cells. The chemical has also been found to impair muscle function in both humans and animals, and is linked to an increase in allergies among children. According to a review of literature by Dinwiddie, Terry, and Chen published in 2014, there are several studies that suggest that Triclosan could increase a person’s cancer risk. [47][48]

One of the main reasons why the public became worried about the daily use of Triclosan was that this particular ingredient has been shown to bioaccumulate – meaning it accumulates in the human body after consistent, prolonged use. It readily penetrates your skin and enters your bloodstream much more easily than was once thought, and it is now found in the majority of Americans – having been found to be widespread in blood, breast milk and urine. [49] It is also detected in waterways because it washes straight down the drain and some of it survives waste water treatment processing. Because Triclosan is fat-soluble – meaning that it builds up in fatty tissues – scientists are concerned that triclosan from environmental sources may travel up the food chain and appear at greater levels in the tissues of animals higher up the food chain i.e. us humans.

Triclosan isn’t only found in antibacterial soap; it’s also used in dish detergents, body washes, cutting boards and cosmetic products like lipsticks and skin care products. It is a very popular ingredient because it is believed to be able to help keep an item bacteria-free – but that isn’t necessarily the case when Triclosan is used by humans.

According to the FDA and WHO, the best way to fight bacteria is with good hand hygiene using plain ole’ soap and hot water. Remember the CDC’s slogan – “Clean hands save lives”. Clean your hands before and during food preparation, before and after eating, after going to the toilet or touching body fluids (including changing diapers, sneezing), after touching your pets – basically any activity that can dirty your hands and can cause the spread of bacteria. [50]

As for kitchen hygiene? A study at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University found that misting 3% hydrogen peroxide followed by misting with vinegar killed virtually all Salmonella, Shigella, and E. coli bacteria on heavily contaminated food and surfaces. Using one after the other (separate spray bottles) was found much more effective than mixing them together.

Another effective alternative for surface cleaning is to use natural tea tree, eucalyptus and/or lemongrass essential oils. These have been found to have potent antibacterial properties. [51] To utilize on household surfaces, add 10-20 drops to a spray bottle of warm water, shake well, then spray ‘n’ wipe as normal. Essential oils also have the advantage that they appear not to generate resistant bacteria over time.

Further Reading:

5 Urgent Reasons Why You Should To Stop Using Antibacterial Soap Immediately

12 – Some Art Supplies

Certain art supplies contain toxic substances that are unsuitable for children’s use. The Federal Hazardous Substances Act actually requires all art supplies to undergo a toxicological review and be labeled with potential health hazards. [52] There are specific guidelines from the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (an agency under the Environmental Protection Agency) when you buy and use arts and crafts supplies for children, especially supplies for specific age groups. [53]

This is because art supplies must only be used in a way that prevents exposing the child to dangerous, potentially cancer-causing chemicals. These kinds of supplies are targeted towards children aged 12 and up, since it is assumed they can read and follow simple directions on product packaging. [2] The Environmental Protection Agency strictly bans the use of Elmer’s Super Glue, Krazy Glue, and various other art and craft materials in kindergarten until sixth grade. [54]

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission published an Art and Craft Safety guide and included information on supplies that contained substances that could cause cancer: [55]

– Working with ceramic and clay dusts can expose your child to asbestos, whose inhalation has been linked with cancer, as well as skin irritation and lung infections.

Pottery glazes are made with a mixture of silica, fluxes, and colorants which have been associated with cancer through exposure to arsenic, beryllium, chromium VI, nickel, and uranium.

– Using pastels can expose you to pigments (like lead chromate in chrome yellow) which have been linked to lung cancer and skin irritation.

– Certain stones also contain crystalline silica and asbestos, which can contribute to cancer.

– Metal colorants can contain nickel and chromium VI as well.

If you have children at home who like to do art, remember to buy non-toxic art materials.

Avoid solvent-based products if possible (i.e. non-toxic markers) and use any solvent based products (i.e. glues, sharpies) in a correctly ventilated area to prevent fumes from building up in a small, confined area. Most importantly, supervise your children when they use art supplies and be sure they are not putting them in their mouth!

13 – Air Fresheners

A large number of people utilize air fresheners, which are marketed to keep your home smelling clean and fresh. However, air fresheners contain a variety of chemicals, some of which can detrimentally affect a person’s health.

The state of California actually lists common constituents of air fresheners as carcinogenic to humans, and certain constituents can actually produce dangerous secondary pollutants classified as HAPs or hazardous air pollutants by the US federal government.

Nazaroff and Weschler in 2004 listed several toxic air contaminants that produce carcinogenic pollutants – such as some terpenes, which produce formaldehyde, hydroxyl radicals, and nitrates. [56] A further study published in 2010 has linked air freshener use with the development of breast cancer. The study used a self-reported recall method, wherein subjects were asked to assess their chemical exposure and talk about their beliefs regarding diseases causation and breast cancer risk. The results suggest a significant link between exposure to air fresheners and breast cancer prevalence. However, the researchers do identify recall bias as an extraneous factor that could affect the results. [57]

The best possible air freshener is of course fresh air! Consider also VOC air purifiers – which remove volatile organic compounds and odors from the air – such as the highly rated Aller 5000 (Amazon link)

If you desire a good fragrance around the home, instead of using toxic synthetics, a simple alternative would be to use essential oils. There are plenty of essential oils in your local health food store, herbal shop or online that you can add to oil diffusers, candles, humidifiers, or incense sticks.

14 – Vinyl Chloride (Off-Gasses From PVC)

Vinyl chloride is a colorless gas that is a by-product of industrial processes that involve the production of plastic items. Primarily, vinyl chloride is used to make PVC – or polyvinyl chloride, a type of plastic. However vinyl chloride has been linked to different kinds of cancers among industrial workers and has been confirmed as a human carcinogen by the IARC. The IARC reports that exposure to vinyl chloride is linked to liver, brain, lung, and blood cancers. [58][59]

There have been plenty of studies published over the years that focus on the carcinogenicity of vinyl chloride, with one of the latest (and most significant) published in 2011 by Hsieh, et. al.. The researchers focused on factory workers who handled PVC and were exposed to vinyl chloride. The retrospective study followed workers for 15 years after their initial exposure at the manufacturing factory. The results were conclusive – vinyl chloride could increase liver cancer and leukemia risk among people exposed to the gas. The researchers found that when exposure was controlled in the same worksites, the risk for cancer was significantly reduced. [60]

If you aren’t a factory worker, you can still become exposed to vinyl chloride through the air and water, especially if you live next to a factory that produces PVC. Vinyl chloride can end up in groundwater and the air surrounding the factory and cause an increase in cancer incidence in the area. That contaminated water can end up in your laundry or shower, or even worse, in your drinking glass!

Other forms of exposure are more commonplace – for example PVC shower curtains, which can off-gas, especially in the presence of steam. These can also emit phthalates (see chapter on that) and there have even been calls for them to be banned.

15 – Some Antiseptics

Whenever we get a cut or a similar injury, we have been conditioned to do three things: (1) wash the area with clean water and soap, (2) use some antiseptic, and (3) use a band-aid. While numbers one and three are regarded safe, there have no been some safety concerns with the use of antiseptics. Antiseptics come in a variety of forms, from liquid solutions to cream and ointment, but they typically work the same way – they have antibacterial action and prevent infection at the site of the injury.

Auramine, a popular chemical ingredient in antiseptic products, has raised red flags. There have been several studies on auramine exposure and how it can lead to cancer, with the IARC declaring auramine as a possible carcinogen to humans and auramine production as a definite carcinogen to humans. Martelli, A., et. al. found that auramine caused liver cancer in both animal and human liver cells. According to Case and Pearson, women who were exposed to auramine production developed urinary tumors. Similar results were seen in Kirsch, et. al.’s study on auramine workers, where bladder cancer-related deaths were identified. [61][62][63][64]

While antiseptics play a big role in fighting off infection-causing microorganisms, there are several alternatives you can turn to that do not increase your risk for cancer. Many doctors now advice that water, perhaps with mild soap, is the best immediate thing to clean a wound and that isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide, while certainly disinfecting, may damage the tissue.

16 – Sunscreen

Exposure to the dangerous ultraviolet rays of the sun can significantly increase your cancer risk, aside from causing premature skin aging and discoloration. You will often hear advice to protect yourself from skin cancer by (1) avoiding sun exposure, (2) wearing protective clothing, and (3) using sunscreen. But stop right there! Sunscreen can contain highly toxic chemicals that are now possibly thought to increase the risk of skin cancer!

Most sunscreens contain toxic ingredients or endocrine disrupting chemicals that may actually promote skin cancer growth and free radical production in the body – the exact opposite of protecting you from cancer. The Environmental Working Group found that over 75% of sunscreens on the market contained harmful, potentially cancer-causing chemicals.

One example: According to EWG, certain laboratory studies show that some chemical UV filters found in sunscreen can “mimic hormones” which disrupt the balance in the human body and may cause cancer. The CDC has actually found oxybenzone, a chemical used in many sunscreens, in over 96 percent of the US population – a worrying statistic given that oxybenzone exposure could cause carcinogenesis. Take note: this chemical can be absorbed into the blood and is known to show up in breast milk as well. [65] Note however that oxybenzone is only the #1 chemical on the EWG’s list. There are several others that it would be prudent to be aware of. EWG have published a full chart with a safety score of numerous sunscreen ingredients and this is available at the link [65].

Our best tip would be to limit sun exposure through simple methods such as shade structures, parasols, wide brimmed hats and long, loose clothing. It is also possible to make sunscreens that use only natural ingredients.



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[22] Erkekoglu P, & Kocer-Gumusel B. (2014). Genotoxicity of phthalates. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25174766/

[23] Talc – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talc

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[41] Aalto-Korte K, Pesonen M, et al. (2014). Occupational allergic contact dermatitis caused by coconut fatty acids diethanolamide. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24588369/

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[47] Antibacterial Soap Is All Washed Up. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/09/29/antibacterial-soap.aspx (note – link now inacessible, it has been deleted from his site and from archive.org!)

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