Cancer is the leading cause of death globally and was linked to an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018. The disease takes many forms and is the result of an interaction between a person’s genetic factors and external agents such as physical, chemical, and biological carcinogens. One source of cancer are chemicals found in everyday products that you use. Those seemingly harmless products that clean and freshen homes, moisturize skins and make beautiful gardens contain carcinogens that may cause cancer. Knowing where the dangers lurk can reduce the incidence of the disease among the population.
Household Products That May Be Carcinogenic
1. Garden Products
Amongst the most common products that you use for the garden are weed killers and pesticides. Unfortunately, to remove those pesky weeds and critters, you might have to use commercial solutions that are laden with carcinogens, exposing you to certain types of cancers such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Bayer, the maker behind the herbicide, settled Roundup lawsuits agreeing to pay over $10 billion to resolve tens of thousands of claims. It still sells the product without the warning and safety labels, sadly.
2. Air Fresheners
A staple in many households, air fresheners are convenient if you need to remove rancid or foul odors indoors in a jiffy. But these products are filled with substances and chemicals that can make you or your loved ones ill. A University of Melbourne study classified a quarter of the ingredients found in air fresheners as toxic. They contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as acetone, ethanol, pinene, and acetate, according to a 2015 study by Steinmann. Formaldehyde, phthalates, and 1,4 dichlorobenzene are other dangerous compounds found in air fresheners.
3. Cleaning Products
Beware: products that keep your house clean may also be loaded with carcinogenic substances. The Environmental Working Group investigated over 2,000 cleaning supplies found on the American market. Their study concluded that many of these manufactured goods contain substances that are linked to health problems. For example, fumes from cleaning products may provoke asthma in otherwise healthy people. Independent tests also detected the presence of 1,4-dioxane, a probable human carcinogen, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
4. Skin Moisturizers
Moisturizers are part of a good skin care regimen. However, many facial creams have known carcinogen chemicals, such as parabens. These common compounds are used as preservatives in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. While they help prevent bacterial growth from forming in skin care products, they are known to disrupt endocrine capabilities that can potentially cause tumors. Parabens enter the skin and have been found in breast tissue in instances of breast cancer.
5. Laundry Detergent
It’s difficult to imagine cleaning clothes without using laundry detergents. But these products are also likely to contain the potential carcinogen, 1,4-dioxane. It is also found in cosmetics, bath products, and automotive coolant. Studies suggest that animals exposed to the chemical are at a higher risk of getting cancer. Although there are no adequate researches to indicate how humans fare at elevated rates of exposure to the chemical, 1,4-dioxane is considered a likely carcinogen.
Without a doubt, prolonged exposure to chemicals and carcinogens is detrimental to your health. These chemicals, found in common products that we use daily, can be harmful. Therefore, it makes sense to read labels carefully, and if possible, go for natural and organic products in day-to-day life.