10 Everyday Items You Are Better Off Without

Dr. Mercola lists the items in our lives we normally consider safe – and provides ample evidence that at least 10 of those belong in the trash can! He provides safe alternatives instead.

Each and every day, you come into contact with a large number of items—many of which have health risks that can accumulate over time. Many chemicals appear safe yet aren’t, and are not likely to be suspected when your health starts failing.

#1: Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose (Splenda) trick your body into storing fat and raise your risk of diabetes, so if you’re looking for health benefits, you’d be better off throwing those colorful little packets in the trash.

#2: Plastic Food Containers and Bottles

Tossing your plastic food containers and plastic bottles is a basic step to reducing your exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as bisphenol-A (BPA), bisphenol-S (BPS), and phthalates.
Your endocrine system as a whole is instrumental in regulating mood, growth and development, tissue function, metabolism, as well as sexual function and reproductive processes, and endocrine-disrupting chemicals have been linked to a wide number of adverse effects.

#3: Non-Stick Cookware

To further clean up your kitchen act, toss non-stick pots and pans and replace them with ceramic or glass cookware. The non-stick coating is made with a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which has been labeled a “likely” carcinogen by an independent scientific review panel that advises the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

#4: Air Fresheners

Room deodorizers frequently contain 2, 5-dichlorophenol (2, 5-DCP), a metabolite of 1,4-dichlorobenzene, which has been linked to precocious puberty and other health problems,  including cancer. Endocrine-disrupting phthalates are also commonly found in air fresheners and room deodorizers.

#5: Antibacterial Soaps and Detergents

Routinely disinfecting your body and surroundings may actually cause far more harm than good in the long run. Not only does it promote the development of drug-resistant bacteria, but antibacterial compounds such as triclosan have also been linked to a number or harmful health effects, especially in young children.

#6: Commercial Cleaning Products

You can avoid quite a few hazardous chemicals simply by tossing those commercial cleaning products in the dustbin. Every single one of them can be replaced with a short list of basic ingredients. Here’s a simple starter list of what you need to make your own natural cleaning products:

Baking soda White vinegar Lemon juice
Hydrogen peroxide Liquid castile soap Organic essential oils (optional). Certain ones, including lavender and tea tree oil, have anti-bacterial qualities
Mixing bowls Spray bottles Microfiber cloths

#7: Personal Care Products

Chemicals are very effectively absorbed via your skin, so cleaning out your bathroom cabinet can go a long way toward reducing your toxic load. This is particularly true for women, who tend to use several different products on a daily basis. Makeup is also a hidden source of heavy metals. In the report Heavy Metal Hazard: The Health Risks of Hidden Heavy Metals in Face Makeup,  Environmental Defense tested 49 different makeup items, including foundations, concealers, powders, blushes, mascaras, eye liners, eye shadows, lipsticks and lip glosses. Their testing revealed serious heavy metal contamination in virtually all of the products:

  • 96 percent contained lead
  • 90 percent contained beryllium
  • 61 percent contained thallium
  • 51 percent contained cadmium
  • 20 percent contained arsenic

#8: Stale Spices

Herbs and cooking spices contain a wide variety of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, and help maximize the nutrient density of your meals. On a per gram fresh weight basis, herbs rank even higher in antioxidant activity than fruits and vegetables. Many studies have also shown that most spices tend to have unique medicinal qualities. Four spices that are particularly effective at quelling inflammation are:17

  1. Cloves
  2. Ginger
  3. Rosemary
  4. Thyme

# 9: Electronic Devices

While few would consider getting rid of their smart phones or computers, you would be wise to reconsider how you use all of your devices, and just how many you surround yourself with at any given point of the day. Some kids, especially teenagers, tend to be surrounded by multiple electronic gadgets for hours at a stretch. I feel the evidence of long-term harm of EMF and wireless radiation is very clear, necessitating a prudent approach.

#10: Your Chair

While I placed this last, mounting research clearly reveals that your chair may actually be one of the most dangerous items to have around for your health. Prolonged sitting has repeatedly been shown to be an independent risk factor for chronic disease and early demise, even if you exercise regularly and are very fit. That’s right; exercise cannot undo the damage caused by hours of daily sitting, just like it cannot undo the harm done by smoking.

Eliminate Known Risk Factors That Prevent Optimal Health

We live in an extremely toxic world; that’s an unfortunate reality. Your diet plays a significant role, but you’re also exposed to a great amount of chemicals from all the products you use, and your skin serves as a very efficient delivery system, straight into your blood stream, bypassing many of your body’s innate filtering systems. Taking some time to go through and reassess the products you use is a positive step that can help to significantly reduce your toxic burden, and that will have nothing but positive ramifications for your health.
Environmental pollution is a massive problem, but for most there aren’t many immediate solutions to address it. Your time is far better spent focusing on your immediate environment; your home, and all the products you come in contact with on a daily basis. Addressing habits like sitting and your use of electronics will also help you optimize your health, and reduce your chances of chronic disease.

Article Summary

  • 10 everyday items are listed that you’d be better off without
  • Clearing your kitchen of artificial sweeteners, plastic food containers, non-stick cookware, and replacing old spices will eliminate common sources of toxins and boost your health
  • Air fresheners, toiletries and cosmetics, antibacterial soap, and commercial cleaners are other sources of toxins to eliminate. Reassessing your use of technology and your chair can also boost your health

Click here to read Dr. Mercola’s entire article.

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