If there’s one room in the house that we want to keep safe no matter what, it’s the kitchen. It’s where we prepare the food that we serve to our loved ones. After all, our health is intimately connected to what we eat.
However, did you know that potential dangers to your family’s health are hiding in plain sight?
Common chemicals and hazardous materials found in the kitchen can infiltrate your food. These can generate toxins that can accumulate in your body and lead to all sorts of health problems.
Which common household chemicals and items should you watch out for? Read on to learn more about the hazards lurking in your kitchen.
Common Chemicals and Hazardous Materials Found in the Kitchen
It’s important to learn more about the chemicals in the products you use in your kitchen so you can take extra precautions. The purpose of this list is not to stop you from using these products but to inform you of the potential hazards. That way, you can protect yourself if you’re using them or you can look for an alternative.
Triclosan is mostly found in items with the label ‘antibacterial’ such as antibacterial soaps and cleaners. It’s also been added to many kitchen products such as cutting boards, storage containers, and even countertops.
The premise is that it’s supposed to prevent bacterial contamination. However, according to the FDA, it hasn’t been proven that triclosan provides additional protection from illnesses. Furthermore, it’s been associated with antibiotic resistance and hormone disruption.
Stick to washing with plain soap and water, it’s safer and just as effective.
What we commonly know as Teflon belongs to a class of chemicals known as perfluorochemicals (PFC). Examples are polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA). They can be found in nonstick cookware and fast-food wrappers.
During pre-heating or cooking, high temperatures can cause these chemicals to break down and release toxic fumes. Inhalation of these fumes has been linked to flu-like symptoms referred to as the “Teflon flu.” Also, there’s evidence that PFOA is likely to be a carcinogen in humans.
To be safe, avoid overheating nonstick kitchenware or just use cast iron or stainless steel pans.
This is a strong chemical that’s found in multipurpose cleaners such as oven and glass cleaners. Sure, products that contain 2-butoxyethanol are very good at cleaning a variety of surfaces. However, the vapors are extremely irritating to the skin, throat, and lungs.
They may also cause liver and kidney damage with enough exposure.
Make sure that the area is well-ventilated before cleaning and wear gloves to protect your skin.
Bisphenol A, S, and F are found in plastic containers. While it’s convenient to store our food in these containers, they have the potential to leak bisphenols. This happens when we microwave or heat these containers or if the food has a high-fat content.
These chemicals are known to affect the levels of estrogen and testosterone in our bodies. They’re also suspected to cause breast and prostate cancer.
To prevent bisphenols from leaching into our food, don’t store hot food in them or use them for re-heating.
Guard the Kitchen Well
Now that you know the common chemicals and hazardous materials found in the kitchen, you can arrange the necessary precautions. It’s important to guard your kitchen from the hidden dangers to the health of your loved ones.
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