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In Plain Sight: Killers Lurking in Your Bathroom

You want your home to be a haven for your family, so you take careful measures to make it as safe as possible. You place protective covers over sharp corners. You install baby-gates across stairways. You block electrical outlets from tiny, curious fingers.

Your efforts are important to the health and safety of your family, but unfortunately, they aren’t enough. Most homes are filled with seemingly-innocuous items; products that actually contain hazardous toxins, for example. And you probably use these dangerous items every day.

This In Plain Sight series, we’ll examine the average home, room by room, and expose the silent killers hiding in plain sight. In today’s installment, let’s take a close look at the dangers lurking in your loo.

  • Beauty Tools: Everything from curling irons to eyelash curlers can cause harm if they fall into the wrong hands.
  • Harmful Chemicals: From cleansers to cosmetics, nearly all products in the bathroom contain harmful chemicals. Brazilian Keratin Treatment, a popular hair straightener, contains cancer-causing formaldehyde.1 Many bathroom cleaning products use bleach or ammonia, which, when mixed together, create a deadly gas.
  • Air fresheners: In 2007, Time Magazine reported that 12 of 14 air fresheners tested (from Walgreen’s) contained phthalates. High exposures to phthalates can affect fertility, cause cancer, decrease testosterone and sperm levels, and lead to malformed sex organs in infants.2
  • Antibacterial products: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are more than 700 antibacterial products available, including soaps, cleansers, dishwashing detergents, toothpastes, and even chopsticks. Sounds great, right? Not exactly. While antibiotics are critical to the treatment of bacterial infections, their ubiquity has led to bacterial resistance and the creation of superbugs such as MRSA.3

Photo by Marya.


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