Toxins in Your Kitchen: 5 Scary Chemicals to Avoid

Every day it seems the nightly news airs yet another exposé regarding which common household item will kill you. Tune in tonight to discover how your fitted sheets are planning your demise. Tune in tomorrow to learn the hidden dangers of collapsible colanders.

Thankfully many of these stories are merely alarmist and absurd, preying on our fears to guarantee ratings. However, the fact remains that as more studies are conducted, more tests run and more information discovered, scientists and health officials are discovering heretofore unknown dangers.

It is natural to feel overwhelmed by the onslaught of studies and information. It's worrisome to discover that items you considered commonplace and harmless actually put you and your family at risk.

You may feel paralyzed at the thought of changing your shopping or cooking habits; there are so many dangers, how can one afford to keep current? Thankfully, ridding your home of avoidable toxins is actually easier than it may initially appear.

If you want to embark on a healthier, safer lifestyle, start by cutting out these 5 chemicals:

1. BPA​

Bisphenol A is a popular chemical found in many items, particularly the lining of aluminum cans and in many plastics. BPA is harmful because it is classified as an environmental estrogen. As such, BPA mimics estrogen and thereby affects the endocrine system.

​It can have numerous negative effects on hormones and development. With the latter, fetuses, infants and children are at a greater risk as they are in high periods of growth and critical stages of development.

Plastics and canned foods are so prevalent, removing them from your kitchen can seem like an impossible task. Luckily there are many changes that can be easily made to reduce the amount of BPA off-gassing items in your cabinets and pantry.

Instead of buying your beans, fruits or vegetables in BPA lined cans, opt for dried beans and fresh or frozen produce. The additional prep time is negligible, especially when compared to the health—and taste!—benefits.

As for that stack of plastic containers and bottles, swap them out for stainless or glass. Switch to a stainless steel water bottle and replace plastic storage containers with glass or silicone containers. This switch from plastic to glass is especially important for containers that you use to microwave your food.

2. Acetaldehyde

This multi-syllabic chemical leaches from containers made with PET (polyethylene terephthalate).

Acetaldehyde is classified by the EPA as a probable carcinogen.

As few people want to "probably" get cancer, the reasons to eliminate items with acetaldehyde are easily apparent.

This multi-syllabic chemical leaches from containers made with PET (polyethylene terephthalate). Acetaldehyde is classified by the EPA as a probable carcinogen. As few people want to "probably" get cancer, the reasons to eliminate items with acetaldehyde are easily apparent.

Find out who wins the battle between Tap Water and Bottled Water

Although it doesn't sound fun or easy, one of the simplest solutions for reducing your acetaldehyde exposure is to reduce consumption of processed foods. Cut out soda and try making homemade vinaigrettes.

Skip buying bottled water and —as stated above— switch to using a stainless steel reusable bottle. Not only does this benefit your health, but it reduces the amount of plastic waste! Buy fresh, whole and organic whenever possible and store and serve food in glassware, not plastic.

3. PFOA​

Perfluorooctanoic acid is found in the coatings for stain and water resistant products, as well as the coating for non-stick cookware.

The EPA currently lists PFOA as a chemical of concern, due to results that link it to developmental issues as well as cancer.

Dangerous in general, non-stick pans become especially unsafe when overheated as it releases a toxic gas.

While handy, the reduction in cleaning time for non-stick products is probably not worth the health-risks that accompany the chemical coating.

Learn more about Teflon Dangers and Better Alternatives

When pitching your non-stick cookware, look to replace the cast off items with pieces made from stainless steel, cast iron or —preferably— ceramic cookware.

4. Aluminium

Aluminum is most dangerous when used for cookware.

A soft metal, aluminum becomes highly reactive when heated, putting significant amounts into the food you're cooking.

Don't be fooled by anodized aluminum products or items that are chemically treated to prevent the spread of the chemical.

The chemical coating can easily scratch, chip or otherwise break down, leaving you back at square one. Either way, aluminum toxins have been linked to brain disorders.

The alternatives are not surprising. Glass, cast iron, grade 304 stainless steel and ceramic cookware are your best options when it comes to safely heating your food. Just make sure the ceramic cookware isn't glazed with heavy metals or other toxic coatings.

Yikes! Find out Why It's Worth Buying Aluminium Free Deodorant​

​5. Dioxins

Dioxins are found in paper products that have been bleached with chlorine gas or other derivatives.

Bleaching the items with chlorine chemicals creates a byproduct called dioxin.

Dioxin is widely considered a carcinogen and has been known to adversely affect the endocrine, reproductive and immune systems.

The benefit to bleaching paper products is purely aesthetic. Two of the most commonly bleached kitchen items—coffee filters and parchment paper—do not function any differently from their non-bleached alternatives.

The benefit to bleaching paper products is purely aesthetic. Two of the most commonly bleached kitchen items—coffee filters and parchment paper—do not function any differently from their non-bleached alternatives.

The amount of dangerous chemicals found in everyday cookware and kitchen products can be overwhelming and fear-inducing. It's hard to readjust when something we always viewed as status-quo turns out to be toxic or otherwise harmful.

Thankfully, the more publicized and widely known these dangers become, the more readily available the solutions will become.

In the meantime, get a jump start on detoxing your kitchen by investing in safe products—like glass, grade 304 stainless, ceramic and cast iron—and whole foods to eliminate the majority of the culprits detailed above.​

Helen Sanders
 

Chief editor here at Health Ambition, I'm a proud mother of two passionate about nutrition and ways to live healthier with more energy!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments