© Copyright 2006 Bee Wilder

Also see these articles on Toxins.

You are what you eat, digest and absorb through inhalation and the pores of your skin. The skin is the largest organ of the body. When the liver is overworked, the skin takes over the elimination of toxins. Unfortunately, many toxins are not that easy to get rid of, so overall health and all of the body’s organs suffer.

According to the National Research Council, "no toxic information is available for more than 80% of the chemicals in everyday-use products. Less than 20% have been tested for acute effects, and less than 10% have been tested for chronic, reproductive or mutagenic [and carcinogenic] effects."

Did you know that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) depends upon industry-sponsored tests in order to approve of products allowed onto the market? Well, in 1981 one company was found guilty of falsifying over 90% of more than 2,000 studies, and those products are still readily available. Who knows how many more "so-called" scientific tests have been falsified before and since that time?

It requires a team of scientists, 300 mice, more than $300,000 US and two to three years to determine whether one single suspect chemical causes cancer. Governments are at the mercy of economic agendas. Whenever there is a question of industry interests versus health or government regulations, and industry always wins.

That, in addition to the fact, that up to 99% of toxins are not required to be listed on labels. This is mainly because some products do not make any claims about safety, so you can safely assume products that do not make specific claims about safety are unsafe!

With all of these dangers well documented and well known, industry still spends millions of dollars each year to convince us that we need these products. It is also dangerous and expensive to dispose of these toxins in hazardous waste dumps, which are few and far between.

Checklist of Household Toxic Sources

Note: Unfortunately this list is very long, even though it is incomplete. If you look carefully at these toxic sources you will see that most of them are manufactured or processed.

Isn’t that a clue as to the source of most of our toxins? It is not healthy to become obsessed about removing every single toxic source, but some are easily eliminated, and others can easily be replaced with natural toxic-free or homemade products that are safe.

  1. Adhesives and glue.
  2. Aerosols, including hair spray, air fresheners, sanitizers, disinfectants, etc.
  3. Air fresheners.
  4. Aluminum cookware and aluminum foil.
  5. Any synthetic materials/fabrics.
  6. Candles, except bees wax.
  7. Carbon monoxide leaks, i.e. unserviced heaters burning propane, LPG, butane or oil, gas stoves, wood stoves and fireplaces, back-drafting from gas water heaters, and auto exhaust from an attached garage or nearby traffic.
  8. Chlordane, aldrin, dieldrin – termite treatment (now banned) though all these substances have been banned for nearly two decades, they continue to show up airborne in older houses.
  9. Cleaning products.
  10. Denture cleaners.
  11. Disposable diapers.
  12. Dry cleaning.
  13. Feminine products such as feminine spray deodorants, tampons, douches, and sanitary pads.
  14. Flea powder, dog collars and flea collars.
  15. Formaldehyde off gasses (evaporates) from particleboard and adhesives used to manufacture most inexpensive wood-based products. Carpets and carpet cushions may also off gas formaldehyde.
  16. Furniture made with pressed wood which off gasses (see above).
  17. Gas appliances can cause an increase in nitrogen dioxide levels in the home.
  18. Kitchenware containing triclosan: an antibacterial agent that is chemically similar to the dioxin class of toxic compounds.
  19. Lead found in paint in older houses, paint in old furniture, old plumbing, soil near highways and busy roads, lead-based paint, crystal tableware, some varieties of imported mini-blinds, batteries, floor tile, galvanized wire, insulation (of equipment), lead weights, linoleum, mirrors (silvering in back), paints and paint removers, stained glass, wires and cables (electrical), wrapping foil (bottles, packages).
  20. Lice treatments which contain Lidane, etc.
  21. Manufactured wood products.
  22. Matches.
  23. Mattresses & mattress covers made of synthetic materials and not made of natural fibers like wool, cotton, etc.
  24. Mothballs and moth crystals.
  25. Nail polish and nail polish remover.
  26. Paints, stains, etc.
  27. Perfume, cologne and anything artificially scented.
  28. Personal Care Products, i.e. deodorants, anti-perspirants, shampoo, bar soap, hair spray, hair gel, cosmetics, lotion, toothpaste, talcum powder, baby products, feminine deodorants, etc.
  29. Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, weed killers, etc. used for indoor and outdoor plants, and from nearby spraying for insect control.
  30. Pet sprays and shampoos all contain pesticides.
  31. Plastics of all kinds.
  32. Polishes, cleaners, waxes for cars and furniture.
  33. Rodent killing substances.
  34. Rubbing alcohol.
  35. Shoe polishes.
  36. Solvents and rust removers.
  37. Styptic pencils – used to stop bleeding while shaving.
  38. Synthetic carpets, upholstery, comforters, mattress covers, mattresses, pillows, etc. outgas toxic fumes. Shampoo or wash them at least 10 times to minimize fumes. Buy natural fibres like cotton, wool or those made from bamboo or hemp.
  39. Sunscreens and sunblocks.
  40. Tar and bug removers.
  41. Teflon cookware, utensils, ironing board covers, and other products that are coated.
  42. Vinyl chloride is the source of "new car smell": The plastic interior of a new car off gasses.
  43. Toys made of plastic or pressed wood.


  1. Lorie Dwornick, "Crack Down on Household Chemicals," Alive Magazine, October 2000, p. 84.
  2. Household Toxins
  3. Household Toxins You Should Be Aware Of
  4. Household toxins… putting you and your family at risk!
  5. Most Common Household Toxins
  6. The 10 most dangerous toxins in your house
  7. As Safe as Houses? Beware of Toxins in the Home
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