6 Toxic items in your home you may not know about

1. Candles & Air freshers

Researchers have found numerous chemicals associated with toxic effects in air fresheners, such as VOCs, benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, m,p-xylene, phthalates, and more. 

Paraffin wax candles create the same toxins you’d find in diesel fumes and add to indoor air pollution. Many candles also often contain synthetic fragrances which have been linked to developmental and reproductive hard and toxins such as benzene & formaldehyde.

Substitutes: Bees wax candles, diffused essential oils

2. Cooking Pots & Containers

Cooking pots made from non-stick Teflon lead to human health and environmental contamination due to heated PTFE coatings which release toxic gas fumes.

BPA which has been linked to many health issues is found in plastic bottles, food containers, consumer products packaging, aluminum cans, and so many more things in our home. 

Substitutes: Ceramic non-stick, cast iron, stainless steel, clay, glass and bamboo.

3. Cosmetics & Skin Care

Parabens, Phthalates, chemical fragrance, SLS and SLES are known to trigger allergic reactions and skin irritation. Lead, which is a heavy metal and a neurotoxin is found in many lipsticks.

Substitutes: Organic & natural skin care and cosmetics free from the above toxins, such as French Girl, Illia and 100% pure.

4. Cleaning Products

Household cleaning products contain a cocktail of chemicals, some of which have been linked to allergies, asthma  and skin damage. Parabens, chlorine, triclosan, ammonia, sodium hydroxide and phthalates are some of many hidden chemicals.  

Substitutes: Homemade cleaners, & water based probiotic cleaners.

5. Perfumes & Deodorants

Synthetic perfumes and deodorants which dominate the market are packed with synthetic fragrances which are toxic. “Fragrance” or “perfume” is an  unidentified mixture of ingredients including carcinogens, allergens, endocrine disrupters, neurotic chemicals, environmental toxins and respiratory irritants (also found in conventional creams, soaps and shampoos). These have been linked to hormone disruption, cancer, reproductive harm and allergies. 

Most deodorants contain aluminium and triclosan which can be hormone disrupting and have been linked to many adverse health effects, 

Substitutes: Scents made using plant based oils & 100% natural deodorants.

6. Clothing

Synthetic and performance fabrics, stain resistant, wrinkle free and flame retardant properties usually means fabrics that contain known carcinogens and hormone disruptors, which have a negative impact throughout the many stages of a garment, including workers, the local environment and consumers. Synthetic fabrics also release micro plastics into our waters, which causes further contamination. 

Substitutes: Natural fibres such as cotton, silk, linen, hemp and biobased fabrics made in a closed loop system.



The Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban

Rolf U. Halden, Avery E. Lindeman, Allison E. Aiello, 

Formation of a carcinogenic aromatic amine from an azo dye by human skin bacteria in vitro

T Platzek 1C LangG GrohmannU S GiW Baltes

C. Mastrangelo, E. Fadda, and V. Marzia, "Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Cancer in Man," Environ. Health Perspect. 104, 1166 (1996)

PTFE-coated non-stick cookware and toxicity concerns: a perspective

Muhammad Sajid 1Muhammad Ilyas 2

Health risk of exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA)

Aleksandra Konieczna 1Aleksandra Rutkowska 1Dominik Rachoń 1

Toxic metals contained in cosmetics: a status report

Beatrice Bocca 1Anna Pino 1Alessandro Alimonti 2Giovanni Forte 1

Aluminium, antiperspirants and breast cancer

P D Darbre 1

Synthetic microfibers: Pollution toxicity and remediation

Rojalin Priyadarshini Singh 1Sunanda Mishra 1Alok Prasad Das 2

Microplastics in wastewater: microfiber emissions from common household laundry

Ana Galvão 1Margarida Aleixo 2Hilda De Pablo 3Clara Lopes 4Joana Raimundo 4

Indoor air pollution and airway disease

G Viegi 1M SimoniA ScognamiglioS BaldacciF PistelliL CarrozziI Annesi-Maesano

Emission of air pollutants from burning candles with different composition in indoor environments

Marco Derudi 1Simone GelosaAndrea SliepcevichAndrea CattaneoDomenico CavalloRenato RotaGiuseppe Nano

Further reading