Dangerous chemicals contained in every day common products

Dangerous chemicals contained in every day common products

Contrary to popular misconception not all-natural chemicals are safe; there are actually plenty of lethal natural chemicals in your surroundings. It is important to be extremely vigilant because although some of these chemicals may have a slew of benefits, they are not inherently safe for human consumption. To help you stay out of danger here are 5 of Mother Nature’s most toxic chemicals;

Arsenic

This is a naturally occurring chemical found in abundance in the crust of the earth and is small quantities in soil, air, water and rocks. Around a third of the arsenic in the atmosphere comes from natural sources like volcanic eruptions while the rest is manmade. In your surrounding this toxic chemical is present in small quantities in grape juice, apple juice, rice products and arsenic containing pesticides.

Before 2003 arsenic was also used to treat wood for residential purposes. Aside from being a known carcinogen linked to several cancers such as bladder, kidney and skin cancer. It is also a lethal slow-killing chemical. Symptoms of Arsenic poisoning begin with confusion, persistent headaches then progress to convulsions, hair loss and vomiting. Ultimately the result is coma and/or death.

Simple tips on avoiding arsenic exposure

  • Limit grape and apple juice consumption by substituting with whole fruits, water and milk.
  • Avoid the daily ingestion of rice based food and instead consume a variety of whole grains
  • Watch out for older pressure treated wood found in decks, playgrounds and swing sets

Asbestos

This natural fibrous mineral was once widely used in manufacturing fireproof materials. Thanks to its impressive insulating properties topped off with a low price tag, asbestos was a popular building material especially in floors and ceilings until its toxic effects were uncovered.

Consistent exposure to asbestos causes accumulation of the fibers on the lungs causing dangerous ailments such as lung cancer, lung inflammation and asbestosis which severally impairs breathing. Asbestos is a slow killer since these symptoms typically develop after 15 to 30 year of consistent exposure.

Tips on avoiding asbestos poisoning

  • The best way to avoid asbestos exposure be careful of buildings constructed before 1980 and learn the specific areas of your home that may contain asbestos such as garages and attics. If specific areas contain asbestos, it is advisable to contact an abatement company for safe remedial methods.
  • If you work in a n industry where asbestos exposure is a possibility then ensure you wear appropriate protective gear and complete asbestos license training before actively handling materials containing asbestos.

Mercury

It is a naturally occurring element present in water, soil and air. A highly toxic form of mercury builds up in shellfish, fish and animals that feed on fish. Fishes that typically have a higher mercury concentration include marlin, orange roughy, tilefish and swordfish (most of these are used to make sushi). Another common source of mercury is silver colored dental fillings, mercury thermometers and fluorescent light bulbs.

Mercury poisoning typically occurs when is breathed as a vapor and absorbed into the lungs. If ingested orally or through breathing in high levels it can cause symptoms such as lack of coordination, muscle weakness, considerable impairment in peripheral vision and impairment in hearing, walking and speech.

Tips on avoiding mercury poisoning

  • Limit fish consumption and substitute with other white meats such as poultry
  • You can also reduce the risk of mercury poisoning by never vacuuming up mercury from a florescent bulb or broken thermometer

Lead

This naturally occurring element is fond is little amount on the earth’s crust. Although it was legally banned in children products and as a paint additive, it can still be found in older houses and in some imported items suc as candy, jewelry and even toys.

While it has some benefits, it can be harmful to both animals and human beings leading to stunted growth, kidney failure, delayed development and damage of the nervous system.

How to avoid lead poisoning

If you live in an old house built before 1978 the use the services of a lead-safe certified contractor and stay away from the site till the renovations is complete

Also refrain from importing children toys and jewelry as other countries still use lead. Also avoid buying candy manufactured in Mexico as it is rich in lead

Formaldehyde

This naturally occurring chemical is very similar to formic acid and is mainly used in the industrial production of coatings and pressboard or MDF furniture. Additionally, it is also used in making glues, adhesives and is some cleaning and cosmetic products and even in baby wipes.

How to avoid

Refrain from using MDF or pressboard furniture. In case you buy furniture treated using formaldehyde, air it outside or in a well ventilated basement or garage before use.

Avoid using personal care products and any other household items that contain ingredients formaldehyde

Bottom-line

Natural does not automatically mean safe, it is therefore advisable to informed after all to be forewarned is to forearmed…