These household chemicals are the biggest threats to your family’s health
(NaturalHealth365) Have you heard of epigenetics? This is an exciting field of science that studies the way the environment modulates an organism’s genetic code – specifically, by turning “on” or “off” certain genes (that’s right: genes are not “fixed”). And, make no mistake about it, the most common household chemicals used today can greatly influence your genetic tendencies – in a negative way!
Depending on the genes affected and the environmental stimuli involved, hitting this “on/off” switch can increase or decrease an organism’s risk for certain health problems. And as you might have guessed, environmental toxins like BPA can have quite the negative epigenetic effect on both animals and humans.
BPA stands for bisphenol A, and is a common environmental toxin used in food packaging and other plastic materials. But as the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes, it’s one of many environmental and household chemicals that pose serious health risks to human health.
Check your cabinets: These common environmental toxins are harmful to your family’s health
It’s been shown that BPA can affect human health on multiple levels – organ, tissue, cellular, and genetic. For example, a study published in Molecular Biology Reports found that exposure to BPA modified the DNA methylation of certain rodent genes. And, as you may know, DNA methylation is an important biological process that happens when methyl compounds are added to DNA, which changes the DNA activity without changing its sequence.
In addition to its known epigenetic effect, BPA has also been shown to have an estrogenic effect, meaning that it can modulate the endocrine system and disrupt physiological processes normally mediated by hormones. In this way, BPA has been scientifically linked to a number of health conditions, including cancer, infertility, diabetes, obesity, developmental disorders, and nervous system and cardiovascular abnormalities.
Perhaps you’ve only heard of BPA because you’ve seen labels that say “BPA-free.” But it’s important to realize that BPA is still found in the packaging of thousands and thousands of food products, as recognized by the Environmental Working Group. This includes foods like canned produce and soups, salsa, jellies, cooking oils, coffee, and even baby food (in the lining of the lids).
Unfortunately, it’s not only BPA we have to contend with. Here is a list of other environmental and household chemicals that the WHO officially recognizes as a source for “major public health concern”, listed in alphabetical order:
- Air pollution
- Dioxin and dioxin-like substances
- Fluoride exposure
Long-term exposure to these toxins has been linked to a variety of serious diseases at virtually every life stage – from in utero well into adulthood. Managing the risk and use of these chemicals is surely going to be a major issue for public health officials as we enter the new decade.
Reduce your exposure to harmful household chemicals with these helpful tips
It’s not possible to completely eliminate your exposure to harmful household chemicals and environmental toxins, but there are plenty of things you can do to reduce your family’s risk.
Try these tips:
- Make non-toxic cleaners at home with natural products.
- Avoid using detergents and things with fragrances in them.
- Avoid buying canned products and look for alternatives to plastic and whenever possible.
- Don’t take your receipts from ATMS, grocery stores, etc., unless you really need to (these are loaded with BPA).
Sources for this article include: