1. Alcoholic Beverages
If you think alcohol consumption in moderate quantities is good for cardiovascular health, it has now been shown to increase your cancer risk. According to a research study conducted by the Boston University School of Medicine and Public Health, alcohol was responsible for over 20,000 deaths due to cancer in 2009.
The results published in the American Journal of Public Health (April 2013) shows that even a drink or two a day can increase the risk of cancers of esophagus, colon, rectum and breast.
Alcohol promotes the production of stomach acids that can damage the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. The effect is worse in people who already have problems like peptic ulcer. Ethanol in the alcoholic beverages gets converted to acetaldehyde, which causes DNA damage that triggers cancer. It also increases estrogen production and accelerates the growth of liver cells. These could be some of the reasons for the carcinogenic effect of alcohol.
Cosmetics come under the purview of FDA, but they are not as strictly regulated as drugs. Since they are mainly applied externally to enhance appearance, their use is considered incidental and temporary. If at all any testing is done on their safety, it is mainly to test for pain, burning sensation, changes in skin color and other localized allergic reactions.
It may seem that you can get rid of all the ingredients in cosmetics by simply washing them off at the end of the day. But the appearance of certain sunscreen chemicals like benzophenone-3 in urine several days after use, points to the fact that they are not only absorbed, but stored in the body as well.
Hair dyes have been linked to cancer risks, but many other everyday cosmetics contain the carcinogens like formaldehyde, benzene, toluene and 1,4-dioxane. Fragrances used in these products are particularly suspicious because their manufacturers do not even share their formula with the cosmetic product companies. Even those who claim to be natural or organic may not be all that safe.
3. Scented Candles
Most scented candles use lead wicks, while lead is one of the most disastrous things for your health. It is used to make the wicks last longer and burn more steadily, but lead is a deadly toxin that provokes behavior problems and hormone disruption. Even though the U.S. Consumer Council has banned the sale of lead wick candles, you should still check the item you are going to purchase. Hold the wick and try to use it to draw a line on the paper. If you cannot see a smudge or line, your candle probably does not have a lead wick.
Paraffin wax also creates highly toxic compounds. Toluene and benzene are both known carcinogens that are released into the air anytime paraffin wax candles are burned. Some candles also use artificial colors and artificial fragrances, which you inhale whenever you burn one of these candles.
You might know this more commonly as chlorine bleach. It’s found in almost every type of laundry whitener, toilet cleaner, mold remover, and kitchen cleaner. Dry products, such as scouring powders, can also contain chlorine. Many municipalities even add chlorine to drinking water to kill bacteria. Although this sounds like a good way to kill bacteria, the risks of exposure are many and the effects can be acute. You are exposed to the fumes, it is absorbed through the skin when you shower or wash your hands. Chlorine irritates the nasal and respiratory passages, and is a major cause of thyroid dysfunction.
You don’t need chlorine bleach to clean, kill bacteria, or whiten clothing. Plain vinegar will help whiten clothes in the wash, as well as remove static cling. Baking soda or Bon Ami will work as well as any cleanser, and vinegar can be used to clean and disinfect toilets. You can reduce your exposure to chlorine in your homes water by installing a whole house filter.
5. Tartar Control Toothpaste
Some of the most trusted name brands of toothpaste that you would assume are safe contain terrible ingredients that you don’t want near your family. Read the labels carefully.
Many products, especially tartar control toothpastes, contain saccharin, which is a known carcinogenic; dyes FD&C Blue #1 (and sometimes other artificial colors), which are linked to behavior problems and certain types of cancer; and also large amounts of fluoride, which has been linked to heart disease, lower IQ levels in children, and is believed to calcify the penal gland.
Try making your own safe and natural toothpaste by mixing coconut oil, baking soda, and a few drops of peppermint essential oil.