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Non-stick cooking pans

Non-stick cooking pans
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Non-stick cooking pans make clean-up a breeze but when their surfaces are heated to high temperatures or they become scratched and pieces of the coating flake off into your food, it can pose health risks. Non-stick pans are coated with polytetrafluoro­ethylene (PTFE), a chemical that has non-stick properties. When PTFE-coated pans are heated to high temperatures, they emit gases that can be toxic, according to a 2017 study in the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research. To be safe, one should try to avoid overheating pans that are fluorinated, says Sachleben. It’s worth spending the money on a quality pan for cooking – you want to get something that will hold up over time.

 

Dish soap

Dish soap
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Phthalates, often called plasticisers, are found in everything from vinyl flooring to adhesives to raincoats as well as many personal care products and a popular item found in the kitchen: dish soap. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the health effects from exposure to low levels of phthalates are unknown but in studies, some types of phthalates have been shown to affect the reproductive system of laboratory animals. “There is valid concern about phthalates and long-term exposure,” says Sachleben. While the risk may be low, especially when compared to other products, an existing risk is a good reason to be cautious and find substitutes. “There are other cleaners that allow the chemicals to be effective but with less risk,” he says.

 

Plastic storage containers

Plastic storage containers
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Plastic containers and plastic wrap are common kitchen items used to store food but when placed in the microwave and heated, they have the potential to leak bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates into the food, especially if the food has a higher fat content, according to a 2018 study in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. These two chemicals are known to be endocrine disruptors, which means they have the ability to affect oestrogen and testosterone levels in humans and even impact the development of the brain and reproductive organs in developing foetuses. Temperature and time are also key factors when it comes to heating food in plastic containers.

“Hot foods sitting in a container for longer periods of time, will leach more,” says Dr Gary Ginsberg, author of What’s Toxic, What’s Not. “In general, it is advisable to heat your food in ceramic or Pyrex to avoid the leaching issues you get from plastic trays,” he advises. “When we know something is avoidable, it’s good to take action on it.”

Here are some more facts that will make you stop using plastic.

Antibacterial cleaners

Antibacterial cleaners
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Despite their claims for killing bacteria, the US Food and Drug Administration says there isn’t enough science to show that over-the-counter antibacterial soaps are more efficient at preventing illness than using soap and water. In addition, the long-term use of antibacterial cleaning products, which contain triclosan and triclocarban, may have negative health effects and could make some bacteria resistant to antibiotics, according to a 2015 study published in the journal Chemosphere. Quaternary Ammonium Compounds, another type of antimicrobial often found in antibacterial cleaners, not only have been shown to breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria but they can also cause dermatitis, a separate 2014 study published in the Polish journal Medycyna Pracy suggests. “It’s important for people to understand the hidden dangers lurking underneath the sink and recognise that children are not the only ones at risk,” says Turpin. “Adults need to protect themselves from harsh chemicals and vapours, too.”

Not sure about the benefits of hand sanitisers? Learn more here.

Canned foods

Canned foods
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Canned foods are a convenient staple in many kitchen pantries, but their linings often contain BPA, a chemical that has been linked to reproductive toxicity. “It is hard to find canned foods that don’t have BPA,” says Ginsberg. Children’s foods are often advertised as having liners that are free of BPA, and parents should look for that and try to lessen the use of canned foods, he says. “It’s better to go with fresh or frozen food, but if the frozen food is in a plastic bag, don’t heat it in the microwave,” says Ginsberg.

Find out what some of the most unhealthy foods at the supermarket are.

Petrol

Petrol
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From removing grease to warding off ants, petrol may have a variety of household uses, but remember, gasoline is made for cars, says Sachleben. “It is not designed to be a cleanser – it is too flammable and too dangerous – and should not be brought in the house.” Petrol can contain benzene (and other aromatic hydrocarbons), which is known to be a human carcinogen, explains Sachleben.  Exposure to petrol, either through physical contact or inhalation, can cause several health problems and lead to gasoline poisoning. “If you need to clean something, go to the store and spend the money and buy the cleaner that is designed for what you need to do,” says Sachleben.

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Source: RD.com

 

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