The 9 Most Toxic Products You Use Every Day!
Everyday products used at home and in the workplace contain chemicals that are known to be toxic. Sadly, many individuals hold the mistaken belief that these products undergo thorough safety assessments before being sold. The truth is that regulations regarding the disclosure of toxic ingredients and the hazards of products need significant improvement.
A recent study in California utilized a chemical database to uncover alarming facts about the products we use daily at work and at home. This database focuses explicitly on volatile organic compounds, which are chemicals that evaporate and contribute to air pollution.
By combining data from the California database with toxicity information from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), researchers compiled a list of highly toxic chemicals released into the air in large quantities. The products containing these toxic chemicals were then ranked based on the number of particularly hazardous substances.
Although not part of the study mentioned above, Asbestos is the most toxic substance found in the workplace. Asbestos exposure is the No. 1 cause of work-related deaths worldwide. Asbestos exposure may lead to mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer. You may be exposed if you work in building maintenance, plumbing, boiler making, demolition, and other construction trades.
Without further ado, let’s delve into the study’s findings regarding the most concerning toxic products used in the workplace:
- Auto/vehicle marine care products
- Cleaners, degreasers, and solvents
Individuals working with engines have a four times higher risk of developing lung cancer compared to the general population.
If you must use these products, you can reduce your exposure considerably by not using aerosol/ spray formulations. Spraying these products will cause you to breathe in much more of the toxic chemicals.
According to the WHMIS regulations in Canada and the Hazard Communication Standard in the United States, workers must receive training on the potential health effects of chemicals, labels, safety data sheets (SDSs), and how to apply this knowledge to safeguard their health and safety.
Unfortunately, many SDSs have been discovered to lack crucial health warnings. Without accurate information about health hazards, workers cannot adequately protect themselves, and the hazard training provided by their employers becomes less effective than necessary.
Now, let’s focus on the most concerning toxic substances that come into contact with your body:
- Nail coatings
- Hair styling products
- Hand sanitizers
Using hair styling products every day is why hairdressers have one of the highest rates of bladder cancer among all professions.
The most commonly reported highly dangerous chemical used on the body is formaldehyde, a toxic substance and confirmed human carcinogen found in embalming fluid. Aside from nail coatings, formaldehyde can be found in various cosmetics, nail care products, and even shampoo.
Benzene a very potent cancer causing chemical has been found in dry shampoos. The source of the benzene is thought to be the propellants (compressed gases) that force the product out of the nozzle.
Moving on to the most toxic substances frequently used at home:
- General-purpose cleaners (aerosols)
- General-purpose cleaners (non-aerosols)
- Miscellaneous office and art supplies
Numerous consumer products incorporate multiple chemicals associated with cancer and other severe toxic effects.
Labelling on consumer products in Canada and most States in the U.S. does not require identifying products that may pose health risks from chronic exposures such as cancer, reproductive toxicity, and skin or respiratory sensitization.
For example Formaldehyde was discovered in products commonly used in households, such as general-purpose cleaners, hand dishwashing soap, and bathroom and tile cleaners.
Among the top highly toxic chemicals, methylene chloride was found to be emitted in the largest volume. Methylene chloride is highly toxic and has the potential to cause cancer. It can be found in personal care products, hand dishwashing soap, adhesives, sealants, caulks, cleaners, paint removers, or strippers.
Both workers and consumers are frequently exposed to toxic chemicals throughout the day.
Most products use more than one chemical in their formulation. The health impacts resulting from the countless combinations of these chemicals remain unknown. To ensure your well-being and safety, please remain vigilant in recognizing and controlling your exposure to the products you use.
You can reduce your exposure to hazardous chemicals by using the safest product available. Don’t use aerosol spray products; open windows and doors to reduce your exposure. In some cases, a respirator may be required.
Always make it a habit to read labels and consult Safety Data Sheets (SDSs). However, it’s important to note that labels and SDSs do not always provide the whole picture. A study revealed that 30% of analyzed SDSs contained inaccurate chemical hazard warnings. If you want to learn more, please consider using one of the available applications. Here are a few examples:
Clearya® automatically analyzes ingredients for personal care, baby care, cleaning and beauty products whenever you shop online.
Think Dirty® will give you easy-to-understand information on the product, ingredients, and shop cleaner options!
WHMIS training will help you identify the chemical hazards at your work. Try the free WHMIS training online.
We hope this information will help keep you and your family safe and free from exposure to the toxic chemicals found in products commonly used at home and at work. Please let us know about the most toxic chemicals you use and what you do to stay healthy and safe.