It is difficult to remember the variety of evil substances to which we are exposed, and where we are likely to be exposed to them. This is a refresher to help you be vigilant.
Specific health hazards will not be noted. Rather, simply keep in mind that some are known or suspected of causing cancers; many are known or suspected of disrupting the hormone system; many damage the immune, nervous, or reproductive systems. Therefore, for good health throughout life, try to avoid inhaling or ingesting any of these toxic chemicals. Most importantly, to safeguard a growing child, pregnant mothers need to keep all of these dangerous chemicals out of their bodies.
Bisphenol-A is found in canned foods (from an epoxy coating on the interior metal) and in polycarbonate (number 7) bottles. Although BPA is being phased out of polycarbonate nursing bottles, check the label before buying.
Phthalates are found in all vinyl plastics, such as some furniture coverings shower curtains, and in soft childrens toys.
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers these flame retardants are in most foam cushioning used in mattresses and furniture.
Perfluorinated octanoic acid and sulfonate are used extensively as soil and stain resistant coatings on carpeting, and on the packaging of microwave popcorn.
Perchlorates are found in some municipal water. Check with your water supplier.
Dioxins float around in the air everywhere, but especially downwind from municipal or hospital incinerators, and from backyard burning of trash that contains PVC-plastic.
Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and very small Particulates are found in soot from diesel engines and in smoke from wood fires.
Pesticides form a very large group of toxic substances sprayed on fruit and vegetable crops. It includes organochlorine compounds, organophosphates, carbamates, and pyrethroids.
You can get detailed information on most of these toxics by clicking on a keyword (on the right-hand side of the page) that will take you to the appropriate article. Keeping your body free of hazardous substances is not easy, but it is possible. The payoff is a healthier body, with far less chance of serious diseases – like cancer.