Five Most Common Toxins

Posted on Feb 3, 2011 | Comments Off on Five Most Common Toxins

Five Most Common Toxins

There are five prevalent toxins in our environment that many of us now carry in our bodies. These five chemicals are possibly linked to certain illnesses, developmental problems and behavioral problems. They are: bisphenol-A (BPA), phthalates, PFOA, formaldehyde and PDBEs.

Bisphenol-A (BPA)

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical found in plastic and may mimic estrogen in the body, disrupting the endocrine system. Each year in the United States, nearly 90 million plastic bottles are purchased, burdening both the environment and your health. BPAs seep into your beverages during normal use, especially at high temperatures (such as in hot weather). To minimize damage to both the planet and your health, try glass or stainless steel bottles and containers, which can be safely re-used by everyone in the family.


Phthalates are chemicals that bind other chemicals together and soften plastics. Sources are shampoo, perfumes, soaps, shower curtains and vinyl flooring. Phthalates also pose a concern for disturbing the endocrine system. Try to avoid using personal care products that contain fragrance, as these frequently contain phthalates.

Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)

PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, is used in non-stick products. It’s possible that heating non-stick pans and cookware causes the PFOA to vaporize, which we then breathe in. PFOA has also been found in water sources. Avoid non-stick cookware and opt for stainless steel or cast iron instead.


Formaldehyde is a glue resin found heavily in constructed wood products, such as particle board, plywood and fiberboard. This chemical releases inhalable vapors, through a process known as “off-gassing.” To reduce exposure, purchase exterior grade pressed wood products, which release much lower amounts of formaldehyde. Increasing ventilation in your home can also help.

Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)

PBDEs are Polybrominated diphenyl ethers, which are flame retardant chemicals. Although they are in many different products, they get into our bodies primarily from the dust in our homes. This is because items such as televisions and computers contain these chemicals and gradually expel them, where they collect in dust. Breathing in or touching this dust is indeed dangerous, so make sure you regularly clean and dust your house.

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