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Top 10 Toxic Products You Don’t Need

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6. Bottled water: Americans buy half a billion bottles of water every week, according to the film The Story of Bottled Water. Most people buy bottled water thinking they’re avoiding any contaminants that may be present in their tap water. For the most part, they’re wrong. Bottled water can be just as, or even more, contaminated than tap water. In fact, some bottled water IS tap water – just packaged (in plastic that can leach chemicals into the water) and over-priced. Also, from manufacture to disposal, bottled water creates an enormous amount of pollution, making our water even less drinkable. Do yourself and the world a favor and invest in a reusable stainless steel water bottle and a water filter.

7. Lead lipstick: Can you believe lead, a known neurotoxin that has no safe level of exposure, is found in women’s lipsticks? A study by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration discovered lead in 400 lipsticks tested, at levels two times higher than found in a previous FDA study. There is no safe level of lead exposure. Pregnant women and children are at special risk, as lead can interfere with normal brain development. To find a safe lipstick, as well as other personal care products like shampoo and lotion, check out the Skin Deep Database.

8. Nonstick Cookware: Studies show that perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), which make products stain-and stick resistant, are linked to cancer and low birth weights. They are incredibly persistent and can now be found all over the globe, including in the bodies of polar bears. Not only are PFCs found in cookware, but microwave popcorn bags and pizza boxes, some dental flosses, furniture and clothing. To steer clear of PFCs, avoid products made with Teflon or list ingredients beginning with “fluoro” or “perfluoro.”

9. Triclosan: This antibacterial agent is found in soaps, toothpastes, mouthwashes, deodorants, and even clothing. Studies have found triclosan may harm the human immune system, which makes people more likely to develop allergies, and reduces muscle strength in humans and animals. The FDA warns consumers to read labels for triclosan and recommends using plain soap to clean up. Instead of using antibacterial hand sanitizers made with triclosan, choose an alternative made with at least 60 percent alcohol.

10. Oil-based paints and finishes: There are 300 toxic chemicals and 150 carcinogens potentially present in oil-based paint, according to a John Hopkins University study. Still interested in coating your walls and furniture with this gunk? I hope not. Look for water-based options – ideally those that are low- or no-VOC. You could also explore natural finishes like milk paint and vegetable or wax-based wood finishes.What’s at the top of your list of toxic products you don’t need?

Related Stories:

Victory! FDA Bans BPA in Baby Bottles, Sippy Cups

Beauty Products May Be Slowly Killing You

The Problem with Plastic: Lightweight, Durable and Deadly


Healthy Child Healthy World’s mission is to empower parents to take action and protect their children from harmful chemicals. By working with manufacturers and supporting policy initiatives, Healthy Child Healthy World has transformed the marketplace into a safer environment for children.

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Photo credit: Klearchos Kapoutsis/flickr.CC

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10:15PM PST on Dec 9, 2014

Eww, concerning that hand sanitizers have triclosan. I wonder if they all do.

6:02PM PST on Dec 7, 2014

I had no idea there was lead in lipstick. Good job FDA...not

4:03AM PST on Dec 4, 2014


7:55AM PST on Dec 2, 2014

◕╰დ╮ THANK YOU for your time and for posting! ╭დ╯◕

4:09PM PST on Nov 15, 2014

can't argue with that, we don't need them and can find alternatives...

7:00AM PST on Nov 12, 2014

Thanks much for sharing

1:03AM PST on Nov 11, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

1:25PM PST on Nov 10, 2014


1:00PM PST on Nov 10, 2014

Thanks for the heads up!

12:19PM PST on Nov 10, 2014


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