By SustainLane via DivineCaroline
You would never cross the street without looking both ways, walk alone down a dark alley alone at three a.m., or tell your child to accept rides from strangers. So why let hazardous, toxic, and even carcinogenic chemicals into your home everyday?
The message driven home for millions of Americans each day via TV and internet commercials is this: No need to scrub or scour. With just one squeeze of the spray bottle, you can wipe away dirt, grime, and bacteria.
Alas, there’s that dark alley again. Air fresheners, disinfectants, and cleaners found under your sink are more dangerous than you think. Mix bleach with ammonia, for example, and you’ve got a toxic fume cloud used by the military in WWI. And they weren’t cleaning kitchens.
Here is a list of the ten products you should ban from your home–forever–along with suggested alternatives.
1. Non-Stick Cookware
When non-stick pans were first introduced into American households in the 1960s, they were thought to be a godsend. Gone were the days of soaking pans for hours and scouring pots with steel wool. In the forty years since then, however, we’ve learned that the ease of cleaning comes at a steep price: the coating that makes Teflon pans non-stick is polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE for short. When PTFE heats up, it releases toxic gasses that have been linked to cancer, organ failure, reproductive damage, and other harmful health effects.
The problems with PTFE-coated pans seem to occur at high temperatures, so if you must use Teflon, cook foods on medium heat or less. Avoiding non-stick pans altogether is the safest option. If you’re able to do so, try anodized aluminum, stainless steel, or cast iron pans with a little cooking oil. SustainLane reviewers like LeCreuset cast iron pans and more cost-effective ones like Lodge Logic. Using a lower setting on the stove will reduce the chances that your food will burn, which is how it usually gets stuck to pans the first place. If you’re worried about the extra calories cooking oil adds, try baking or steaming your food. More tips and safer alternatives here.