To continue our discussion on toxins we come into contact with every day, let’s look at a few more prevalent chemicals. Remember from Part 1 though, the body can deal with many toxins if you live healthy and give it the tools to do so. Those tools are vitamins and minerals found in good foods. So don’t worry, just do the best you can and live the best you can.
PBDEs (Flame Retardants)
Flame retardants were introduced in the 70’s and became standard practice for textiles used in making furniture. It is especially used in the foam used to upholster couches, chairs, and car seats. A typical couch has over three pounds of treated foam.
The problem is that these chemicals are sprayed on the surface rather than bonded into the material. The chemicals leak onto our skin when we sit and get into the dust we breathe. Children are the most at risk with developmental problems, but also thyroid issues for pregnant women and even fertility issues have been found.
Older couches with disintegrating foam can be highly toxic. If a new couch isn’t in the budget, be sure to dust frequently and use HEPA filters to keep the dust down. New manufacturing standards have been rolling out the past couple of years so check before you buy.
There are many other types of flame retardants found in numerous products beyond furniture including electronics, plastics, and even drinks. Many are being phased out, but the US is slow in forcing these changes.
PFASs (Stain Resistant Chemicals)
Stain resistant chemicals are found in couches, carpets, pizza boxes, waterproof clothing, microwave popcorn bags, and even non-stick cookware. These chemicals are also a problem due to cumulative effect. They build up in the brain, liver, lungs, kidneys, and bones and can remain as long as a decade. They can cause high cholesterol, obesity, thyroid dysfunction, high blood pressure during pregnancy, low-birth-weight babies, and kidney cancer. They are released into the environment contaminating water which means we all have some build up in our bodies.
Since it is in the water, it is in our foods and because it is in products that disintegrate, it is in the dust we breathe. We can’t avoid it, but we can reduce it by watching what products we buy, and again using HEPA filters and regular dusting.