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Five toxic household chemicals you need to avoid at all costs

Modern homes and their inhabitants are often exposed to toxic chemicals that can lead to conditions like obesity, cancer, ADHD, autism, early puberty and so on. In addition to proper health and nutrition, you should avoid exposure to certain chemicals as much as possible. Here are some of those really harmful chemicals that you need to avoid in your home at all costs.



Aka carcinogen, arsenic is usually found in small traces in rice products, rice, grape juice and apples (due to arsenic loaded pesticides in the groundwater). It occurs in both organic and inorganic forms, with the latter being more detrimental to health by increasing the risks of diseases like bladder, skin, and lung and kidney cancer. Pressure treated wood is also known to contain arsenic.

Ways to Avoid: Have lesser helpings of rice products and switch to wheat, corn and oatmeal instead. Rinse rice products in water before cooking them. Refrain from buying pressure treated wood, usually identified by several short slits cut into the wood’s surface.



Another carcinogen that is detrimental to health, formaldehyde is a skin irritant capable of causing several allergic reactions like skin rashes, burning eyes, watery eyes, burning throat and stuffy nose. Contact with products that contain formaldehyde (pressed wood furniture, press clothing, adhesives and cleaning products) can trigger these reactions. Constant exposure could also lead to headaches, respiratory illnesses, nausea and fatigue.

Ways to Avoid: Stay away from pressed wood or other MDF. Avoid personal care, beauty and house cleaning products that contain formaldehyde or ingredients that contain the chemical.



Constant exposure to mercury can cause neurological issues like ADHD. The chemical usually enters the system via air pollution, industrial wastes and fishes that consume mercury mixed in the water.

Ways to Avoid: Avoid buying predatory fishes like sharks, swordfish, tilefish, kingfish, etc., while you can consume other fish for nutrients. Avoid shellfish which usually contains large amounts of mercury. Throw away old thermometers and but new ones.



Commonly used in toothpaste as well as mouthwashes, too much fluoride in the system would lead to issues like brittle bones, discolored teeth and even neurotoxicity. The chemical is natural occurring and is found in groundwater as well as municipal water supplies.

Ways to Avoid: Refrain from using concentrated fluoride toothpastes and mouthwashes. Check fluoridation levels in water supplies in your area and opt for a reverse osmosis water filtration device for your home water.


Flame Retardants

Exposure to flame retardants, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) can cause conditions like reproductive issues and can affect learning, hearing, memory, motor skills, etc. Flame retardants are usually found in furniture, couches, mattresses, pillows, carpets and some electronic products etc. With time, the chemical would be released into the air, causing the above mentioned issues.

Ways to Avoid: Avoid constant contact with mobile phones and remotes. Replace old pillows, mattresses, car seats and furniture, especially those that are too worn out and not enclosed in protective fabric.


Here are some of the most harmful chemicals you would need to be wary of in your home and outside. In addition to noting down these chemicals and their potential side effects, make sure you follow the tips mentioned to avoid constant exposure to the same as well.

Dr Prem Jagyasi and Team

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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