Eleven Dangerous Chemicals in Your Home, Office and Vehicle – Your Health Detective

Household consumer products injure 33.1 million people in the United States every year. These incidents cost $800 billion in related expenses from death, injury or property damages. And many scientists are starting to believe that, in particular, the chemicals found in a wide variety of the goods you use every day may be more toxic than previously thought.

This brain scan shows a healthy brain to the left and one exposed to chemicals on the right…talk about losing one’s marbles! Need more proof? I don’t. Click to continue reading…

Below are 11 of the most common products and ingredients that are hazardous to your health, short and long-term:

1.   Mothballs

Since moths chew holes through clothing and other textiles, people pack them in stinky toxic repellents to kill them. Studies on one active ingredient in repellents, paradichlorobenzene, found causes cancer in animals. Other types of moth balls use naphthalene, which after prolonged exposure can damage or destroy red blood cells, and stimulate nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

2.   Pesticides 


Ninety percent of households in the United States use some form of pesticide – a broad term encompassing a variety of chemical formulas that kill everything from tiny microorganisms to rodents. In 2006, the American Association of Poison Control Centers received nearly 46,000 calls regarding children under age 5 who had been exposed to potentially toxic levels of pesticides.  

3.   Pressed Wood Products

This faux wood takes bits and pieces of logs and wood leftovers and combines them together. Pressed wood products include paneling, particle board, fiberboard and insulation, all of which have been particularly popular for home construction since the 1970s. However, the glue that holds the wood particles in place may use urea-formaldehyde as a resin. The U.S. EPA estimates that this is the largest source of formaldehyde emissions indoors. Formaldehyde exposure can set off watery eyes, burning eyes and throat, difficulty breathing and asthma attacks. Scientists also know that it can cause cancer in animals. The risk is greater with older pressed wood products, since newer ones are better regulated.

4.   Chemicals in Carpets

­Indoor carpeting has recently come under greater scrutiny because of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with new carpet installation. The glue and dyes used with carpeting are known to emit VOCs, which can be harmful to your health in high concentrations. However, the initial VOC emissions will often subside after the first few days following installation.

5.   Laser Printer Chemicals

­­ 2007 study found that some laser printers give off ultra fine particles that can cause serious health problems. Another study confirmed that laser and ink-jet printers can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ozone particulates. All of these have been linked with heart and lung disease.

6.   Lead Paint

­In 1991, the U.S. government declared lead to be the greatest environmental threat to children. Even low concentrations can cause problems with your central nervous system, brain, blood cells and kidneys. It’s particularly threatening for fetuses, babies and children, because of potential developmental disorders. Many houses built before 1978 contain lead paint. Once the paint begins to peel away it will release the harmful lead particles that you inhale.

7.   Air Fresheners and Cleaning Solutions

­Air fresheners (air poisoners) and cleaning solutions, when used excessively or in a small, unventilated area, can release toxic levels of pollutants. This comes from two main chemicals called ethylene-based glycol ethers and terpenes. While the EPA regards the ethers as toxic by themselves, the non-toxic terpenes can react with ozone in the air to form a poisonous combination. Air fresheners in particular are linked to many volatile organic compounds, such as nitrogen dioxide, and some fresheners also contain paradichlorobenzene, the same chemical emitted by mothballs. Don’t forget to avoid, or remove, any air fresheners in vehicles…think of the danger of all those synthetic chemicals in that tight enviroment, especially in hot water.

8.   Baby Bottles and BPA

Canada has taken the first steps to outlaw the sale of baby bottles made from polycarbonate plastics, which are the most common type on the market. It has done so because the plastics are made with a chemical called bisphenol-a (BPA). BPA has a structure very similar to estrogen and for that reason is referred to as a “hormone disruptor.” Hormone disruptors can interfere with natural human hormones, especially for young children.

9.   Flame Retardants

Commonly used in mattresses, upholstery, television and computer casings and circuit boards, flame retardants use polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs for short. Two forms of PBDEs were phased out of use in manufacturing in the United States in 2004 because of related health threats, but the products containing them linger on. Studies have linked PBDEs to learning and memory problems, lowered sperm counts and poor thyroid functioning in rats and mice. Other animal studies have indicated that PBDEs could be carcinogenic in humans, although that has not yet been confirmed.

10. Cosmetic Phthalates

Phthalates, also called plasticizers, go into many products including hair spray, shampoos, fragrances, and deodorants. Phthalates bind the color and fragrance in cosmetic products, and are also used to increase the durability and flexibility of plastics. Like BPA, these hormone-like chemicals are linked to reproductive and developmental problems in animals. Because of these findings, California and Washington state have banned the use of phthalates in toys for younger children.

11. Vinyl Chloride, aka “The New Car Smell”

Vinyl chloride off-gasses from the interiors of new cars. At high levels, this known carcinogen causes severe liver damage, ballooning of the fingertips, migraines, serious allergic responses, throat restriction and in severe cases anaphylaxis, to mention a few symptoms. Make sure you ventilate a new vehicle and, when possible, use a portable air purification system that plugs into the lighter. If you can take delivery  close to summer months, you can close all the windows and set it in full hot sun when not in use and then air the interior prior to occupying…this helps to off-gas chemicals faster. Those who are victims of multiple allergic responses (multiple chemical sensitivities, and hypersensitive will never be able to tolerate the chemicals in a new vehicle, especially one with leather seats because the leather is tanned with formaldehyde).

Your Health Detective:

Uncovering Clues to Add LIFE to Your Years…NOT Merely Years to Your Life, Naturally

Dr. Gloria Gilbère (aka Dr. G), D.A.Hom., Ph.D., D.S.C.

EcoErgonomist, Wholistic Rejuvenist

Dr. Gilbère is renowned worldwide for her work in identifying and finding natural solutions to chemically-induced and inflammatory disorders, multiple chemical sensitivities, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, Gulf War Syndrome, and digestive disorders that defy conventional diagnosis and treatment. She consults worldwide via telephone and at the new fully-integrative clinic in Gig Harbor, WA.  Visit her website at www.gloriagilbere.com for details about consulting with her.

Published by Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation – © 2012 Gloria E. Gilbère, LLC, all rights reserved.

Information in this newsletter is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by medical professionals, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent a disease or disorder. The FDA has not reviewed or endorsed the contents of this educational publication.

Copyright is held by Gloria E. Gilbère, to which all rights are reserved. Other than personal, non-commercial use or forwarding, no material in this newsletter may be copied, distributed, or published without the expressed written permission of its author and copyright holder.    


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John Riedl

Simply put that’s why I’ve gone down the health journey of research and creating health brands.

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