Health | Did You Know

10 Common Things In Your Home That May Be Making You Sick

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Our homes are supposed to be safe spaces.

While we don't have much control over what happens in the environment (even though we should), we need to take control over the things we put in our homes.

The first step is to figure out what needs to be replaced. Here are 10 common things in your home that have cancerous properties:

1. Library books

We all have a library card that gives us access to thousands of awesome books that would be too expensive for us to pay for. Aside from finding coffee stains, boogers, and hair inside your library books, they also contain something much worse.

According to the Library of Congress, library books may be sterilized with ethylene oxide, which is a colorless and flammable gas that has a "sweet odor" that's known to cause cancer.

Maybe it's best to ditch the library book and just support the author at this point?

2. Garden

The earth is as natural as you can get, but sometimes there are some nasty things that can turn up in our soil and water.

Dioxin is a highly toxic chemical compound that can easily find itself in our gardens. Your organic vegetables may be coated with it, so wash your vegetables as much as possible.

3. Granite countertop

The first thing that catches my eye in a kitchen is its countertop. We all know the value of a home seems higher when it has granite counters, but it may not be worth the health risk.

Radon, a radioactive decay of uranium, is found in rocks and soil, and can turn up in granite countertops. The naturally-formed chemical element is known to raise the risk of lung cancer.

These next toxic things in your home will shock you...

4. Comfy sofa

We're all couch potatoes nowadays, so if we're going to spend so much time sitting, we might as well sit on something that's not trying to slowly kill us.

Most cushioned furniture are sprayed with a flame retardant known as TDCIPP, which is a carcinogen. These toxic chemicals can easily enter your bloodstream by touch and inhalation.

5. Cleaning products

It's become a recent trend to ditch chemical cleaning products for a natural alternative. Most cleaning products contain dangerous compounds like formaldehyde, triclosan, phthalates, and sodium hydroxide.

When you're spraying or applying any of these products, you're breathing in these chemical fumes. Some people love the smell of Lysol, Windex, and generic fabric softeners, but it's better to ditch these products before they jeopardize your health.

Check out these links on how to make your own oven cleaner, ant poison, shower cleaner, and fabric sheets.

6. Nonstick pan

When temperatures exceed 446ºF on the surface of your nonstick frying pan, it starts to release toxic chemicals that stick to your food and enter your blood system, which increases your risk of cancer.

Just to be on the safe side, use cast iron to cook your food, and clean it with hot water and a sponge.

7. Curtains

Strong odors can easily cling onto soft surfaces, like carpets and curtains, even though you may not smell them. Deodorizing these items are not as simple as you think.

If your curtains have had some sort of toxic fluid leak on them, been exposed to smoke, paint, or even large amounts of dust, it's best to buy a new one to avoid breathing in cadmium, a compound that is known to have cancerous properties.

You'll definitely want to do something with these next cancerous items in your home...

8. Plastic food containers

The Kardashians may be willing to wear toxic cosmetic products, but there's no way they'll heat up plastic food containers. That's how bad plastic is for our health.

BPA, which is used in making hard, clear plastic, can leach into our food when heated and increase our risk of cancer. Even if you don't heat your plastic food containers, they can become toxic by just washing them. Make sure you're replacing these containers every few months.

9. Old insulation

Asbestos is a thing of the past, but not if you're still living in a home that is from that time.

These carcinogenic fibers become airborne when your the insulation in your old home starts to deteriorate, which start to cling onto your clothes and other soft materials in your home, like your curtains, sofas, and carpets.

10. Fridge

We've all heard of PCBs, but what exactly are they?

These carcinogens can be found in old appliances, lighting fixtures, and electrical units. When this compound accumulates in the body, it can increase one's risk of getting cancer.

PCBs have such a bad reputation that they're not commercially produced in most developed countries, but they can still be found in the environment. Get rid of any old appliances, especially fridges, before it impacts your well-being.

[H/T: Reader's Digest / Bright Side]

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.