Dan­gers within the con­fines of your home

How mi­nor changes in your life­style can save lives

Northern Living - - CONTENTS - TEXT KRISTELLE ANN BATCH­E­LOR IL­LUS­TRA­TION TRIS­TAN TAMAYO

Dan­ger oc­curs when­ever and wher­ever we least ex­pect it. Within a house­hold alone, cer­tain ev­ery­day items may con­tain toxic sub­stances that harm both our health and the en­vi­ron­ment. The next time you’re at the gro­cery store to pick up a kitchen or toi­letry sta­ple, it’s best to be watch­ful.

Plas­tic ra­zors

The process of plas­tic mould­ing dis­pos­able ra­zors use de­mands an un­sus­tain­able en­ergy- filled process. Stud­ies show that Amer­i­cans an­nu­ally dis­card two bil­lion non- re­cy­clable ra­zors, which all end up in land­fills. Bet­ter al­ter­na­tive: Clas­sic safety ra­zors where only the blade re­quires chang­ing.

Canned goods

Some man­u­fac­tur­ers of canned goods use a chem­i­cal called bisphe­nol A in the lin­ing of metal cans. This syn­thetic es­tro­gen dis­rupts hor­mones and is linked to breast can­cer, obe­sity, at­ten­tion deficit dis­or­der, and gen­i­tal ab­nor­mal­i­ties, even with min­i­mal use. Bet­ter al­ter­na­tive: Food pack­aged in Tetra Pak. The car­ton is com­prised of six lay­ers, en­abling it to con­serve the qual­ity of food sans preser­va­tives.

Lip­sticks

Many lip­sticks con­tain lead, which ad­versely af­fects preg­nancy and can cause brain and ner­vous sys­tem dam­age to vul­ner­a­ble fe­tuses, and mis­car­riage, still­birth, and/or in­fer­til­ity to mothers. For adults, high ex­po­sure to the sub­stance may lead to ane­mia, mem­ory loss, and weak­ness. Bet­ter al­ter­na­tive: An all-nat­u­ral homemade lip­stick made with the base recipe of beeswax pastilles, shea or co­coa but­ter, and co­conut oil. For vivid hues, beet­root pow­der and cin­na­mon yield red and brown shades re­spec­tively.

Wooden chop­sticks

It’s a no brainer that trees are sac­ri­ficed in the pro­duc­tion of wood. Dis­pos­able chop­sticks are also drenched in sul­fur diox­ide, known to be detri­men­tal to the res­pi­ra­tory sys­tem. Chi­nese ac­tor Huang Bo once soaked a pair of dis­pos­able chop­sticks in boiled water, and they came out coated in a yel­low, greasy-look­ing residue with a pun­gent odor. Bet­ter al­ter­na­tive: Re-pa­per a pair of re­us­able pa­per chop­sticks us­ing card­board and eco-friendly glue. Or pur­chase a metal pair that can be re-used for­ever. When go­ing to Asian restau­rants, re­mem­ber to bring re­us­able chop­sticks as well.

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