How To Avoid Dangerous Home Chemicals by Dr. Asa Andrew

Tabitha From New Mexico Writes:

I have been reading lately about all of these chemicals that might be in our home cleaning products and cosmetics. I have 2 small children at home and I want to make sure the environment is as safe as possible. What are these chemicals and what can I do to ensure my home is safe?

Dear Tabitha,

Many homes contain certain chemicals in some of our cleaning and personal care products that have been warned by the environmental working group. These chemicals may have the potential alter our hormones and create other cellular damage. From food additives to cleaning supplies, certain toxins such as mercury, lead, and arsenic have been removed from many of the products that we use each day. However many hormone – related chemicals have not. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Endocrine Society, we have endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC) that appear mostly in our personal care products and healthy home cleaning supplies. We even find them in electronics, pesticides, and keep in mind they can come in contact with us through our skin and ingestion. These chemicals can disrupt the natural hormone processes of the body by affecting our metabolism. 

Although there are not proven direct cause and effect links, many lead researchers agree that the invading of these chemicals have shown promise to potentially produce challenges such as birth defects, diabetes, and obesity. The World Health Organization recently said that the disease risk of EDC’s might be significantly underestimated. With pregnant women and young children being the most vulnerable, most people can still be affected. Along with an anti-inflammatory diet we need to look further at what might need to be done for a healthier lifestyle.

Some common chemicals that are in our home that we should be aware of include some of the following that we se every day. 

Phthalates are mostly used to make plastics. You can easily find these in kids toys, plastic packaging, detergents, and many personal care products. The CDC has linked prenatal phthalate exposure to changes in the male reproductive system and increased allergies.

Another is called Triclosan.  We commonly see this in the anti-bacterial soaps, toothpastes, and cosmetics. Although not harmful, they have been shown to potentially alter our hormone system.

A big one that we see everywhere is called Bisphenol A (BPA). This is used to prevent rusting in the linings of metal cans. It is found in many food containers, canned foods, and some dental products. There have been some strong links to impaired liver function, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even behavioral issues later in life. 

How To Safe-Proof Your Home

You can easily safeguard your home and environment by following these easy steps:

1.Be Careful With Plastic
Avoid microwaving with plastic containers. Use glass, ceramic, or wood to store food. 

2.Make Better Choices
Avoid canned and processed foods and lean toward more natural foods. Buy organic when possible and use only fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. Make sure to include a water filter to ensure you are staying away from as many potential chemicals as possible. 



Known as America’s Health Coach, Dr. Asa Andrew is a national best-selling author and host of the #1 Health Talk Radio Show in North America. In addition to his hit television series, Dr. Asa is a regular contributor to NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, and FOX and regarded as a healthcare leader in the field of lifestyle medicine.