Speaking as someone who was raised by a recovering hippie, I’m rarely surprised when a national news source announces the many ways in which seemingly benign household items can be bad for your health. Thanks to my mom, I knew about the potential health risks of antiperspirants long before celebrities like Cameron Diaz and Bradley Cooper started talking about why they don’t use the stuff. I’ve known about the dangers of using plastic water bottles and certain makeup products for years, too. But I only recently learned that everything from the mattresses I sleep on to the baby powder I’ve used on my nieces’ butts can contain toxic, health-jeopardizing chemicals.
Although the U.S. has made some progress concerning the banning of harmful chemicals in our everyday items, there are still so many household items that contain harmful chemicals. Recent studies show that canned foods contain Bisphenol A (BPA) — a chemical that’s been associated with everything from diabetes to reproductive health problems. On top of that, even non-toxic items (like environmentally-friendly sponges) can be bad for you if you don’t clean them properly.
Fortunately, there are plenty of healthy alternatives to the toxic items we use everyday, so there’s really no reason to freak out super-hard about all of this. That said, you should try to stay away from the following items. Here are six household items that can be bad for you.