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Is Your House Making You Ill?

Posted in General Health 11 May, 2015

When it comes to being King (or Queen) of your castle, how do you fare? Cleanliness may be next to godliness but did you know that many simple household items could be making you ill without you even realizing it? Minimizing their use around the home could prevent you from getting ill and obtaining all manner of allergies. Study the list below so you know what to look out for…


There are certain indoor plants that can cause eye allergies or contribute to asthma symptoms. Indoor plants are a source of moulds, especially if they are kept in damp wicker baskets. If you want to reduce allergies, then it's wise to avoid having these types of plants indoors. Pet hair and dust around the home can also contribute to allergies so it's advisable to clean regularly to minimize the risks.

Air fresheners

These may help to fragrance a room and mask all manner of smells but they are really made up of a chemical of cocktails that, in high doses, can have harmful effects on your health. Many air freshener companies have announced they are removing phthalates from their products but a surprisingly large number still contain this kind of chemical. It's best to avoid simply masking bad smells, and instead try tackling the root cause.

Plastic cutting boards

Every time you slice or dice food on a plastic cutting board, the surface becomes scored and the bacteria can then get into the board and multiply. Instead it's recommended that you switch to a wooden cutting board, as wood is naturally antimicrobial. This means that every time you scratch a wooden cutting board any bacteria that seep in will die instead.

Old plastic containers

Anything made from plastic or PC (polycarbonate) may carry a risk of chemical leaching into your food, especially when placed in the dishwasher. Newer plastic containers may have removed this chemical but the older ones will still probably have it. Heating the container is also not recommended, as any type of plastic placed in the microwave may carry chemical leaching concerns. It's recommended to stick to glass or ceramic containers where possible, as this is much safer in general.

Antibacterial soap

There is new research from an FDA report that suggests antibacterial soap isn't any more effective at killing bacteria than regular soap. Concerns have also been raised about the active ingredient, known as triclosan, found in antibacterial cleansers, as this has been shown to alter hormone regulation in animals, leading to concern that the chemical could contribute to antibiotic resistance.

Keep an eye on leftovers

As a general rule you should throw away, eat or freeze any food that's over three days old. The longer you leave the leftovers the more bacteria are able to grow and listeria are often linked to all kinds of health concerns including meningitis, miscarriages and even death. To keep yourself safe, it's recommended that you avoid eating any leftover foods if you don't know how old they are.

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