What’s Hiding in Your Kitchen May Hurt You You may select whole foods and put careful thought into preparing healthy meals for your family. But did you know that everyday items in your kitchen have the potential to make your family sick? Don’t risk it. Learn about common places toxins lurk in your kitchen and how to limit your family's exposure.

Plastic Containers and Aluminum Cans

Although convenient, these containers are sources of BPA or Bisphenol A, an industrial chemical that has been around since the ‘60s. Almost all adults have been exposed. In fact, a 2003-2004 Centers for Disease Control study measured BPA exposure in adults and found traces of the chemical in nearly everyone tested.

It seems the chemical has many toxic effects. The National Toxicology Program at the Department of Health and Human Services is concerned about a link between BPA and brain, behavior and prostate gland abnormalities in fetuses, infants and children.

What can you do to avoid exposure?

  • Buy organic fruits and vegetables fresh from the farmer instead of in the package.
  • Stop using plastic containers to heat and store food.
  • Avoid canned, ready-to-eat food, such as soup, fish and poultry.
  • Throw out any baby bottles with scratches and buy BPA-free bottles
What’s Hiding in Your Kitchen May Hurt You

Non-Stick Cookware

No one wants to clean a pan with food stuck to it. But cooking with non-stick pans can put your family at risk. Non-stick surfaces contain polyfluoralkyl chemicals, which have been linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children ages 12-15 as well as high cholesterol. The true impact of these chemicals has not been fully studied; however, they are considered a “chemical of concern” by the Environmental Protection Agency.

What can you do to avoid exposure?

The best way to avoid exposure is to stop using non-stick cookware. Instead, opt for stainless steel or cast iron. Just think of the arm muscles you will build cleaning them!

If you aren’t in favor of changing out all of your cookware right away, make sure not to overheat your pans, which causes the toxic gases to be released. Any non-stick cookware with scratches or gauges in the finish should be thrown away.

Other Culprits

Antibacterial soap – It seems the tide has turned on this former ‘go-to’ product, which is linked to hormonal disturbance and thyroid issues. If you want to get your hands clean, just use soap and warm water. And remember, wash long enough to sing your ABC’s!

Kitchen sponge – The common kitchen sponge is a breeding ground for bacteria. Make sure to regularly sanitize them by placing them in the microwave for two minutes or running them through a dishwasher cycle.

For more information about the chemicals in your kitchen and home that may be harmful to your family, visit the Environmental Working Group’s website.