10 Deceptive Everyday Objects That Are Doing More Harm Than Good

We consider our homes a safe haven for our families and for ourselves. What we don’t know is that sometimes the most ordinary objects lying around in our house can pose a big threat to our health. The whitening toothpaste that ensures a bright and pearly smile, the antibacterial hand soap that protects our kids from germs, and the diet sodas that advertise a slim figure are not as “innocent” as we may believe.

We at Bright Side care about your health and well-being so we have compiled a list of household products that can be harmful, along with some safer options.

1. The real effect of diet sodas

The first thing we cut off from our diet is regular soda. We rely on diet sodas to ease the transition since we still have something sweet and caffeinated to drink when our energy is waning. However, studies suggest that there’s a direct correlation between drinking diet sodas and the risk of developing serious health conditions, such as dementia, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and having a stroke.

To top it off, the main reason why we drink them is to lose weight but this kind of beverage can increase our cravings and we can end up with a larger waistline.

Alternative

Try to go natural. If water is too bland for you, spice it up by adding a bit of lemon juice. If you have a craving for something sweet, then smoothies can be your savior. You can even combine different varieties of fruit to make them more interesting.

2. A toxic splash of perfume

Before we leave the house, we check to see that we have covered the “essentials” and a splash of our favorite perfume is always a must. What we don’t know is that we are basically spraying nice-smelling chemicals—some of which derive from petroleum—onto our skin. Exposure to these fragrances can cause mild to severe symptoms, from migraines to infertility. What’s more, they’re well-known pollutants. So, let’s stop using them and do ourselves and the environment a favor!

Alternative

Switch to products that are scented with natural oils. You can create your own toxin-free perfumes.

3. Non-stick pans equal unwelcome toxic gases

Being as busy as we are and not wanting to spend that much time scrubbing our pans, we purchase the coveted non-stick pan. We think we have found the solution to all our problems but we’re just adding a new one to the bunch. The coating on these products contains polytetrafluoroethylene. When pans are overheated, toxic gases, which can be carcinogenic, are released.

Alternative

It’s highly recommended to use stainless steel or cast iron cookware. You can also incorporate natural, non-stick sprays in your cooking.

4. Invasive cotton swabs

Ear wax exists for a reason: it protects our ear canal from dust and debris. When it builds up, it feels sticky. Consequently, we might get exasperated and resort to using a cotton swab. When pushed too far, it can damage delicate structures like the eardrum, and even cause hearing loss.

Alternative

First, throw them away or remove them from your grocery list. Next, it’s actually not necessary to clean the wax built up inside your ear. However, if you want to clean the gunk from the opening of the canal, use a damp cloth and be careful not to apply too much pressure.

5. The antibacterial hand soap that kills “too many” germs

Ever since our childhood, we’ve been taught about the importance of frequently washing our hands. We won’t deny that part, but using antibacterial soaps can be “unhealthy.” First of all, there’s no concrete evidence that they kill all germs and nor should they. Experts believe that some ingredients found in these soaps like triclosan may cause antibacterial resistance.

Alternative

Plain soap, water, and a thorough scrub is all you need to keep your hands clean.

6. The loofah: a paradise for germs

How can something that looks like a colorful sea sponge be harmful? Their intricate weave, which is great for exfoliating dead skin, also traps organisms that grow when the loofah is wet. So you end up spreading them onto your skin next time you use it.

Alternative

If you don’t feel like cleaning and drying it after each use, a safer option is to opt for natural scrub soaps.

7. Whitening and corrosive toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste works by removing superficial stains on your teeth, mostly caused by drinking too much coffee or tea. The problem here is the frequency with which you use this hygiene product. They can end up being too abrasive and corrode your tooth enamel or cause tooth sensitivity.

Solution

Check that the brand you are using has a seal of approval from a reputable dental organization and use it together with another kind of toothpaste.

8. Aluminum foil may be the cause behind foodborne illnesses

When we store leftovers wrapped in aluminum foil, we are unknowingly storing away a ticking time bomb. Some bacteria cause foodborne illnesses. When air is present, that bacteria grow faster. The problem with aluminum foil is that it doesn’t completely seal your food off from the air.

Alternative

Use air-tight containers. Additionally, you shouldn’t leave the food out for too long. Put it in the fridge once it’s cooled down a bit.

9. Say goodbye to those old plastic containers

Containers that are made of rigid plastic and have a “7” or “pc” (polycarbonate) stamp, may contain BPA (Bisphenol A). This chemical may be the cause of several endocrine disorders ranging from infertility to breast and prostate cancer.

Alternative

When purchasing new containers, make sure they are BPA-free or opt for glassware and porcelain, which are the safest options.

10. Worn-out bras

We all have that favorite bra that we somehow cannot get rid of. But it’s high time to say goodbye to our old “supportive” pal. When the elastic in bras wears out over time, that equals less support. This can be harmful, especially in the case of heavier women, because it may lead to back pain.

Furthermore, it may slow the natural process of aging in breast tissue. Curious fact: our breasts change in shape and size mainly due to fluctuations in weight or hormonal changes so a bra that did wonders in the past may end up feeling uncomfortable and unsupportive.

Solution

You now have the perfect excuse to go guilt-free shopping. Seek advice from the salesperson in the shop to get the best-fitting option for your build. If you’re feeling extra bold, then say goodbye to bras altogether.

Can you think of any other products that can pose a threat to your health? We’d like to know so that we can all better protect ourselves!

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