Many of us choose the products we use in and around our homes according to budget, convenience, and effectiveness. But, we often fail to consider the possible dangers some of these products pose for our pets. Here are five hidden household toxins that you should avoid using in your home, as well as some safer alternatives.
1. Synthetic Fragrances
Chemical fragrances can be found on the ingredients list for pretty much of product we use in our homes. Who doesn’t want their house to smell good, right? Unfortunately, chemical fragrances are dangerous for us and our pets. They’ve been known to cause reproductive system issues, disrupt the endocrine system, and even cause cancer. Go for unscented options whenever possible, and if you must use a scented product, be sure the area is well ventilated and go for natural scents only.
BPA, or bisphenol A, is used in plastic and food cans. This dangerous chemical has been linked to some pretty serious health issues, including heart disease and diabetes. It’s banned for use in children’s products, but it’s still used when making pet food and water bowls and sometimes pet food cans. Stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowls are a safer option and always look for BPA free on your canned food labels.
3. Cleaning Products
Isn’t it strange that the products many of us use to clean our homes could actually trigger things like skin irritation, asthma, allergies, and even cancer? If it’s safe, why do you have to wear gloves when you use it? Our pets don’t have a choice when they walk around their home. Switch to natural cleaning products, like vinegar and baking soda instead.
4. Synthetic Pesticides and Herbicides
Whether a pesticide or herbicide is used to kill weeds, insects, molds, or fungus, it can put your pet at risk if he gets anywhere near it. Choose natural pest and weed control methods instead. It’s better for you, your pets, and the environment.
5. Coal Tar Driveway Sealant
Coal tar sealants contain a toxic substance called PAH, or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. This substance is a known cause of cancer and genetic mutations in both animals and people. This dangerous chemical rolls off the driveway when it rains and enters your yard and water supply. And, pets often lick their feet after they walk on your wet driveway. Sometimes, they will also drink from puddles, exposing themselves to this toxic chemical. If you have a driveway that’s already paved, always go for sealants that are not coal tar based. If you’re thinking about paving your driveway, consider using gravel instead. It’s natural and it allows rainwater to seep through.
It pays to read the warning labels on the products you use around your home. You might just be surprised at the hidden toxins in these commonly used products. They pose a danger for you, your family, and your pets.