12 Household Items That Contain Harmful Chemicals (and How to Avoid Them)

Image via Jonathan Rolande

4. Clothing and linens. New clothes and linens often contain materials that have been dyed and produced in different countries, where there are many different laws concerning acceptable levels of chemicals in textiles. Urea formaldehyde resins, which are used to help prevent wrinkling and mildew, along with dyes, can cause inflammation and severe skin reactions. Whenever you buy new clothing or linens (and used ones as well), you should always wash them before using them and air dry if possible.

5. Computers and other electronics. Our beloved electronic devices are phasing out chemicals such as triphenyl phosphate, a flame retardant that off-gasses when devices heat up. It is found in the insulation on wiring. If you have a laser printer or photocopier in your home, you could be exposing yourself and your family to ozone, which can irritate the nose, throat, and lungs. Ozone is especially harmful to anyone who has a lung condition, such as asthma or bronchitis. Fortunately, there are ozone-free versions of these products. And although electromagnetic fields are not chemicals, they also are emitted from electronic devices and provide health hazards.

6. Dryer sheets. These rightfully should be called chemical sheets because they contribute chloroform, alpha-terpineol, pentanes, and other VOCs to your clothing. These toxic chemicals found in dryer sheets can cause skin and eye irritation and are associated with central nervous system disorders as well as nausea, vomiting, and reduced motor activity. Try any of these natural alternatives to toxic dryer sheets.


By Andrea Donsky| August 18, 2017
Categories:  Nest

About the Author

Andrea Donsky

Andrea Donsky

Founder & Chief Passionista at NaturallySavvy.com. See my full bio here.

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