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7 kitchen toxins to avoid

Help your family stay healthy with Wendyl Nissen's list of seven kitchen toxins to avoid.

By Wendyl Nissen
It’s a good idea to keep toxins out of your kitchen, whether they come in your food, food packaging or in cleaners. Help your family stay healthy with Wendyl Nissen's list of seven kitchen toxic ingredients to avoid.
1. Parabens These are common preservatives that can disrupt hormones and have been linked to many health issues. Avoid any product that lists parabens on its ingredients label or these chemical names: phenoic, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, 4-hydroxy-isodecylester and benzoic acid.
2. Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) You will find this family of chemicals in nonstick pans, food wrappers, clothing and nail polish. They have been linked to liver, kidney and reproductive problems.
3. Triclosan This is used in anti-bacterial soaps and detergents, deodorants, toothpastes, cosmetics, fabrics and plastics. It is another hormone disruptor that can interfere with the body’s natural hormone system and cause illness.
4. Fragrance The problem with the word “fragrance” is that it could be anything – harmless or a known carcinogen. Producers reserve the right not to say what is in it for copyright reasons. Avoid dish soaps and other kitchen cleaning products with “fragrance” or “parfum” on the label.
5. Ethanolamine Compounds These toxic ingredients work as foaming agents. They can mix with other ingredients to create harmful chemical reactions. Since companies don’t have to disclose all of the chemicals they’re using, you can’t make a truly informed buying decision. Look for them in products such as dish soap, hand soap and anything else that foams. Look for DEA or diethanolimine, TEA or triethanolamine, cocamide DEA or cocamide diethanolimine, lauramide DEA or lauramide diethanolimine, DEA lauryl sulphate or diethanolimine sulfate, linoleaide DEA or linoleaide diethanolimine, oleamide DEA or oleamide diethanolimine, MEA, linoleamide MEA, and stearamide MEA on product labels.
6. 1, 4 Dioxane This toxic ingredient is a carcinogen used to make products foam. At the moment, it doesn’t have to be labelled, so it’s very hard to avoid. Look for sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, PEG compounds, and chemicals that include “xynol,” “ceteareth,” and “oleth” in the name.
7. Butylated Compounds Like parabens, these are preservatives used in cosmetics, but food companies also use butylated compounds to prolong shelf life. They are endocrine disruptors linked to organ damage. Look for BHA, BHT on the label.

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Image: Jasmine Poole/ bauersyndication.com.au

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