We keep buying and using products that were created to bring ease to our lives, and it would be hard to imagine that the daily harmless routines performed by millions could hide any potential danger. But the reality is bound to surprise you.
Bright Side made a list of things you use every day that actually bring you more harm than good. Let’s see how many of them you use.
9. Water bottles and travel mugs
Almost all the bottles we use on a daily basis are made of polycarbonate plastics, which contain a toxic industrial chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA). This man-made chemical can affect the bodily processes of cell repair, growth, energy levels, and reproduction.
The level of BPA released depends on the water’s temperature: the hotter it is, the more of the chemical gets into your body.
Tip: Consume hot beverages from mugs made of glass, porcelain, or clay. If you need to have a mug for your hot beverage, choose one made of stainless steel or polyethylene plastic.
8. Fruit juice and dried fruit
Fruit juice is an unhealthy beverage due to the sugar it contains. But, along with dried fruit, it also contains sulfur dioxide, which is used as a preservative to extend shelf life. Those who have asthma or are sulfite sensitive should avoid these products. They might cause serious health problems, from breathing difficulties to life-threatening allergies and even death.
Tip: To avoid sulfites, go for organic brands that don’t use any preservatives. Organically dried fruit won’t last long, but freezing can significantly extend its shelf life. Check with your doctor if you are sensitive to sulfur.
7. Fast food packaging
Most of our favorite fast foods are wrapped or packaged in containers that have a grease-resistant chemical coating. This can contain fluorinated compounds, which can affect a growing embryo or small child. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention lists the following possible consequences: changes in growth, behavior, and learning, fertility decrease, interference with natural hormones, increased cholesterol, and risk of cancer.
The amount of fluorinated compounds that get into our body depends on the food’s temperature, the type of food, and the length of time it remained in the package.
Tip: If you can’t resist fast food, try to eat in. You can always find a place that serves your favorite fast food choice on a plate.
6. Microwave popcorn
Heartbreaking as it may be, microwave popcorn bags contain a chemical coating that breaks down upon heating into an acid called PFOA (perfluorooctanoic). This acid can potentially cause cancer.
Another chemical, diacetyl, is found in the butter flavoring, and it can cause respiratory disease if you are constantly exposed to it. A respiratory disease called “popcorn workers lung” is mostly found among microwave popcorn factory employees due to extended inhalation of the chemical’s fumes.
Tip: If you love popcorn, just pop your own. You just need kernels, a pan, and a stove.
There are 2 types of sunblock: the physical (zinc and titanium dioxide) and the chemical. The first kind actually blocks or scatters the sun’s rays. The second one causes a chemical reaction to prevent damage from UVA and UVB rays.
Tip: The topic is widely debated. If you don’t want any potentially toxic chemicals on your skin, choose a physical sunblock. Use lotions instead of spray for evenly distributed protection.
4. Eating lunch at your desk
You might believe that your desk is clean, but it has 400 times more germs than a toilet seat. Your keyboard alone has 70% more bacteria than a toilet seat. Besides, eating at your desk increases the time you stay in one place, and sitting for hours increases the risk of heart disease.
Tip: Always wipe your desk, even if you don’t plan to eat. Eat in the kitchen area or the canteen. If you have to eat at your desk, make sure you wipe it first. And make sure your food doesn’t touch any surface.
3. Crossing your legs
This “harmless” sitting position can pump up your blood pressure at the knee. High blood pressure can increase the risk of heart attack or heart failure. It also puts pressure on the hip joints and can lead to pooling of blood in the legs when your veins are compressed, which can form a blood clot. Doctors recommend not crossing your legs for longer than 10 or 15 minutes.
Tip: Get a chair that supports your back well. You can keep your feet on the floor or use a special footstool to keep your legs bent at an angle of slightly more than 90°. If you keep crossing your legs, try to get up and walk around every hour or so. Just a small circle will make a difference.
2. Eye drops
You’d be surprised, but eye drops are on the list of poisons for people who want to get their revenge. Eye drops contain compounds known for their ability to relax or constrict blood vessels. This means they are harmless if applied directly to your eye’s blood vessels.
If swallowed, get medical help immediately. They can cause a rapid heartbeat, nausea, and convulsions.
Tip: Never leave your eye drops lying around the house to prevent your kids or pets from accidentally swallowing them.
1. Wearing rubber clogs
According to some podiatrists, wearing rubber clogs leaves your heels unsecured. When heels are unstable, your toes tend to grip down more tightly, which leads to toe deformities, nail problems, corns, and calluses. It might be all right to wear them for short periods (on the beach or in the garden).
Do you know any more daily things people do that bring more harm than good? Share with us in the comments.