Toxic Effects: Every Day Exposures 

Click on the link above to take a tour through your home and find out where toxins hide.

Holistica Color Band

Wondering which products are safe to use and which ones you should avoid? Here is a little guideline…


Vinyl shower curtains

Contain: phthalates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Concern: Vinyl shower curtains are made from a type of plastic called poly-vinyl chloride (PVC). It contains high levels of phthalates, a group of chemicals linked to reproductive problems and birth defects in animal studies, as well as 108 VOCs. Both become more active during a hot shower.

What you can do: look for PVC-free vinyl or use nylon, polyester, or other fabric curtains


Products with “Fragrance”

Contain: A variety of VOCs and phthalates

Concern: Products with “fragrance” on the label can contain 100s of chemicals and trigger allergic reactions, such as allergies, asthma attacks, headaches, skin rashes, and nausea.

What you can do: Avoid products that list “fragrance” on the label, especially air fresheners, and use unscented products when possible. However, if you know the fragrance comes from essential oils, then you can feel safe using that product.


Oil-based paints

Contain: PVC

Concern: Can cause headaches, nausea, respiratory irritation, decreased fertility, and damage to the liver, kidney, and central nervous system.

What you can do: Use low-VOC or VOC-free paint and open windows when painting.


Antibacterial Products

Contain: Triclosan

Concern: Animal studies show the chemical can disrupt sex and thyroid hormones essential for normal development and reproduction. May also cause resistance to antibiotics.

What you can do: Stick with plain soap and water to clean hands.


Harsh Household Cleaners

Contain: Phosphate, chlorine, and petroleum-based chemicals

Concern: The chemicals in cleaning products can cause skin rashes, eye irritation, coughing, and wheezing.

What you can do: Use planet-friendly cleaners or mix your own from baking soda and vinegar. NOTE: PUT A LINK TO A RECIPE FOR THIS THAT IS ON OUR WEBSITE

NOTE: Watch out for cleaning products that say “natural” on the label. This doesn’t mean they are truly free of chemicals or eco-friendly. For example, Mrs. Meyers products all contain fragrances, and as we know fragrances contain VOCs and phthalates.


Canned Food

Contain: Bisphenol A (BPA)

Concern: BPA is linked to reproductive harm, cancer, and abnormalities in brain function and fat metabolism.

What you can do: Stick to fresh or frozen foods when possible. FRESH IS BEST!


Dry Cleaning

Contains: Perchloroethylene (PERC)

Concern: The most common dry cleaning fluid, PERC has been linked to headaches and damage to the central nervous system, liver, and kidneys.

What can you do: Seek out greener cleaners at If these options aren’t available, remove clothing from bags and air it out before bringing it home.


Certain Non-Organic Produce

Contain: Pesticides

Concern: Some pesticides may contribute to cancer, birth defects, nerve damage, and other ills.

What can you do: Follow the EWG’s Dirty Dozen guidelines and either avoid those foods or buy only organic. The Clean Fifteen are a bit safer to buy the conventional varieties, but make sure you wash them well.


Microwave Popcorn

Contains: Perfluorochemicals (PFCs)

Concern: Chemicals used in grease-resistant food packaging, such as popcorn bags, are associated with reduced fertility, thyroid problems, and a suppressed immune system.

What you can do: Buy organic popcorn and pop it on the stove or in an air popper.


Nonstick Pans

Contain: Perfluoro-octanoic acid (PFOA)

Concern: This family of substances has been linked to reduced fertility, thyroid problems, and suppressed immune system.

The real story: While nonstick cookware does contain PFOA, a recent study found that the chemicals are released only in very small amounts during the first two or three uses, and then not at all.

What you can do: Purchase stainless steel pots and pans and try to AVOID anything with a non-stick surface



Contain: Some make-up and skin-care products have parabens

Concern: Because parabens mimic estrogen, there has been fear that they may increase breast cancer risk.

The real story: No large medical studies have provided evidence of cause-and-effect relationship between the two.

Always read the ingredients. Here are the most common parabens you will find on ingredient lists:

  • methylparaben
  • ethylparaben
  • isobutylparaben
  • propylparaben
  • Other variations ending in paraben can be spotted as well
  • hydroxybenzoic acid
  • hydroxybenzoate

What you can do: Look for cosmetics that are mineral based. Avoid fragrances or choose products that are scented with essential oils.