On Saturday, news sources released the findings of a recent report detailing the dangers behind the use of common household products, some of them quite deadly.
The independent toxicology report conducted on the body of the late Brittany Murphy provided evidence of abnormally high levels of potentially toxic metals, like barium, tin, arsenic and lithium. This has lead to some people speculating that poisoning may have been a factor in her death.
The examination of hair samples led to the finding of “ten heavy metals at levels above the World Health Organization (WHO) high levels recommendation,” according to the toxicology summary.
While some experts say the levels aren’t an indication of “foul play,” they are indicative of the heavy use of hair-care products. Even though Murphy’s death is still being disputed, the case does highlight a very real issue we all face every day; our exposure to chemicals from household items.
Victoria Richards, a pharmacologist and assistant professor of medical science at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University, told FoxNews.com that, “We’re exposed to chemicals every single day, we eat chemicals.“
Following is a list of just a few of the common chemicals we are exposed to frequently, and how to identify them.
Exposure to lead has been a concern to Americans for years. As many as 4 million households have children living in them who are being exposed to lead on a daily basis. Being exposed to this metal over a long period of time can lead to some deadly results. Children under the age of six are particularly vulnerable, with interference with their brain development being a potential risk.
Phthatatrs belong to a group of chemicals used as plasticizers, added to plastics to make them more flexible. But they are also found in a wide range of products we use every day, such as soaps, shampoos and perfumes, adhesives, vinyl flooring and more. It’s been found that over-exposure can lead to cancer, birth defects and developmental disorders.
Dr. Mary Snow Wolff, professor of preventive medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, says of phthalates that they are, “One of the better-studied chemicals, there’s an association with low sperm count and low reproductive capacity in adult males.”
Some products with phthalates in the ingredients will abbreviate the chemical name, calling them DBP, DEP, DEHP BzBP, or DMP. Many scented products or “fragrances” often contain a combination of compounds that often include phthalates.
Arsenic is a naturally occurring element found in either in combination with inorganic substances or organic substances that form a wide variety of compounds. Inorganic arsenic is found naturally in the soil or groundwater, while organic arsenic is mainly found in sea creatures, such as fish or shellfish.
What we have to be concerned over is inorganic arsenic. high levels can disrupt the body’s production of ATP, which is responsible for transporting energy between cells. Some of the conditions to look out for include skin disorders, increased risks for diabetes, high blood pressure, and several types of cancer, according to the CDC.