10 unhealthy things you think are healthy

10 unhealthy things you think are healthy

Photo by William Brawley / Flickr

An article written by Dr. Joseph Mercola and published on his site www.mercola.com aims to raise awareness about certain products that many of us use – and think are really healthy- but that we shouldn’t in fact be using. Here are some of the products you should think twice about before purchasing:

  1. Antibacterial soap: studies show that people who use antibacterial soaps and cleansers develop cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and other such symptoms as often as people who use regular soaps. Antibacterial soap can’t kill a virus and offers no advantage over plain soap and water. Moreover, it can expose you to triclosan, which is an antibacterial chemical that has been linked to concerns over antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption.
  2. Chairs: your body is designed to be active and on the move, and when you stop moving for long periods of time, it’s like telling your body to shut down. Research shows that women sitting for 10 or more hours a day have a significantly higher risk of developing heart disease. Sitting for a long period of time has also been associated with diabetes and can also increase the risk of colon, breast, and endometrial cancers.
  3. Whitening or Antibacterial Toothpaste: this will wear away your enamel and make your teeth and gums more sensitive. Antibacterial toothpaste also contains triclosan, and many others can contain toxic ingredients, such as sodium lauryl sulfate, artificial sweeteners, fluoride, propylene glycol, and microbeads.
  4. Cotton Swabs: according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, under ideal circumstances your ears should never have to be cleaned by you, as the earwax will remove itself. An ever worse idea is to use cotton swabs, which can really damage the health of your ears, from trauma, to impaction of the earwax, or even temporary deafness.
  5. Humidifier: during the cold moths, when you experience low humidity – which can irritate your sinuses and throat, and make your eyes itchy – you might be tempted to use a humidifier. But if the humidity level is too high it can cause mold, which could devastate your health. Additionally, because of the moist and warm environment, you will breathe in a toxic mist, which can lead to lung problems.
  6. Loofah: this is a perfect environment for bacteria, fungi, and mold. If you have small wounds on your body, they might get infected if you run a loofah over them, and this could lead to impetigo, folliculitis, or other skin issues.
  7. Blender: if you’re not washing them properly, you might be in trouble. The rubber ring that holds the blade portion of the blender in place has been found to be the third germiest item in the kitchen, and it can harbor salmonella, E. coli, yeast, and mold.
  8. Nail Tools: if you neglect to wash them properly, they could cause skin infections (especially if you share them with other family members). You should wash them with soap and water after every use.
  9. Rubber Spatula: they are even germier than blender gaskets. If you have a spatula that comes apart, make sure to always remove the head and wash each piece separately.
  10. Stuffed Animals: they collect dust mites which are a major cause of indoor dust allergies. Exposure to this can lead to sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and other symptoms. Try to cut down on the number of stuffed animals around your child, and also try to put the stuffed animals in a plastic bag and leave them in the freezer overnight – the cold will kill the dust mites.
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Caroline Parker has a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from the University of Bucharest. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in the same field. She specializes in gender issues, ethnic minorities, and has a passion for literature, but she loves to find out more about any subject she comes across. When she is not busy with her studies, she is attending conferences, seeing plays which deal with contemporary issues in society, traveling, taking photos for her Instagram account, and watching beauty related vlogs. She aims to become a published writer and to pursue a Ph.D. is the field of gender studies.