6 Ordinary Products that Can Make You Sick

1. Non-stick cookware (when overheated)
Perfluorinated chemicals (PFC). (Some new non-stick cookware does not contain PFC.)

Non-stick pans may give off fumes containing TFE, a suspected carcinogen, when they get hotter than 650°F. How hot is that? Olive oil, for example, starts smoking at 410°F, well below that level.

What You Should Do
Just to be safe, don't allow empty pans to smolder on a hot burner.

2. "Clamshell" takeout food containers
Or any food packaging labeled #6 in the recycling symbol*

What It Contains
Polystyrene (Styrofoam).

May leach styrene (a possible endocrine disrupter and human carcinogen) into food, and into groundwater from landfills.

What You Should Do
Avoid food that has come into contact with polystyrene.

*usually located on the bottom of the container

3. Worn and pitted pots and pans
What They May Contain

Aluminum has been associated with Alzheimer's disease. However, no definite link has been proven.

What You Should Do
Consider getting rid of older pots and pans, which leach the most aluminum into your food. Leafy vegetables and acidic foods, such as tomatoes, absorb the most. Anodized aluminum pots, with a hard non-stick surface, are a better choice.

4. Reusable "sport" water bottles
Look for plastics labeled #7 in the recycling symbol. Also check metal-lined containers (such as those used for some baby formulas and cocoa powder), five-gallon water bottles, and most plastic baby bottles

What They Contain
Polycarbonate, which may contain bisphenol A

Bisphenol A is a suspected hormone disrupter and has been found to stimulate prostate cancer cells.

What You Should Do
Replace plastic baby bottles with glass, and water bottles with stainless steel or those made of high-density polyethylene - labeled #2 in the recycling symbol. Avoid putting plastics into the microwave or dishwasher. To be extra careful, use ceramic or glass containers instead. Plastics labeled #1, #2, #4 and #5 are safer than those labeled #3, #6 and #7.

5. Water and soft-drink bottles when refilled
Look for plastics labeled #1 in the recycling symbol (typically)

What They Contain
Polyethylene terephthalate.

The bottles are considered safe but are intended for single use only; they should not be reused because they may have picked up bacteria from the first use.

What You Should Do
Use only once (and then, of course, recycle!). Even if you wash them, you cannot be sure they have been properly sanitized.

6. Backyard furniture, shower curtains, toys
Look for plastics labeled #3 in the recycling symbol

What They Contain
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which often contains softeners called phthalates.

PVC releases toxic chemicals during its manufacture. Phthalates, for their part, can damage the liver, kidneys and reproductive systems of animals. Suspected endocrine disrupters, they mimic hormones and may interfere with children's growth and development, especially if infants chew or suck on vinyl products.

What You Should Do
Avoid PVC products and soft plastic toys, which young children may put in their mouth. Look for plastics labeled #1, #2, #4 or #5, which are not endocrine disrupters.

Follow us on facebook!

20 Secrets Your Waiter Won't Tell You
15 Foods You Should Never Buy Again
11 Biggest Red Flag Words on Packaged Foods
50 Secrets Nurses Won't Tell You
13 Things Your Dentist Wants You to Know
13 Things a Movie Theater Employee Won't Tell You
13 Hotel Secrets You Should Know
13 Things the Pizza Guy Won't Tell You
19 Weight Loss Secrets From Around the World

Get more insider secrets and sign up for our newsletters.