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4 toxic chemicals in your home that you should be the most concerned about

Business Insider Logo By Aria Bendix of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 5:  Homes are laden with synthetic chemicals found in building materials and consumer products.  We asked an environmental health expert to identify the chemicals that should be of greatest concern to homeowners and consumers.  While science is still learning about the effects of synthetic chemicals, the evidence suggests some of them can contribute to cancer, developmental defects, and reproductive issues.  As daunting as the problem may seem, there are many simple ways to protect ourselves from these hazards.    Visit  Business Insider's homepage for more stories   Back in November 2019, wildfires in California  destroyed thousands of homes across the state, leaving behind an even greater share of displaced residents. After the wildfire season ended,  locals were left with a lingering environmental threat: the presence of hazardous chemicals.  As the homes burned, so did the items inside: things like  phthalate-filled air fresheners, couches manufactured with flame retardant, and Teflon pans made with harmfulPFCs. These chemicals are linked to a number of adverse health effects, including cancer, developmental defects, and reproductive issues.  It's not just fire victims in California who are at risk. Each day, homeowners everywhere are exposed to these chemicals in the form of building materials or consumer products.  To find out which are the most dangerous, Business Insider spoke with Dr. Leonardo Trasande, an NYU professor and expert in children's environmental health.  "There is increasing and accelerating evidence that synthetic chemicals commonly found in the home contribute to disease and disability," said Trasande.  Right now, he said, the evidence is strongest among children, whose bodies are still developing and whose metabolic pathways haven't built up immunity to environmental hazards. Children also weigh less, so their exposure can be higher.  Trasande identified the following types of household chemicals as some of the most toxic to humans.

  • Homes are laden with synthetic chemicals found in building materials and consumer products.
  • We asked an environmental health expert to identify the chemicals that should be of greatest concern to homeowners and consumers.
  • While science is still learning about the effects of synthetic chemicals, the evidence suggests some of them can contribute to cancer, developmental defects, and reproductive issues.
  • As daunting as the problem may seem, there are many simple ways to protect ourselves from these hazards.

In November 2019, wildfires in California destroyed thousands of homes across the state, leaving behind an even greater share of displaced residents. After the wildfire season ended, locals were left with a lingering environmental threat: the presence of hazardous chemicals.

As the homes burned, so did the items inside: things like phthalate-filled air fresheners, couches manufactured with flame retardant, and Teflon pans made with harmful PFCs. These chemicals are linked to a number of adverse health effects, including cancer, developmental defects, and reproductive issues.

It's not just fire victims in California who are at risk. Each day, homeowners everywhere are exposed to these chemicals in the form of building materials or consumer products.

To find out which are the most dangerous, Business Insider spoke with Dr. Leonardo Trasande, an NYU professor and expert in children's environmental health.

"There is increasing and accelerating evidence that synthetic chemicals commonly found in the home contribute to disease and disability," said Trasande.

Right now, he said, the evidence is strongest among children, whose bodies are still developing and whose metabolic pathways haven't built up immunity to environmental hazards. Children also weigh less, so their exposure can be higher.

Click through the slide show above to see the household chemicals Trasande identified  as some of the most toxic to humans.

© Joshua Lott/Getty Images

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