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Doctor Reveals Home Health Hazards -- and How to Avoid Them

(November 01, 2011)

PHOENIX, AZ -- (Marketwire) -- 11/01/11 -- Hidden hazards abound in modern society, and avoiding them may not only prolong your life, but give you a better quality of life, says physician Doris Rapp, an expert on environmental hazards and author of "32 Tips That Could Save Your Life," (www.dorisrappmd.com).

Rapp found threats in every room in the house. Here's a sampling:

  • In the kitchen: Microwave ovens can cause cataracts, and digestive, liver, kidney and brain damage, she says, citing "Jan Russell's Heath Facts: Microwaving - Dangers to Your Food and You." It also releases toxic chemicals from plastic and Styrofoam, and destroys 60 to 90 percent of the energy in foods, including vitamins B-12 and C.

    Rapp suggests replacing your microwave with a toaster oven for quick reheats. If you must use a microwave, use a paper towel to cover food -- not plastic wraps -- and don't heat food and beverages in plastic or Styrofoam.

  • In the living room: Linoleum, synthetic flooring and some types of carpeting can be full of pesticides and harmful chemicals. Formaldehyde in carpets is often a cause of asthma, hay fever and recurrent infections, and chemicals in synthetic flooring can trigger adverse reactions. It's best to use hard tile, cotton throw rugs, or non-synthetic, chemical free flooring.

  • In your closets: Don't use mothballs -- anywhere. They generally contain either naphthalene or dichlorobenzene, both of which are harmful to your health. Naphthalene can cause cataracts, anemia and respiratory problems. It's labeled as a carcinogen by the EPA. Dichlorobenzene, listed by the EPA as a possible carcinogen, has caused liver and kidney tumors in animals.

  • In the bathroom: Most mass-market toothpastes contain fluoride, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan and hydrated silica, all of which can be a concern. Get your teeth just as clean and avoid the problem by using organic, non-fluoridated toothpastes.

About Dr. Doris Rapp

Doris Rapp is board certified in pediatrics, pediatric allergy and environmental medicine. A clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the State University of New York at Buffalo, she was a traditional allergist until, in 1975, she began incorporating the principles of environmental medicine into her pediatric allergy practice. She is a certified specialist in environmental medicine. She has published numerous medical articles, authored chapters in medical texts and produced educational videos for the public, educators and physicians.

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Ginny Grimsley

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