From personal hygiene products to household cleaners, many everyday items contain toxins that could harm your health and the environment. Dr. Oz talks with Gary Ginsberg, co-author of What's Toxic, What's Not, about some of the toxins that he says you should try to avoid.
Whenever you are shopping for personal hygiene products or household cleaners, Gary says you should look for a Green Seal label, which looks like a check mark. Gary says Green Seal is an independent organization that certifies products with high environmental standards. "Whatever it is on, you've known that somebody had taken the extra time to check out the ingredients," he says.
Gary, who is also a senior toxicologist for Connecticut's Department of Public Health, shares insight into some common household products:
Bottled water vs. tap water: "Often bottled water is city tap water that may be run through an extra filter, which you can do at home for pennies a day and save yourself [money]," he says. "Then you have the plasticizer issue [with bottled water] because plastics do leech into water." Instead of risking the consumption of plasticizers and polluting the environment with empty bottles, Gary says you should use a carbon filter with your tap water and transfer it into portable containers.
Cleaning products: "You don't need to use a really strong antiseptic bleach product or ammonia product, which is going to off-gas [and release] chlorine into your house, or ammonia, which will volatilize into your air space," Gary says. "Look for non-chlorine cleaners—peroxide-based or bicarbonate-based—and those will whiten and disinfect."
Personal hygiene products: "Anything with a fragrance will have phthalate that goes with it because [phthalate] is what helps the fragrance stay on your body," Gary says. Phthalates can lower testosterone levels in males, and Gary says that men and pregnant women should use phthalate-free products.
Printed from Oprah.com on Thursday, December 5, 2013