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Everyday Products that Hurt Your Local Environment


While much of the decisions to decrease human toll on the environment lay in the hands of big corporations and government, there are still choices that the average person can make at home to make an impact. One big impact homes have on the environment is the chemicals that run into local water and soil. If you know which chemicals you are using commonly, you can take some of the load off of your local environment.


These types of chemicals are common preservatives in the cosmetic industry. Shampoo, moisturizers, and makeup all use this ingredient. On label look for ingredients that end in ā€œ-parabenā€. This can interfere with the function of your hormones, reproductive systems, influence breast cancer and can hinder baby development. Synthetic parabens have an especially negative affect on marine life as these chemicals tend to get into water sources that pass through urban areas.

DEA (Diethanolamine)

This chemical is found in foaming and creamy products. These products include shampoo and moisturizers. It can form cancer-causing nitrosamines. Wild life and fish can also be harmed by this chemical. Mild to moderate skin and eye irritation can also be caused by this compound. The degradation of some of the chemicals used as preservatives in cosmetics can release nitrites. This happens when the product is exposed to air.

DBP (Dibutyl Phthalate)

Nail products and hair sprays contain this chemical. It is toxic to reproduction and may interfere with the function of hormones. This chemical is also harmful to wildlife and fish.

The compound can be absorbed through the skin. Genetic mutations can be caused because it can enhance the capacity of the chemicals. However, it has not been shown to be a mutagen. It can also damage the liver and cause kidney failure in young children. This can happen if the products that contain phthalates are chewed or sucked for long periods of time.


According to the EPA this is the most environmentally hazardous substance used commonly in homes. Pure ammonia and ammonia based cleaners escape into streams or other water sources. Ammonia in large quantities seriously affects agriculture because it throws off the pH balance needed for irrigation.


Most chemicals are designed to kill living organisms and will be harmful to anything that it comes into contact with. If pesticides get into the ground, the water, or any other environment, you are doing a lot of damage. However, according to the Pest Detective there are non-toxic, organic, and mechanical strategies to eliminate unwanted pests.


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