We don't mean to be alarmist, but everything and everybody is trying to kill you. If nuclear winter and climate change don't get you, auto-erotic asphyxiation certainly will. Really, the only safe thing to do is barricade yourself in a shelter and commit to a life of hermitage and normal, boring wanks. But even embracing life as a bunker weirdo won't save you. That's right, your impending death is coming from inside the house.
After a long day, what's better than lighting a few scented candles, sinking into a hot bath, and surrendering yourself to the sweet smell of death? That's essentially what you're doing if you use scented candles, air fresheners, or any number of products that exude fragrant chemicals into the air. These chemicals, once released, react with the ozone to produce formaldehyde -- you know, the stuff they use to pickle corpses. Turns out it's not great to breathe in, causing anything from minor irritation to cancer.
How can any of this be legal? Well, the thing is, the products don't contain the harmful chemicals themselves, and under the correct circ*mstances, it's not a problem. In ye olden days, when people had to endure the horrors of a slight draft now and then, household air circulation was good enough that the formaldehyde particles went right out the window, along with any money you spent on heat. Now those particles are trapped by our energy efficient windows, slowly entombing us with the smell of cinnamon buns. There is hope, though. Certain houseplants can counteract these effects by absorbing the chemicals, so that's one way to keep your home smelling like an old lady's purse without risking a slow death.
Let's be honest: If you're reading this site, you're probably the indoor type. You're more likely to get some kind of nerd cancer from snuggling up to a reading lamp or something than from frolicking in the sun all day. No really, you actually can. In a 2012 study, CFL light bulbs were found to emit enough UV radiation to damage human skin.
The cause is tiny little cracks in the bulbs' phosphor coating, which is a byproduct of the manufacturing process. We're not talking a rare defect; every single bulb tested featured these cracks, and thus the death rays. To protect yourself, the researchers suggest staying at least one or two feet away from the bulbs and placing a glass shield over them. But it may already be too late. How many sleepless nights have you spent reading A Song Of Ice And Fire books under a secret cancer machine already? Better go see your nerdologist and get your nerd skin checked.
Really, do get that checked, though. Skin cancer is serious.
We tend to be a bit overprotective of our newest humans. A bottle of Purell practically pops out right along the placenta and is passed around to all prospective cuddlers. (The hand sanitizer, not the placenta.) But it turns out that such products are even worse for you than previously known, and we already knew they've created super germs.
Two common chemicals found in antibacterial products, triclosan and triclocarban, have been detected in the urine of pregnant people, who tend to have a lot of the stuff. It was also found in the umbilical cord blood of their fetuses, meaning it was successfully being transferred from parent to baby. Whatever benefits these products might have, there's a reason we're discouraged from shoving them up our various orifices. These chemicals can lead to cancer, reproductive problems, and developmental abnormalities. Welcome to the world, kid -- you just got this body, and it's already jacked up.
Choosing the rainbow glitter pomegranate body wash doesn't seem like it should be that big of a commitment, but that stuff sticks around a lot longer than you think. Researchers recently recruited a few surprisingly open-minded volunteers, then tracked the movement of every molecule on every surface of their bodies. They couldn't identify most of the molecules, which seems troubling, but most of the ones they could identify were from cosmetic products. Keep in mind, these subjects were instructed not to shower or use any kind of soaps or cosmetics for three days beforehand.
This means that everything you slather and spray on yourself sticks around for at least three days, even after you "wash it off." That's bad, because there appears to be a relationship between different cosmetic chemicals and different kinds of bacteria. For example, on one subject's body, an area containing a chemical frequently used in sunscreen also displayed significantly elevated bacteria growth. If you needed another reason to turn down the guy marinated in Axe body spray, there you go. It's practically a sexually transmitted disease.
Titanium dioxide is the stuff many companies use to turn products like toothpaste and candy white. The problem is that it's also easily absorbed by the intestines of mammals, and a recent study found that rats whose water was laced with titanium dioxide showed a 40 percent growth of precancerous cells in their intestines and colons, as well as weakened immune systems. A bigger problem: The report specifically notes that these rats ingested amounts similar to what humans are exposed to through a totally normal diet.
The researchers are careful to note that these results can't necessarily be extrapolated to humans, who are famously not rats. This is just the first step toward assessing how it affects us. In the meantime, to be safe, maybe stop doing literally anything. Because if you look hard enough, way down at the very molecular level, you'll observe that everything in this universe hates you and wants you to die.
If you'd still like your house to not smell like old pizza boxes and wet dog while not being all unhealthy, you can try an essential oils diffuser.
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