Toxins in Oven Cleaner

Cleaning your oven can be a fairly toxic experience. Oven cleaners are known to cause respiratory issues, sore throats, and carbon Toxins in Oven Cleanermonoxide fumes and contains cancer-causing ingredients. Let’s look at some of the common choices…

A self-cleaning oven is generally the easiest (no scrubbing or elbow grease needed) but it also has its toxic downfalls. The baked on foods release a carbon monoxide as they are heated to the high degrees during self-cleaning modes.  The inner coating of your oven is Teflon. Heating it to the 600 degrees often used for self-cleaning does cause it to give off toxic fumes. Be sure to vent properly when using the self-cleaning features. (Birds are especially sensitive to the toxins of Teflon so be sure to remove them from the area if you have a pet bird hanging out near your kitchen)

If you do not have or chose to use a self-cleaning oven you may opt for a spray on oven cleaner. These can contain corrosive alkalis, lye and ammonia. They can lead to breathing difficulties, sore throat or swelling, burning of the eyes, nose, ears or throat, vision issues, abdominal pain, vomiting, low blood pressure, skin burns, irritation, or damage to the esophagus. Seems like a steep price to pay to clean your oven.

As you can imagine most commercial oven cleaners failed the EWG standards for safety. Making your own with vinegar and baking soda enables the safer chemical reaction between the two to get the job done with minimal scrubbing in no toxic fumes.


Toxic Toothbrushes

Continuing with our oral health info-another one I was late to the party with: toothbrushes. The bonus is toothbrushes get replaced Toxic Toothbrushesoften and are fairly inexpensive so it’s an easy swap you can make in the future with a little info.

What may be in your toothbrush even fresh from the package? 

PVC plastics contain Phthalates. As we have learned phthalates are known to increase breast cancer cells, asthma, allergies, infertility and decreased sperm counts. It is difficult to avoid them entirely since they are in so many things, however cutting down every little bit helps.

Another toxin you will find is BPA. Unfortunately if you see BPA free please remember the BPA replacement has proven to be more toxic. This issue is seldom addressed since there isn’t an actual solution aside eliminating plastic). BPA has shown to have links to high blood pressure and have effects on the brain, prostate. One of the issues with BPA is that it breaks down when heated. If you are sterilizing your toothbrush in any form that may heat it up you are better off tossing it and getting a new toothbrush.


Personally I like the bamboo toothbrushes. The downfall to this is that if you have more than one person in your family you need a way to make them. Colored nail polish on the handle, or washi tape seem to work. My younger kids seem anti bamboo toothbrush so we have done well with the radius toothbrush. (I have found them at iherb  ( or Whole Foods.

The Soft Landing also put together a nice list of other options that are safer than what you may be getting free at your last dentist appointment.

Toxic Toothbrushes


A Safer DIY Hairspray

Toxins in hairspray accumulate over time, instead create your own!

Luckily the 80’s are behind us, so we use less hairspray. But it’s important to think about what is in it and read your labels wisely. In the 70’s hairspray included an ingredient linked to liver cancer in humans (vinyl chloride). Despite awareness it was not removed from the market for 10 years.  Hairspray stillToxins in Hairspray includes many other ingredients that “may or may not” contain cancer-causing properties.

What to avoid?

Some of the ingredients you want to avoid are aerosol propellants, alcohol, polyvinylpyrrolidone plastic (a carcinogen), formaldehyde and fragrance.  Fragrance itself can contain any number of thousands of ingred
ients in that one trade protected word.

Aside ingredients you are applying to your head there are the ingredients you are inhaling when applying. Inhalation of denatured alcohol and hydro fluorocarbons can cause breathing difficulty, low blood pressure, skin, eye and lung irritation.

Environmental Concerns?

Moving on from immediate health dangers is the environmental issue. Hairspray is considered the most dangerous beauty product on the market.  Hairspray contains so many volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) that can harm the ozone layer, which protects the Earth from harmful UV radiation.

What can you do?

The easiest thing to do is swap any aerosols you may have. We don’t use a lot of hair spray at my house so I have not tried these first hand but there are brands that score low on the skin deep website making them much safer than others.

If you are ambitious you can make your own! I was going to try this recipe out for my daughters last dance recital but in the end I didn’t need to spray her hair. I have talked to people who have tried this one with much success!

1 Cup – Filtered Water

4 TSP – Sugar

2 Drops – Geranium Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil, and Rosemary Essential Oil.


  • Heat the water and dissolve the sugar. Once your solution has cooled, add the three essential oils and store in a spray bottle.