7. Glycol Ethers – Found in Cleaning Products, Liquid Soaps, Cosmetics, Paints and Perfumes
Glycol ethers appear on product labels as any of several variations on the root name, including diethylene glycol dimethyl ether, ethylene glycol monobutyl ether and diethylene glycol monomethyl ether. Although not a hard-and-fast rule, ingredients with long names you can't pronounce are usually best avoided, and this is no exception where glycol ethers are concerned. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, glycol ethers are most commonly found in cleaning products, liquid soaps and cosmetics, where they are used as solvents. Acute exposure to these chemicals can result in necrosis, pulmonary edema and serious kidney and liver damage. Long-term exposure can cause fatigue, nausea, anemia, tremors and anorexia. Although the chemicals pose the biggest threat to people who work with them in an industrial setting, household use still places you at risk. Osteopathic physician and fellow of the American College of Nutrition Dr. Joseph Mercola cautions consumers to avoid purchasing products that list any of the glycol ethers as ingredients. Glycol ethers are used in products like paints, gum, perfume, dyes, liquid soaps and cosmetics, so be sure to check the label.