People commonly believe that heavy metal exposure is a concern of the past, but the risks still tend to be high in many places they don’t think of. Unfortunately, you can still find several heavy metals in your own home. Some might show up in areas you never even thought to check. For some common household items with toxic heavy metals, read below.
Rugs and Carpets
Some of the first things in the home that can expose you to certain amounts of heavy metals are the rugs and carpets. People don’t often think of these, which makes them even greater concerns. Common heavy metals often found in carpets include lead, cadmium, and mercury. All of these are among the substances that make up the RCRA 8 metals, which means they’re incredibly hazardous to your health. Through the dirt and toxins we drag into our homes every day, these metals find their way deep into the carpet. Vacuuming the carpet can blow the metal particles up into the air, where they then circulate through the house. It’s best to take off your shoes at the door.
Pots and Pans
Many types of pots and pans are made from aluminum. This might not seem very harmful, but this is untrue. Aluminum pots and pans have an anodized coating that protects us from exposure to the metal. If this coating starts to get worn and scraped away, the aluminum can start to get into your food, especially if the food is acidic. It’s best to make sure you’re cleaning your pans correctly and carefully. If the coating starts to deteriorate significantly, it might be time to look into new pots and pans.
Various factors have caused the water in many parts of the country to contain bad chemicals, including pesticides, prescription drugs, and certain heavy metals. Some of the most common metals found in drinking water are cadmium, chromium, lead, and nickel. These metals likely come from old lead pipes and plumbing in older homes. One way to avoid ingesting heavy metals through your drinking water is by running the faucet before using it to clear out the line of water. The best option, though, is investing in a home water filtration system. This can be expensive, but it’s sure to keep your water clean.
Plates, Bowls, and Mugs
The heavy metal levels in plates, bowls, and mugs can depend on the quality and manufacturer. Many types of ceramics use glazes that contain lead, cadmium, nickel, and cobalt. The most hazardous examples tend to be cheaply mass produced. Check where your ceramic dishes come from and how they’re made to ensure you’re getting safe products.