The statistics are frightening. Over 55,000, Americans develop thyroid cancer every year. That’s enough folks to fill over five football stadiums.
And the numbers aren’t showing any signs of stopping their climb. In fact, they’ve more than doubled since the 90s.
So what’s been causing the number of cases to skyrocket? Scientists had some suspicions. However, no one was exactly sure why.
But now Yale researchers have uncovered a culprit that could be behind a large number of those cases. And there’s a good chance you have some of it sitting on a shelf in your home right now.
Cleaning chemicals could raise thyroid cancer risk
Some of the products we’re using to clean our homes and businesses could more than double our risk for thyroid cancer, according to new research.1
For the study, researchers did extensive interviews with a group of volunteers with thyroid cancer. They were asked detailed questions about how often they used common disinfectants and sanitizers at home, as well as on the job.
The scientists then compared that data to a group of similar, but healthy, cancer-free folks.
It turns out people who were regularly exposed to these chemicals (known as biocides) were 65 percent more likely to develop thyroid tumors. And the risk for those unlucky folks whose jobs forced them to be in frequent contact with them more than doubled their risk for the cancer.
According to the researchers, the riskiest jobs appeared to be…
- healthcare providers
- home health aides
- psychiatric health aides
- building cleaning workers
In other words, medicine or cleaning jobs which cause you to come into contact with cleaning chemicals all day long.
Keeping things clean without the thyroid cancer risk
Scientists aren’t yet sure of what the link is between the chemicals and thyroid cancer. And this study wasn’t designed to show direct cause and effect. We’ll need more research to do that.
But we do know that these chemicals alter thyroid hormones.
For example, a common cleaning chemical we’ve been warning you to stay away from for years, triclosan, can send two of your thyroid hormones plummeting. And another, a wood preservative, lowered thyroid hormones in animal experiments.
If you don’t work in medicine or the janitorial services your exposure to these cleaning chemicals likely won’t be quite as high. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t still doing damage and raising your thyroid cancer risk.
The researchers suggest donning some protective gear when using them. And for folks who have no choice we agree that’s a must. Use rubber gloves and a mask every time you use cleaning chemicals. And remove and wash your clothes as soon as possible afterwards.
But if your job doesn’t require you to use commercial cleaners, the risk isn’t worth it. We suggest you switch to safer, natural options instead.
Look for cleaning products that are marked “Green Seal Certified” or ones stamped with the “EcoLogo.” And our friends at the Environmental Working Group have created an extensive database of over 2,500 products each with a safety rating to help you pick out safer products.
Make your own household cleaners instead
Or you can whip up some cleaners at home instead so you can keep tabs on exactly what’s in them. In fact, a number of items you likely already have on hand can make terrific natural cleaners when combined.
- White vinegar: can be used to cut grease and soap scum, removes mold and mildew, fights orders and removes some stains
- Lemon: effective against most common household bacteria
- Baking soda: cleans and deodorizes, can be used to scour surfaces
- Cornstarch: cleans windows and carpets, and polishes furniture as well
- Salt: Scours without scratching, absorbs greasy spills, and deodorizes, too
- Liquid castile soap: Plant-based, natural soap a safer choice to help get things squeaky clean
- Tea tree oil: essential oil that is a natural bacteria fighter
Mixed in different combinations these items can be used to make just about any cleaner you require.
Here is a simple recipe to get you started…
Tea tree cleaning spray:
Combine the following ingredients in a spray bottle.
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 15 to 20 drops tea tree oil
- Optional: Several drops of any other fragrant essential oil you like such as lemongrass or lavender.
Use in the bathroom to clean the sink, tub and toilet. Or use in the kitchen to clean countertops and appliances.
For more make-at-home cleaning ideas, see our free report Clever ways to detox your cleaning routine TODAY. Stop exposing yourself to these creepy chemicals, and lower your thyroid cancer risk, starting today.
1. “Occupational exposure to pesticides and other biocides and risk of thyroid cancer,” Occup Environ Med Published Online First: 15 February 2017. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2016-103931