Dr. Yevgeny Cheremushkin: Household dust provokes the development of cancer

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Dr. Yevgeny Cheremushkin: Household dust provokes the development of cancer
Dr. Yevgeny Cheremushkin: Household dust provokes the development of cancer

How to reduce the harm from house dust and what diseases can we cause ourselves with our unwillingness to clean our home regularly? Where do the poisons in the air in our homes come from? How to deal more effectively with harmful household dust? These questions are answered by Dr. Yevgeny Cheremushkin, oncologist, candidate of medical sciences from the Blokhin Russian Cancer Research Center

Dr. Cheremushkin, American scientists claim that there are dozens of toxic chemicals in house dust, including carcinogens. Do you agree with this statement?

- This is actually true. In many modern apartments, a pronounced concentration of potentially dangerous compounds is created. One of the main reasons is the lack of a centralized ventilation and air purification system. And in some apartments after the "Eurorenovation" even the "standard" ventilation system provided during construction is often broken.

Many of the poisons we bring into our home ourselves, even though we do it with the best of intentions. For example, when we buy air fresheners, we use cleaning products, even when we buy decorative candles - they often contain lead, which can be released into the air when burned. Not to mention the trivial situation where someone accidentally breaks a mercury thermometer at home and the mercury balls get under plinths or cracks in the floor, no one even thinks to clean. And the evaporation of mercury has a long-lasting and very toxic effect on hematopoiesis, the digestive tract, and the nervous system. Everyone knows that food cannot be heated in some types of plastic plates. But does everyone follow these instructions? And bisphenols and phthalates are released from the heated plastic - also potential carcinogens. In this sense, it is better to use glass or ceramic dishes. Phthalates, by the way, are also used in the production of flooring, various types of packaging.

Furniture made of unnatural materials is another source of contamination of the apartment with potential carcinogens. They contain dyes, glues and other substances (one of the most harmful are phenols), which in the process of operation are released into the air in the apartment and have a negative impact. In addition, today many building materials are treated with refractory substances - they are already direct carcinogens, which also get into the air of the apartment. This means that much of what we think of as the achievement of civilization actually often causes enormous harm.

In addition, thanks to the electromagnetic radiation produced by household electrical appliances (many of which are often not even turned off), all these harmful particles acquire the ability to act more actively and aggressively, better penetrate the body.- I still find it hard to believe that ordinary house dust can cause cancer? - Of course, the effect is indirect. There are carcinogens that rapidly and massively damage DNA in cells and lead to cancer. Such, for example, is radiation. In the case of dust, the chemicals contained in it initially irritate the respiratory tract, lead to allergies, and then cause the development of chronic inflammatory reactions. And the latter, in turn, become a favorable background for the development of malignant tumors. Many tumor processes develop as a logical end of the processes of chronic inflammation. So initially the dust causes chronic inflammation, chronic fatigue syndrome (such an insidious, gradual action on all fronts) and ultimately the likelihood of developing cancer.

What is the solution?

- Ideally, it would be useful for everyone to get out of the city, move to live in wooden houses, eat natural, ecological products, breathe fresh air. We ourselves will live longer this way, and our children will be born he althy. You have probably noticed if you live in a big city: you come home from work, and your apartment has already accumulated a layer of dust, even though you did a thorough cleaning yesterday. And in suburban houses where there is greenery - this is not the case. The dust settles on the trees, the grass, mixes with the water droplets and all this works as a natural filtering mechanism. In opposition to harmful, even dangerous microbes, we need to seek help from nature itself. In particular, phytoncides of plants fight the harmful microflora wonderfully. Using antibiotics against them is a double-edged sword. Scientists have long believed that it is time to ban antibacterial soaps - their use leads to dysbacteriosis. So let all people on earth live in peace and harmony with nature.

Of course, if you do not have the opportunity to at least temporarily live outside the city or install a professional ventilation and cleaning system, this does not mean that all is lost.

Frequently ventilate your premises, minimize the use of synthetic detergents, do not use antibacterial soap, try to buy furniture made from natural materials. Research the composition of the goods before you buy them and bring them into your home.

How do we know which plastic products are toxic?

- The sign on the bottom of the plastic products carries information of what plastic the product is made of, and when it refers to a product that will have direct contact with food, it must also carry the corresponding sign. This particularly strictly applies to products made of polyethylene terephthalate (1), high-density polyethylene (2), polypropylene (5) and polystyrene (6), which are not always intended to come into contact with food. The numbers in parentheses indicating what plastic the items are made of are usually surrounded by a triangle, called recycling codes, and are an international symbol.

Polyvinyl chloride (No. 3 PVC)

Polyvinyl chloride (3 PVC) tops the list for toxicity. Kitchenware is rarely made from it, but packaging, floor coverings, bathroom curtains, raincoats are produced. Avoid the soft versions of this plastic, as it "gassifies" the air in the home - releasing not only phthalates, but also vinyl chloride, which is a highly poisonous colorless gas with mutagenic and carcinogenic properties, also affecting the human reproductive system.

Polystyrene (№6 PS)

Second in toxicity is polystyrene (6 PS), but only if subjected to high temperature. Some plastics do not withstand high temperature. The label very rarely says what degrees they tolerate. If you do not transfer 40-50 degrees, you are in the safe zone. Products made of polystyrene (6 PS), which are slightly more durable than those made of PET for example, can only withstand not hot food and drinks. The white, porous variety of this plastic called Styrofoam is most easily recognized. When heated, polystyrene releases styrene into food, which is considered a carcinogen. Sometimes ready-made foods are delivered precisely in such packages of white porous material!

All other plasmas (№7 Others)

Polycarbonates, which pass as "all other" plastics that are not included in the other categories (7 Others), are not only the most enigmatic from a safety point of view (due to the variety of starting and additive materials for production them), but are also widely used for kitchen utensils. Including baby bottles and non-spill cups, reusable water bottles (the hot and cold water containers in offices) and much more. If you've noticed a plastic coating on a can or milk carton, it's either epoxy or polycarbonate. Children's dishes with favorite characters from fairy tales are also made from this group of plastics - including the plastic melamine.

The main materials from which polycarbonates are made are bisphenol and phosgene. Melamine is made from formaldehyde and urea and some other chemicals, but these two can be added to food at a high temperature, for example. Never reheat baby food in a plastic container and in a microwave oven, do not wash baby dishes in a dishwasher.

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