33 Scary Things Our Moms Didn’t Know They Had To Be Afraid Of

Antibacterial soaps are actually bad for us. Apple juice may be chock full of arsenic. And talcum powder? Be afraid. Be very afraid.

1. Non-Organic Dairy Products

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Organic milk costs more, but non-organic milk may come with bonus ingredients such as traces of hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides!

2. Gluten

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It turns out we can blame gluten for a host of symptoms, including headaches, digestive distress, and good old fashioned crankiness!

At least there are lots of products available that utilize rice as a substitute…

3. Rice

Did someone say rice? Uh-oh. It seems that rice products contain arsenic! White rice, the much-loved-by-health-foodies brown rice, rice cereal, rice milk…

4. Apple Juice

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And speaking of arsenic, there’s apparently quite a bit of it in apple juice. Back when we were kids, we drank the stuff by the gallon. Thanks to Dr. Oz, we now know that we were basically drinking sippy cups filled with toxins!

5. BPA

Oh, and that sippy cup you were drinking apple juice from? It probably had BPA in it. That’s Bisphenol A, a chemical that the Environmental Working Group describes as being “linked to a wide variety of ills, including infertility, breast and reproductive system cancer, obesity, diabetes, early puberty, behavioral changes in children and resistance to chemotherapy treatments.” BPA has been banned from children’s drinking cups and bottles since 2012, but is still present in many canned goods, plastic water bottles, and other products.

6. Antibacterial Soap

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At some point in the nineties, it was decided that these soaps and washes were key to fighting off germs, illness, and cooties in general. Now it turns out that not only are some antibacterial products totally ineffective, but their active ingredients may actually have harmful effects.

7. Washing Your Chicken Before Cooking It

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You realize, don’t you, that you are splashing the entire premises with salmonella-laden chicken juice?

8. Not Washing Your Chicken Before Cooking It

You realize, don’t you, that your raw chicken came saturated with dangerous pathogens?

9. Your Refrigerator

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So… when was the last time you cleaned out your fridge? The 12th of Never, you say? Well, be careful of germs… mold spores… and bacteria multiplying faster than you can say “cross-contamination.” :-(

10. Kids Who Are Too Clean

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There’s all sorts of “good” bacteria in dirt that can help kids build up their resistance to different kinds of illnesses.

11. Kids Who Are Too Dirty

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But then again, the dirt in a park or backyard can contain lead, pesticides, fungi, and other weird sh*t (literally… like raccoon roundworm).

12. Norovirus

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Back in the day, our moms called it a simple stomach bug. They hadn’t yet met the new strain of Norovirus known as GII.4 Sydney that can cause explosive vomiting. The symptoms will fade after a couple of days. But the memories will scar you for life.

13. Parabens

This creepy compound is used as a preservative in products ranging from toothpaste to deodorant to makeup to even edibles such as mayo and mustard. Parabens are controversial, as the chemical mimics estrogen and has been linked to breast cancer.

14. Confusion Over Parabens

Googling “parabens” may result in confusion, as it is also a Portuguese term that means “congratulations.” Thus it may look like a really, really good thing if you do an image search.

15. Sitting Down

You’re at your desk all day… then you drive home… then you sit down to dinner or hunker down in front of the TV. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, a new study has shown that sitting down can be really bad for you. Like, really, really bad. As in, taking years off your life.

16. Vitamins

Vitamins are supposed to be good for us, right? Well, some of them are. But other vitamin supplements actually increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, and um, dying.

17. “The Dirty Dozen”

OK, well, fruits and vegetables are definitely good for us, right? Uh, yeah. But the Environmental Working Group has a list of a dozen types of fruits and vegetables that have an icky level of pesticide residue when you buy the non-organic kind. And let’s just say this has not been a good time for apples as of late.

18. Potatoes

Not only do potatoes make the “dirty dozen” list, but they are apparently treated with so many chemicals (such as fungicides and herbicides) that potato farmers won’t eat them!

19. Disposable Diapers

They’re bad for the environment, sure. But they may also contain harmful chemicals that can cause painful rashes or possibly be absorbed into the skin.

20. Sunscreen

Sunscreen is totally confusing. Some brands can actually be ineffective or downright bad for you if they contain ingredients like Vitamin A or oxybenzone, come in spray form, or claim to be an SPF over 50.

21. High Fructose Corn Syrup

HFCS is in so many foods… not just sweet stuff but in unexpected products like yogurt and frozen pizza. The average American eats 35 pounds of high fructose corn syrup a year! And you know what? It’s just not good for you.

22. Tuna

Something about a tuna-fish sandwich just screams “childhood.” But not only does industrial pollution result in an extra helping of toxic mercury, the methods of catching and killing tuna are inhumane and affect dolphins, too (even when tuna is marketed as “dolphin safe”). :-(

23. Video Games Causing Violent Behavior

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Studies have shown that the violence in video games is linked to a host of worrisome behavior, including aggression and decreased empathy…

… making modern moms yearn for the game about the little froggie crossing the road.

24. Video Games Causing Seizures

Sounds like an urban legend, but it’s true that video games can, in rare cases, trigger seizures.

25. Lettuce

C’mon, lettuce is supposed to be super-healthy! Finding out that it can carry E. coli or listeria or even a creepy parasite is very freaky.

26. Raw Eggs

Cracking them into a milkshake to add a little protein like our folks used to do back in the day is not a good idea unless you are specifically trying to whip up a Salmonella Supreme.

27. Fake Cheese

In case you were thinking that becoming a vegan might protect you and your family from issues like chicken, eggs, and dairy, please note that cashew cheese just got recalled in California. Just saying.

28. Fake Butter

I can’t believe“… that margarine was once considered a healthier alternative to butter, before we knew that so many margarine products come loaded with super-un-healthy trans fats!

29. Fake Burgers

Nope, sorry. They’re often made with “hexane, an EPA-registered air pollutant and neurotoxin.” EW.

30. Talcum Powder

Far from being a “luxury,” talcum powder, once thought of as a must-have for soothing baby’s skin, can cause talcum powder poisoning if inhaled, and suspicions abound that it might be a carcinogenic.

Buy talc-free, cornstarch-based baby powder instead!

31. Kitty Litter

For a long time, everyone figured cat litter just sucked because, well, it’s cat litter. But activated litter can contain Toxoplasmosis, which may make people sick or cause serious harm to developing fetuses if transmitted to a pregnant woman.

32. Unvaccinated Children

The decision not to vaccinate children has resulted in outbreaks of illnesses that were once thought to be pretty much eradicated from the nation.

33. Fear Itself

Yes, since the dawn of time, mothers have had stuff to be freaked out by…

… like “catching a chill” (yes, kids can get cold. And they can catch colds. But they cannot “catch a chill”).

… and escaping nuclear fallout.

So What’s a Mom To Do?

Same as we’ve always done… protect our cubs as best we can… (with organic milk products on hand, of course.)

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