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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.

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2. Gluten


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...

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


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.


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." :-(

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.

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.


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.


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"). :-(


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.