Avoid dry cleaners.VGstockstudio/Shutterstock
Many dry cleaners still use a chemical called perc (perchloroethylene), found to cause kidney and liver damage and cancer through repeated exposure or inhalation. Buying clothes that don’t require dry cleaning, or hand washing them yourself, can reduce your exposure to this chemical. If you must dry-clean your clothes, take them out of the plastic bag and air them outside or in another room before wearing.
Cut out fries and chips.Nitr/shutterstock
When foods are baked, fried, or roasted at high temperatures (think French fries and potato chips), a potential cancer-causing compound called acrylamide forms, a result of the chemical changes that occur in the foods. Studies performed on rats have shown that prolonged acrylamide exposure is a risk for multiple types of cancer. Human studies are ongoing; but even if the results are benign, it’s healthiest to switch from French fries and potato chips to foods like mashed potatoes and pretzels.
Stop tanning.Albina Glisic/shutterstock
Exposure to natural sun and tanning beds has been shown to increase your risk for skin cancer. But spray-on tans aren’t completely risk-free either; the chemical dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is an active ingredient in fake tanning products, including lotions and tanning spray, and the FDA warns that DHA shouldn’t be sprayed into the mouth, eyes, or nose because the risks of inhalation are unknown. When high amounts of these chemicals are breathed in, they can create free radicals, which have been linked to cell damage and cancer risk. The safest option: no tan at all. If you must, use an at-home lotion and wear protective gear. These sunscreen myths make dermatologists cringe, make sure you’re not making them.