Five Common Things You Didn't Know Were Bad for Your Health

Five Common Things You Didn't Know Were Bad for Your Health

Why you should care

Because while some dangers in life can’t be avoided — these risks can definitely

From gym memberships to vegan diets, we spend a lot of time obsessing over our health. And that’s a good thing! But sometimes health risks slip by unnoticed that could significantly affect you. Think about the person who gives up eating meat only to find out that the one snack he’s chosen to love as a veg-eater is maxed out with sugar. That’s where OZY comes in — to inform you about a number of everyday health hazards you probably didn’t even know existed.

Watch Out For…that New Car Smell?

Sun rays shining in through the windows of a new car.

Source Patrick Voigt/Corbis

The new-car smell is so pleasing to some people it’s even been packaged into a cardboard tree deodorizer. But the scary news is that the odor may actually be toxic. New interior materials in a car usually are made of plastic, upholstery and adhesives and studies have found concentrated combinations of these in high temperatures may emit harmful gases. This is terrible news for new buyers, so what should they do? At the very least, they should open their windows on super-hot days. Read more here.

The Silent Killer Could be…Your Sofa?

Child in pink jammies sleeping on greenish couch

Source Corbis

You might want to sit down for this, or if you’re on your sofa, you might want to get up. A slew of scientists found that foam sofa cushions, designed to resist fire, may contain potentially toxic chemicals. Beginning in the 1970s and sparked by a concern over fires triggered by lit cigarettes, government agencies adopted stringent regulations covering how furniture got made. This has resulted in couches that may withstand burning cigarette and could also emit poisonous chemicals. So what’s a couch potato to do? Stop smoking and buy a bean bag chair. Read more here.

Don’t Go Near Any…Vacant Lots?

Image from East LA Vacant Lot Community Forum organized by Transforming Inner-City LOTS (TILL).

Image from East LA Vacant Lot Community Forum organized by Transforming Inner-City LOTS (TILL).

Source Courtesy of LA Open Acres

This should be a given: Green spaces are pretty and healthy and vacant lots are a terrible eyesore. But the problems run deeper than that. Empty lots typically afflict low-income communities beyond their aesthetic role: They’re also a real public heath hazard because kids’ self-esteem, it’s been found, suffer tremendously from it. They start to think they deserve this sort of environment and may cause them to reach lower goals in their lives. Read more here about this interesting study.

You Better Not Start…Laughing Really Hard?

One girl whispering into another girl's ear, who is laughing hysterically.

Source Getty

Who said laughter is the best medicine? It may feel great, but you may not realize that while you’re laughing your head off, your blood pressure rises, you stop breathing in, and can be rendered helpless. In other words, laughter is trying to kill you. Seriously: People have actually died in a fit of giggles and anyone with a heart condition faces great risks. So don’t stop laughing — but like any activity that makes you high, know your limits. Read more here.

Don’t Go See…Fat Doctors?

A doctor sits in a waiting room alone.

A doctor sits in a waiting room alone.

Source Corbis

People choose a doctor for a host of reasons. They may come highly recommended, their office is conveniently located or they’ve got impressive credentials. But study after study shows that the most important criterion in making that choice should be the health of your physician. Simply put, obese doctors are less likely to encourage patients to adopt an active lifestyle, and physically fit physicians are more apt to recommend exercise. So while overweight doctors don’t deserve to be stigmatized — they should be prepared to practice what they preach. Read more here.

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