The number of people getting mysterious symptoms that defy diagnosis makes one wonder about the safety of the environment in our homes; asthma, wheezing, tearing eyes, rashes and sneezing are just a few symptoms from a wide spectrum of annoying and sometimes more serious problems. Is it any wonder though when we consider how tightly homes are constructed now, with insulation containing many irritants and even worse? Sadly, the list of irritants continues to grow everyday. Why do not we all just pack up and leave the city heading for parts unknown?

Below, you will find a list with some household items that can prove hazardous to your health. As consumers, we have to be on the look out for potential dangers to the health of ourselves and families. As much as possible, let's do all that we can to minimize, or eliminate their use in our homes.

Four Potential Health Assassins

1. Teflon – You know that non-stick pan that you can even burn foods in and it will not stick? Hmmm, well that may be so but the gases released when the pans are heated to high temperatures can be toxic. Many of these pans' chemically treated surfaces can come off into the food which can make us sick. This coating, PFC, has been listed by the EPA as a potential carcinogen.

2. New carpeting – You know that brand new smell in carpeting and in a new car? Well, they contain chemicals that are dangerous to human health. Among other substances, these things contain Volatile Organic Compounds which are on the EPA's list of extremely hazardous substances. What's worse is that as our homes become air tight from new means to conserve energy, ie air-tight insulation, we are breathing stale, chemical laden air. So the quantity of irritant that we inhale increases. Sadly, we are breathing these strong irritants directly into our lungs. Is it any wonder that respiratory ailments abound?

3. Plastic Food Containers – A few years ago the news was riddled with the reports of how many of our plastic water bottles and food storage containers contained bisphenol A. When exposed to heat, the substance leaked into the food and water. This chemical is believed to be associated with an increased risk for breast cancer, prostate cancer and diabetes.

4. Microwave popcorn – The trans fats in microwave popcorn are already deadly enough, but the fumes as well have been shown to be toxic. The substance, diacetyl, which gives the popcorn its buttery taste, has been associated with lung disease.