You know that good, healthy feeling you get when you’ve just cleaned house? Sorry to spoil it, but you may have just made your home dirtier. Think of it this way. You wouldn’t let your kids play with toxic chemicals, so why would you let the baby crawl over a floor that’s just been wiped with them? That’s much more dangerous than the orange juice that was just there.
How dangerous? Just take a look at these statistics.
• Over 90% of poison exposures happen at home.
• Common chlorine bleach is the #1 household chemical
involved in poisoning.
• Organic pollutants, found in many common cleaners and
even air fresheners, are found at levels 2 to 5 times higher
inside your home than out.
• A person who spends 15 minutes cleaning scale off shower
walls could inhale three times the “acute one-hour exposure
limit” for glycol ether-containing products set by the California
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.
• Common cleaners give off fumes that can potentially
increase the risk of kids developing asthma, the most
common chronic childhood disease.
• 1 in 13 school-aged children has asthma. Rates in children
under five have increased more than 160% from 1980 – 1994.
• Children are highly vulnerable to chemical toxicants. Pound
for pound of body weight, children drink more water, eat more
food, and breathe more air than adults. The implication of this
is that children will have substantially heavier exposures than
adults to any toxicants that are present in water, food, or air.
• If your home is anything like the average U.S. home, you
generate more than 20 pounds of household hazardous waste
each year (the EPA designates toilet cleaners, tub and tile
cleaners, oven cleaners, and bleach as hazardous waste).
To find out what’s lurking on your shelves, go to the National
Institutes of Health Library of Medicine Household Products
Database. You can search almost any brand of cleaner you use, find
out what’s in it, and uncover its links to health effects. Or search
by chemical ingredients (see list below for some examples) and
discover what brands contain it. The information may shock you.
Chemical ingredients to look out for:
• Sodium hydroxide
• Hydrochloric acid
• Butyl cellosolve
• Bleach (sodium hypochlorite)
• Sulfamic acid
• Petroleum distillates
• Sulfuric acid
• Lye (potassium hydroxide)
YUCK! Did you find any on there that are in your house? Don’t forget laundry soap, dish soap, hand soap, etc.
You may remember my story from HERE on chemical poisoning.
I seriously had no idea that I was doing more harm than good every time I cleaned!
Be sure to come back tomorrow for part 2. We will look at solutions!
Now get to it and check your cleaning bottles and the ingredients.
Looking forward to our next visit,
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