Why do we clean our homes?
One of the main reasons we all clean our homes is to keep them sanitary. It is the protection of our families that makes it important for us to clean our homes. Floors are vacuumed and mopped so that children don’t ingest or otherwise play in dirt, hair and grime. We clean bathrooms so that harmful mold, mildew and other various contaminates don’t get in the way of us cleansing ourselves. We wash and sanitize dishes so that we have a germ free surface to eat off of.Â Dust, dirt and build-up is removed from all over the home in the pursuit of a healthy and safe living environment. We use household cleaners on dishes, laundry, bathrooms, floors, coutertops, and more. But what if these chemicals are actually doing more harm than good.
Is it actually possible that we could be harm ourselves physically by using chemicals all over our homes?
A study done by the US Environmental Protection Agency found that the air in our homes is an incredible 3 to 70 times more chemically polluted than the air outside. The study also revealed that there are three million poisonings each year and household cleaners are the number one cause of poisoning in children.
Dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde, phenol and benzene are commonly found houshold cleaners. These chemicals are all known to cause cancer and they are seriously damaging to our immune and nervous systems. Check out the back of your cleaning products. Most popular, name brand houshold cleaners contain these toxins. Your all-purpose cleaner, bleach, dish detergent, disinfectant, glass cleaner and more contain chemicals that can cause serious harm. Even dryer sheets are extremely harful to your health.
Here is a list of commonly used chemicals and how they can harm you:
Ammonia – known to cause severe headaches and lung irritation. also an eye irritant
Formaldehyde – known to cause strong irritation to the eyes, throat, skin and lungs. also a suspected carcinogen
Hydrochloric Acid – known to burn skin and cause diarrhea. will cause vomiting and burning stomach if ingested. contact with the eyes can result in blindness
Phenol, Cresol – corrosive. known to cause diarrhea, dizziness, fainting, kidney and liver damage
Perchoroethylene – known to cause kidney damage if ingested. suspected carcinogen
This is just a small list of possible chemicals you have around the home. It is hard to believe that these products are designed to improve our lives, but they can be so harmful at the same time. The worst part is that it is not just houshold cleaners that you need to worry about. Cosmetics and personal hygene products contain hazardous substances as well.Â If you check them out you will find that they contain many of the same dangerous chemicals that houshold cleaners do. Shampoos often contain cresol, formaldehyde, glycols, nitrates/nitrosamines and sulfur compounds. Butane propellants and formaldehyde resins can be found in hair spray. Antiperspirants and Deodorants often have aerosol propellants, ammonia, formaldehyde, triclosan and aluminum chlorhydrate in them and glycols, phenol, fragrance and colors are fond in lotions, creams and moisturizers.
Chemicals are everywhere. We are so used to them at this point that we don’t even notice that they exist, let alone the possble damage they could be having on our health and the health of our families. It is hard to ignore the facts though and all of us are at risk from the ingredients in common household cleaners.
What can be done?
Of course one simple thing that we should all be doing is to keep all household cleaners out of the reach of children. This doesn’t really fix the problem though, it just makes it harder for kids to get there hands on them. The only problem is that if you use these cleaners to clean your home then you are in effect spreading the chemicals all over the household surfaces and into the air. So your children may not be able to reach the bottles, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t affected by the chemicals.
The best thing you can do to protect your family is to change the cleaning products you buy. Rather than reflexively reaching for that name brand cleaner in the grocery store, you should try to purchase a non-toxic cleaning alternative. Only by making this switch, and removing the chemicals from your home all-together, can you ensure that your family is truly safe. Asthmatic family members will benefit from this switch as well because studies have shown a link between chemical use and asthma symptoms.
There are more and more non-toxic products available everyday due to the current organic trend sweeping the nation. When switching to an all-natural cleaner it is important that you do your research so you know that your getting something of quality. One of the best all-natural non-toxic cleaners available is Quick’n Brite. It is an all purpose cleaner that is completely biodegradable and safe around children and pets. Quick’n Brite has been around for over 50 years and comes with a full money back guarantee so you know it is good. Other products like microfiber mops and microfiber cloths can also help you clean your home without chemicals.