Have you ever used a cleaning product and while breathing in the fumes thought “This can’t be good for me?” Trust your instincts. We talk a lot about what we put into our bodies as part of our diet, but what about the things that sneak in through our pores and into our lungs without us realizing it? There are many toxic materials in everyday cleaning products that do just that.
The largest organ of the human body is skin, and everything it absorbs goes straight into the bloodstream. If you use an abrasive substance to clean your tub, imagine what it can do while coursing through the bloodstream.
Due to the fact that the Federal Hazardous Substances Labeling Act (it regulates labeling of most cleaning supplies) allows “trade secrets” to be protected, the full list of what’s in the mix of some of the most popular cleaning products aren’t always available to the consumer.
Air fresheners, dish soaps, laundry detergents, furniture polishers, window cleaners and many other things we take for granted are full of ingredients that cause problems ranging from asthma to skin problems and even cancer.
The list of unhealthful ingredients in cleaning products is a long one, and you can get a good idea of what you are up against by visiting the The Environmental Working Group website and the Whole Foods page that tells you what ingredients aren’t considered healthy in these consumer products.
According to the EPA, about 50% of all illness can be traced to indoor pollution. Most of that can be linked to the use of household cleaners. The chemicals in household products are not only harmful to our bodies but they are bad for the environment. They pollute ground water and eventually affect all living things.
When purchasing cleaning products, you should look for ones without petroleum-based surfactants, chlorine or phosphates. They should also be clearly labeled biodegradable and nontoxic.
If you really want to rid yourself of the toxins in commercial products, give these items the job instead:
- Baking Soda – It can clean many areas in your house without toxic chemicals. You can use it to clean your sinks and tubs and deodorize a litter box.
- Hydrogen Peroxide –Mix it with baking soda to clean stains on clothing items before you wash them.
- Vinegar – Use this to clean your floors, walls and windows.
- Olive Oil – a substitute for wood floor cleaners or furniture polish.
- Hot water and essential oils – this combination can be used to deodorize and bring a fresh scent to just about anything in your home.
The natural way is always the best way. If the house smells after that fish fry, don’t go for the aerosol spray. Open a window.