‘Going green’ doesn’t just help the environment; it can also keep your family safe. There is a lot of disturbing research on the effects of chemical cleaning products on the body. So, while our house looks spic and span, our loved ones are inhaling noxious fumes that can poison their bodies and even affect their brain development.
Here are the facts on cleaning products, from the health risks involved to what to look for in the label.
What’s in your cleaning product?
Always read the label. You’ll find that there are some pretty dangerous chemicals, which float in the air of your home each time you clean:
1. Acetic acid found in disinfectants
2. Boric acid found in cockroach/insect powders, water softener, germicide
3. Carbolic acid used in disinfectants
4. Formic acid found in deodorizing tablets and fumigants
5. Hydrochloric acid/muriatic acid present in in metal/toilet bowl cleaners, bleaching agents
6. Oxalic acid found in disinfectants, household bleach, iron cleaner, anti-rust polishes
7. Phosphoric acid found in metal/toilet bowl cleaners, rustproofing, disinfectants
8. Sulfuric acid found in drain de-cloggers/cleaners
These acids can burn the skin and may cause itchy rashes, blisters and erosions on areas of the body the acid comes in contact with. When ingested accidentally or intentionally, it can burn or perforate the esophagus and stomach.
What is it doing to your body?
Aside from the acids listed above, other products contain ingredients that have been proven to pose serious health risks
1. Triclosan. Can cause photocontact dermatitis, a skin irritation marked by itchy rashes and hives when exposed to sunlight. Tricolosan is used as an anti-bacterial agent in antibacterial soaps, hand gels/sanitizers, and cleaning wipes
2. Neurotoxins poisons the brain and nervous system and is said to lower a child’s IQ.Neurotoxins are found in air fresheners, disinfectants, spot removers and permanent-press fabrics.
3. Carcinogens have been found to cause or aggravates cancer
Carcinogens are found in all-purpose cleaners, dishwashing liquids, furniture polish, window cleaners, air fresheners, insecticides.
6. Endocrine disrupters interfere with body’s hormonal and reproductive system. Endocrine disrupters are found in laundry detergents, furniture waxes and metal polishes
7. Mutagens cause permanent genetic change in a cell.One example of a mutagen is Phenol, which is found in laundry detergents, all-purpose cleaners, air fresheners, disinfectants, furniture polish
8. Teratogens interfere with fetal development and can be found in glass cleaners and all-purpose cleaners
Avoid all the health hazards, and save lots of money too, by using organic cleansers that you can make right at home — with very cheap ingredients! Follow our 15 recipes for homemade household cleansers
Photo from petinsurance.com