Rosalie F. Tayurang
Part of our healthy lifestyle practices is to keep our home organized and clean. Besides ensuring that our diets are safe and healthy, we want to have a home that is cozy to stay and live. But we barely have an idea that our household cleaning materials are posing health risks in us. It might be unusual to our ears, but our homes need to detoxification too--- free of toxins and supernatural.
According to environmental experts, an average household has about 62 toxic chemicals of which the exposure is routinely done. These toxic chemicals are found from fragrances and noxious fumes in cleaners which are linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, hormone disruption, and neurotoxicity.
Rebecca Sutton, PhD, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), explains, “In terms of household cleaners, neither ingredients nor products must meet any sort of safety standard, nor is any testing data or notification required before bringing a product to market.”
While manufacturers take their stand that only small amounts are being used, the routinary (daily, weekly, or chronic) exposures will make the risk hard to gauge. A repeated contact with home products with harmful ingredients will lead to different problems as number of chemicals are being stored in the body tissues.
.1. Phthalates is present in fragranced products, dish soap, scented soap, even toilet paper. It is an endocrine disruptor but cannot be seen on the label of the products. The adverse effect it will have on men if this has amassed in their bloodstream, is a reduced sperm count. This risk occurs through inhalation and skin contact since skin has no safeguards against toxins. Any chemical it absorbs goes straight to the body organs.
.To get rid of this dangerous chemical, it is recommended to use essential oils or simply by opening windows to freshen the air.
2. Perchloroethylene or “PERC”, a carcinogen or neurotoxin found in the dry-cleaning solutions, spot removers, carpet and
It is best to use a wet-based cleaner as liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) is safer than the chemical solvents used in dry-cleaning.
3. Triclosan promotes the growth of drug-resistant bacteria and could be carcinogenic. It is found in liquid dishwashing detergents and hand soaps labeled “antibacterial.”
4. Quarternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS” are antimicrobial which breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It is suspected to cause respiratory disorders if exposed regularly to it. Instead of using the products with QUATS, try using white vinegar to soften the fabric. It is not nontoxic only but also, it removes soap residue in the rinse cycle. For cleaning, mix the few drops of tea-tree oil and one tablespoon of white vinegar in a spray bottle. You may add a couple of drops of lavender essential oil for scent.
5. 2-Butoxyethanol found in the window, kitchen and multipurpose cleaners. It belongs to the category of "glycol ethers" which can contribute to narcosis, pulmonary edema, and severe liver and kidney damage. Do not use product with this chemical in the unventilated areas. To ensure safety, use newspaper and diluted vinegar instead.
6. Ammonia is found in the polishing agents for bathroom fixtures, sinks and jewelry; also in glass cleaner. It adversely affect those with asthma, and the elderly people with respiratory issues. Vodka is an alternative as it produces a reflective shine on any metal or mirrored surface.
7. Chlorine is found in scouring powders, toilet bowl cleaners, mildew removers, laundry whiteners, household tap water. It can be both respiratory irritant and a serious thyroid disruptor.To reduce your exposure to chlorine through tap water, install filters on your kitchen sink and in the shower.
8. Sodium Hydroxide is found in oven cleaners and drain openers and is corrosive. When inhaled, it can cause a sore throat that may last for days. For a healthier choice, use baking-soda paste by pouring a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar down the drain and plug it for 30 minutes. After the bubbles die down, run hot water down the drain to clear the debris.
You might like to read: How to Get Rid of Heavy Metals Which are Toxic to Your Major Body Organs
• Basic sink cleanser — Combine ½ cup baking soda with six drops essential oil (such as lavender, rosemary, lemon, lime or orange). Rinse sink well with hot water. Sprinkle combination into sink and pour ¼ cup vinegar over top. After the fizz settles, scrub with a damp sponge or cloth. Rinse again with hot water. (From The Naturally Clean Home, by Karyn Siegel-Maier.)
• Oven cleanser — Put a heatproof dish filled with water in the oven. Turn on the heat to let the steam soften any baked-on grease. Once the oven is cool, apply a paste of equal parts salt, baking soda, and vinegar, and scrub. (From Super Natural Home, by Beth Greer.)
• Bathroom mildew remover — Good ventilation helps prevent mildew and mold. When they do occur, make a spray with 2 cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon each of tea-tree and lavender oil. Shake first and spray on trouble spots. The oils break down the mildew so there’s no need to wipe it down. (From Green Interior Design, by Lori Dennis.)
• Carpet shampoo — Mix 3 cups water, ¾ cup vegetable-based liquid soap, and 10 drops peppermint essential oil. Rub the foam into soiled areas with a damp sponge. Let dry thoroughly and then vacuum. (From The Naturally Clean Home.)
• Laundry soap — Try “soap nuts” made from the dried fruit of the Chinese soapberry tree. Available in natural groceries and online, the reusable soap nuts come in a cotton sack that goes into the washing machine with clothes.
• Dusting — Skip the furniture polishes. Instead, use a microfiber cloth made from synthetic fibers that are then split into hundreds of smaller microfibers. It captures dust more efficiently than regular rags. If necessary, a little olive oil makes a fine polishing agent.
External and internal environments are the big contributing factors of our overall health and well-being. Maintaining a healthy diet with regular exercises are just a few of the dots to make a complete hole. Imagine yourself lying or sitting on a chair inhaling contaminated air emanating from the inside of your own home. Can you be assured of a healthy body when your respiratory organ is at risk? Of course no! Therefore, use home cleaning materials that are toxin-free.
You might like to check this out: Body Detox