Do you know what is in the cleaning products you use in your home every day? Are they posing a health risk to you and your family? Most of us clean our houses with toxic chemicals every day and don’t even realize it. Everyday cleaning products, detergents, and washing powder are hazardous to you and your family as well as pollution to the environment.
If these chemicals are inhaled, ingested or absorbed through your skin sometimes effects aren’t seen until many years later.
Phosphates are widely common and one of the biggest pollutants. Phosphates are common in laundry detergents and cleaning products; high amounts of phosphate can kill life in the ocean and rivers as it causes algae. Most of us think if the product is sold on the everyday shelves then it must be safe but most times it is labelled hazardous with warnings on the bottle, do not inhale or ingest. Every year there are thousands of poisonings reported from ingesting or inhaling cleaning products at home, most fatal have been children swallowing laundry pods.
So many reports were ingestion of dishwashing liquid something we use on our dishes several times a day. Some household cleaning products if too much are swallowed vital organs will fail, and when bleach is mixed with ammonia, this becomes a deadly substance to anyone. We use certain cleaning products to make our life a little easier, but in the long run, we are causing harm to our organs and polluting the air.
We need to look at not only the toxic effect of active ingredients but also the inactive ingredients as well; these are hazards that can affect reproductive systems, vital bodily systems and the nervous system. Another threat to the environment we forget about is tipping the cleaning liquids down the drain or emptying that bucket of dirty floor cleaning solution straight down the plug hole which pollutes our wonderful wildlife and water quality. There are three categories that most household cleaning products that are hazardous fall into which are,
- Neurotoxins – These change neurons and affect the brain activity
- Carcinogens- These cause cancer and can promote growth in already active cancer.
- Endocrine disrupters- These act like hormones bewildering the body with false ones, they can also lead to behaviour problems, ADHD, struggling immune system and miscarriage.
Symptoms of exposure to harmful chemicals include a backache, nausea, allergy attacks, memory loss, reduced motor skills, infertility, sudden mood swings and autism/ congenital disabilities. If you suspect you have inhaled the product or someone else has or worried you have one of the symptoms above after using chemicals seek medical advice as soon as possible.
A few tips for people to avoid using chemicals like using products with no fragrance, something that is clean should have no fragrance and research to make your own safe cleaning products.
There are many ideas and recipes on the internet where you can make healthier alternatives to bathroom cleaners, bleach floor cleaner and harmful laundry pods. Most are easy to make from products in your pantry, they are not harmful if ingested and you can make in bulk and store in airtight containers.
Taking that greener approach to cleaning in your home can ensure a healthier family and a safer home for your family and pets.