Cleaning Products May Not Be As “Clean” As We Think
Happy Monday! I can’t believe February is almost over already! I know for some you are still in the thick of winter, but soon it will be “spring” cleaning, and it’s important to be informed that cleaning products are a huge source of health issues!
I see many patients (if not all) that needs detoxing and purging from all the toxins we are exposed to regularly. Of course we can avoid GMO and non organic foods, vaccines, things we breath and put on our body, but we can’t really avoid environmental exposure. The key is to do YOUR BEST at decreasing your exposure as much as possible to these silent and hidden dangers.
Especially with the manmade “Flu Season” being terrible this year, we are all taking cautions by disinfecting our homes, hands, ect….BUT
Research has come out with cleaning products being as damaging for our lungs as :
“Scientists at Norway’s University of Bergen tracked 6,000 people, with an average age of 34 at the time of enrollment in the study, who used the cleaning products over a period of two decades, according to the research published in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
They found that lung function decline in women who regularly used the products, such as those who worked as cleaners, was equivalent over the period to those with a 20-cigarette daily smoking habit.”
“When you think of inhaling small particles from cleaning agents that are meant for cleaning the floor and not your lungs, maybe it is not so surprising after all.
The experts attribute the decline in lung function to the damage that cleaning agents cause to the mucous membranes lining the airways, resulting over time in persistent changes.
A Study in September 2017 found nurses who used disinfectants to clean surfaces at least once a week had a 24 percent to 32 percent increased risk of developing lung disease. ”
SO… By “thinking” you are doing good by cleaning and disinfecting, you could be damaging your lungs, and I will say that the lungs are one of the HARDEST tissues to regenerate in our body. Sometimes, lung tissue cannot be regenerated. We know smoking is bad for us, but toxins are catching up to becoming the leading cause for so many ailments.
Asthma, allergies, ect. These could all be caused by toxins. Decreasing your exposure is your best bet.
Also, laundry detergents, dryer sheets… these are all laden with chemicals as well. Especially the super “smelly” perfume ones.. Just say no….
I see it everyday in my office. The kidneys and liver constantly being compromised from all the toxins, which then lead to hormone issues, back/body pain and chronic inflammation, headaches, and digestion issues.
I’ve also seen recently with the epidemic of flu vaccines in California, many patients come in with toxicity reactions causing debilitating symptoms.
“No one can avoid exposure to toxic chemicals altogether, but it is possible to reduce it significantly. In the following pages, Greer, Sutton and other experts weigh in on the worst toxic offenders commonly found in household cleaning products, and offer ways to swap them for healthier, safer options.
Found in: Many fragranced household products, such as air fresheners, dish soap, even toilet paper. Because of proprietary laws, companies don’t have to disclose what’s in their scents, so you won’t find phthalates on a label. If you see the word “fragrance” on a label, there’s a good chance phthalates are present.
Health Risks: Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors. Men with higher phthalate compounds in their blood had correspondingly reduced sperm counts, according to a 2003 study conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Harvard School of Public Health. Although exposure to phthalates mainly occurs through inhalation, it can also happen through skin contact with scented soaps, which is a significant problem, warns Alicia Stanton, MD, coauthor of Hormone Harmony (Healthy Life Library, 2009). Unlike the digestive system, the skin has no safeguards against toxins. Absorbed chemicals go straight to organs.
Healthier Choice: When possible choose fragrance-free or all-natural organic products. Greer recommends bypassing aerosol or plug-in air fresheners and instead using essential oils or simply opening windows to freshen the air. Besides causing more serious effects like endocrine disruption, “Aerosol sprays and air fresheners can be migraine and asthma triggers,” she says. Also consider adding more plants to your home: They’re natural air detoxifiers.
2. Perchloroethylene or “PERC”
Found in: Dry-cleaning solutions, spot removers, and carpet and upholstery cleaners.
Health Risks: Perc is a neurotoxin, according to the chief scientist of environmental protection for the New York Attorney General’s office. And the EPA classifies perc as a “possible carcinogen” as well. People who live in residential buildings where dry cleaners are located have reported dizziness, loss of coordination and other symptoms. While the EPA has ordered a phase-out of perc machines in residential buildings by 2020, California is going even further and plans to eliminate all use of perc by 2023 because of its suspected health risks. The route of exposure is most often inhalation: that telltale smell on clothes when they return from the dry cleaner, or the fumes that linger after cleaning carpets.
Healthier Choice: Curtains, drapes and clothes that are labeled “dry clean only” can be taken instead to a “wet cleaner,” which uses water-based technology rather than chemical solvents. The EPA recently recognized liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) as an environmentally preferable alternative to more toxic dry-cleaning solvents. Ask your dry cleaner which method they use. For a safer spot remover, look for a nontoxic brand like Ecover at a natural market, or rub undiluted castile soap directly on stains before washing.
Found in: Most liquid dishwashing detergents and hand soaps labeled “antibacterial.”
Health Risks: Triclosan is an aggressive antibacterial agent that can promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. Explains Sutton: “The American Medical Association has found no evidence that these antimicrobials make us healthier or safer, and they’re particularly concerned because they don’t want us overusing antibacterial chemicals — that’s how microbes develop resistance, and not just to these [household antibacterials], but also to real antibiotics that we need.” Other studies have now found dangerous concentrations of triclosan in rivers and streams, where it is toxic to algae. The EPA is currently investigating whether triclosan may also disrupt endocrine (hormonal) function. It is a probable carcinogen. At press time, the agency was reviewing the safety of triclosan in consumer products.
Healthier Choice: Use simple detergents and soaps with short ingredient lists, and avoid antibacterial products with triclosan for home use. If you’re hooked on hand sanitizer, choose one that is alcohol-based and without triclosan.
4. Quarternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS”
Found in: Fabric softener liquids and sheets, most household cleaners labeled “antibacterial.”
Health Risks: Quats are another type of antimicrobial, and thus pose the same problem as triclosan by helping breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They’re also a skin irritant; one 10-year study of contact dermatitis found quats to be one of the leading causes. According to Sutton, they’re also suspected as a culprit for respiratory disorders: “There’s evidence that even healthy people who are [exposed to quats] on a regular basis develop asthma as a result.”
Healthier Choice: You don’t really need fabric softener or dryer sheets to soften clothes or get rid of static: Simple vinegar works just as well. “Vinegar is the natural fabric softener of choice for many reasons,” explains Karyn Siegel-Maier in her book The Naturally Clean Home (Storey Publishing, 2008). “Not only is it nontoxic, it also removes soap residue in the rinse cycle and helps to prevent static cling in the dryer.” White vinegar is your best choice for general cleaning; other types can stain.
Alternatives to chemical disinfectants abound, including antibacterial, antifungal tea-tree oil. Mix a few drops of tea-tree oil and a tablespoon of vinegar with water in a spray bottle for a safe, germ killing, all-purpose cleaner. Add a couple of drops of lavender essential oil for scent.
Found in: Window, kitchen and multipurpose cleaners.
Health Risks: 2-butoxyethanol is the key ingredient in many window cleaners and gives them their characteristic sweet smell. It belongs in the category of “glycol ethers,” a set of powerful solvents that don’t mess around. Law does not require 2-butoxyethanol to be listed on a product’s label. According to the EPA’s Web site, in addition to causing sore throats when inhaled, at high levels glycol ethers can also contribute to narcosis, pulmonary edema, and severe liver and kidney damage. Although the EPA sets a standard on 2-butoxyethanol for workplace safety, Sutton warns, “If you’re cleaning at home in a confined area, like an unventilated bathroom, you can actually end up getting 2-butoxyethanol in the air at levels that are higher than workplace safety standards.”
Healthier Choice: Clean mirrors and windows with newspaper and diluted vinegar. For other kitchen tasks, stick to simple cleaning compounds like Bon Ami powder; it’s made from natural ingredients like ground feldspar and baking soda without the added bleach or fragrances found in most commercial cleansers. You can also make your own formulas with baking soda, vinegar and essential oils. See the “DIY Cleaners” sidebar for a list of clean concoctions.
Found in: Polishing agents for bathroom fixtures, sinks and jewelry; also in glass cleaner.
Health Risks: Because ammonia evaporates and doesn’t leave streaks, it’s another common ingredient in commercial window cleaners. That sparkle has a price. “Ammonia is a powerful irritant,” says Donna Kasuska, chemical engineer and president of ChemConscious, Inc., a risk-management consulting company. “It’s going to affect you right away. The people who will be really affected are those who have asthma, and elderly people with lung issues and breathing problems. It’s almost always inhaled. People who get a lot of ammonia exposure, like housekeepers, will often develop chronic bronchitis and asthma.” Ammonia can also create a poisonous gas if it’s mixed with bleach.
Healthier Choice: Vodka. “It will produce a reflective shine on any metal or mirrored surface,” explains Lori Dennis, author of Green Interior Design (Allsworth Press, 2010). And toothpaste makes an outstanding silver polish.
Found in: Scouring powders, toilet bowl cleaners, mildew removers, laundry whiteners, household tap water.
Health Risks: “With chlorine we have so many avenues of exposure,” says Kasuska. “You’re getting exposed through fumes and possibly through skin when you clean with it, but because it’s also in city water to get rid of bacteria, you’re also getting exposed when you take a shower or bath. The health risks from chlorine can be acute, and they can be chronic; it’s a respiratory irritant at an acute level. But the chronic effects are what people don’t realize: It may be a serious thyroid disrupter.”
Healthier Choice: For scrubbing, stick to Bon Ami or baking soda. Toilet bowls can be cleaned with vinegar, and vinegar or borax powder both work well for whitening clothes. So does the chlorine-free oxygen bleach powder made by Biokleen. To reduce your exposure to chlorine through tap water, install filters on your kitchen sink and in the shower.
8. Sodium Hydroxide
Found in: Oven cleaners and drain openers.
Health Risks: Otherwise known as lye, sodium hydroxide is extremely corrosive: If it touches your skin or gets in your eyes, it can cause severe burns. Routes of exposure are skin contact and inhalation. Inhaling sodium hydroxide can cause a sore throat that lasts for days.
Healthier Choice: You can clean the grimiest oven with baking-soda paste — it just takes a little more time and elbow grease (see recipes in “DIY Cleaners” sidebar). Unclog drains with a mechanical “snake” tool, or try this approach from the Green Living Ideas Web site: Pour 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.
Try using natural products, or even just water and a cloth for cleaning! To really disinfect, try using pure essential oils like melalucea, lemon, lavender. Diffuse in your house, or make your own products. I guarantee you will notice a difference in how you feel using less toxic chemicals in your homes.
Just eliminating the sources is not enough though. After clearing your home of these chemicals, it is then important to do a body cleanse to really fully clean out your organs, so they can deal with the toxins we don’t have control over being exposed to.
I myself do a cleanse twice a year. Get your whole family in on it! Want to prevent cancer? Your best bet is making sure your body is cleaned out regularly.
OIL OF THE WEEK
Purify is a doTERRA essential oil blend composed of select essential oils known for their cleansing, purifying, and protecting properties. This special blend is a household must-have as it can eliminate odors in a natural way, free of harmful chemicals. It can also be used as a cleaner for countertops and various surfaces. When used throughout the home, its light, herbal aroma will quickly dissipate potent and foul odors and help cleanse the air. Purify also contains protecting properties that can protect against environmental threats. This essential oil blend is an ideal natural product that will add to any cleaning cabinet.
Purify Uses and Benefits
- Experience the power of Purify essential oil blend by diffusing it in rooms that contain harsh odors or stagnant smells. Purify’s refreshing and herbal aroma will quickly fill a room and replace unpleasant odors with a clean scent as it purifies the air. If you’re looking for an easy and natural way to eliminate odors in bathrooms, locker rooms, or gym bags, Purify is the perfect solution for you.
- When environmental threats run high, use Purify essential oil blend to combat adverse effects. Purify can be used to protect against environmental threats and can help minimize the effects caused by agitating environments.
- If getting into your car causes your face to crinkle because of the smell, it’s time for Purify. For a quick fix to a pungent car odor, place a few drops of Purify cleansing blend on a cotton ball and put it in or near your air vent. The fresh and purifying aroma of this blend will swiftly encircle your car with a light and airy smell your nose will be sure to love.
- Forget the toxic chemicals of traditional cleansers and create your own cleansing spray with Purify. For a natural and effective household cleaner, simply add five drops of Purify essential oil blend into a small spray bottle filled with water. This minimalistic combination is perfect for wiping down countertops while leaving a fresh scent in its wake.
- It’s a fact that some odors linger a little bit longer than others—especially when clothes are concerned. Sometime putting your smelly clothes into the laundry doesn’t always translate into stench-free clothing coming out. For clothes that come out smelling as clean as they look, add a few drops of Purify essential oil into the rinse cycle when doing laundry. Purify will help eliminate tough odors.
- Is your stove top caked with difficult liquid stains and charred food? Turn that kitchen eye sore into a shiny appliance with this DIY Stove Top Cleaner recipe including Purify essential oil. This easy recipe will help clean off grime and leave the stove’s surface looking clean and sparkly.
- To give a fresh, herbal aroma to small rooms, place a few drops of Purify essential oil blend onto a cotton ball and put it into the air vent in the room. When the air blows through the vent, it will waft in the refreshing scents of Purify—giving the room a continual burst of clean and fresh air.
- If after a long day of outdoor adventure you notice multiple bug bites, don’t panic. Purify has strong cleansing properties that can help soothe skin irritations, like those from bug bites. Simply add one to two drops of Purify essential oil to the bug bite or skin irritation and you will soon feel its soothing properties kick in.
- Before hosting a friendly get together at your home, place three to four drops of Purify essential oil blend into the diffuser of your choice. Diffusing Purify will have the air smelling fresh and clean, perfect for welcoming in your guests.
- With a fridge full of dynamic foods with distinct aromas, it’s natural for the fridge to start smelling, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with a smelly fridge. With DIY Fridge Refreshers, you can keep your various smelling foods together without the pungent odors. Fridge refreshers are easy to make and only have four ingredients—including Purify essential oil. Purify will help keep those powerful odors at bay so that you can enjoy a fresh smell whenever you open the fridge.
- Lemon Peel
- Lime Peel
- Siberian Fir Needle
- Austrian Fir Needle
- Pine Needle
- Citronella Grass
- Melaleuca Leaf
- Cilantro Herb