Growing up, no one ever said to me “Read the Label first” before you use that. There was no talk of “organic mattresses” and perfumes were all the craze. Smells would bother me to a point, but I noticed it more the older I got. The guy in the gym that just took a shower cologne would cause me to feel as if my chest was tightening, and whenever I’d smell floors or desks that had just been cleaned with a typical cleaner I’d get nauseous. Most of the time I brushed it off, and didn’t think about it past that moment. Once I started to do research I realized there was a reason for the reactions I was having. There are many toxic items in your home and what you don’t know could be causing you and your family harm.
The need to clean! Breath of fresh air?
Not quite. The typical cleaners that we find in the stores contain many chemicals that are toxic to our health, and to make
matters worse, they’re not always listed on the labels.
Chlorine and Ammonia are in many popular household cleaning products, which appeal to those that hate streaks when cleaning the home. Some common ones are toilet bowl cleaners, scouring pads, polishing agents and glass cleaners. Constant exposure can lead to chronic bronchitis and asthma. Chlorine may also disrupt the thyroid in addition to problems in the respiratory system.
Phthalates, which are in many dish soaps, air fresheners and toilet paper, and are often referred to as “fragrance”, are endocrine disrupters and reduce sperm count.
Perchloroethylene or “PERC” is found in carpet and upholstry cleaners. Dry cleaners are known to use this chemical as well. It’s classified as a possible carcinogen and can cause dizziness and loss of coordination.
Triclosan is found in washing liquids or detergents that are labeled antibacterial. It may disrupt the endocrine system and is a probable carcinogen.
2-Butoxyethanol is found in many multipurpose cleaners, and is often not required to be listed as an active ingredient. Inhalation can lead to sore throats and other respiratory issues, in addition to liver and kidney damage.
At the end of the day, it’s on us as individuals to do the research. Take a look at your products and google if they contain any of these unsafe ingredients. If you see something you can’t pronounce, take it to google and look up the effects of it. For me, I shop with an online company that doesn’t even need to use childproof caps, because their products are safe and 100% green. And I will review them in a later article.
What we are actually sleeping on….
When calculated, the average person spends 33 years in bed, either trying to fall asleep or actually sleeping, yet when we go to buy a mattress our #1 concern is if the mattress is comfortable. We lay on it, maybe even nap in the middle of the store. But in my time shopping for one up until recently, I never asked for an “ingredient” list on what was in it or sprayed onto it. However, I have experienced that “new mattress” smell. The one that needs airing out – didn’t smell too good.
Most mattresses are treated with bromated or chlorinated flame retardant chemicals. In addition they contain polyurethane, benzene, acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, which release gaseous chemicals during the night. These chemicals have been linked to health issues ranging from allergies and asthma to cancer, infertility, and developmental brain disorders.
For more information click here to read a comprehensive article by Dr. Mercola.
There has also been a lot of talk on the topic of these toxic mattresses being the cause of SIDS. There was a study done in New Zealand about a decline in SIDS once the mattresses were wrapped to protect the baby. However there is a lot of opposing information after the fact saying that the decline is not due to the wrapping of the mattresses. I suggest with everything written online, do your own research, and decide the best route to take for you.
What does a body good?
Our skin is our biggest organ, and yet we don’t pay attention to the types of water we use in the shower, or the creams, lotions and oils that we put on our body after we shower, and what about the soaps we use in the shower on our hair and body and on our hands. When the water is piping hot, and all our pores are open, all those toxic chemicals are going right in.
Most soaps contain parabens, triclosan and sulfates and fragrance. If the smell is not listed as an essential oil, herbs or
fruits, it can be a combination of chemicals which isn’t even required to be listed. Parabens can cause the body to decrease muscle mass, increasing fat deposits and can cause reproductive issues in both men and women. Sulfates strip the skin of natural oils and cause irritation to the skin. Triclosan promotes the growth of antibacterial resistant bacteria, and forms dioxin, a carcinogen, which disrupts the endocrine system and affects the thyroid.
Besides for soaps, another thing to think about is what’s in your water? Depending on where you live there are different chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride in the water. If the water isn’t good enough to drink, then it would be a smart idea to not let it infiltrate your body during your steamy shower.
If you’re in the United States and would like to find out what is in your water click here
What are the effects after 20 years?
“Cleaners who have regularly used cleaning sprays over 20 years were found to have reduced lung function equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes a day over the same period, a UiB-study shows.” This was a comprehensive 20 year independent study with 6235 subjects across 9 different countries. It was peer reviewed and published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
So here we are, cleaning, thinking that we are actually benefitting ourselves and getting rid of dirt, dust and mold but instead we are actually killing ourselves.
Be careful of imitators
Greenwashing is defined as the “process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company’s products are more environmentally sound. Greenwashing is considered an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s products are environmentally friendly” (Investopedia)
TerraChoice launched a study to test products that claim to be “Green”. They found that more than 95% of the products tested committed at least one “greenwashing sin”. An example of a greenwashing sin would be claiming that something
is all natural. There are many naturally occurring ingredients that are poisonous and toxic to us. Just because it’s all natural doesn’t mean that we should inhale it or get it on our skin.
Be clean and green
We do the best with what we know, and knowledge is power. Just because it’s sold in the store, even a store that claims to be organic or all natural, do your own research. The information is out there – its just a matter of taking the time to search for it. The best case is we avoid respiratory and skin issues, cancer and endocrine disruptors. The worst case – well ther won’t be a worst case if you take this opportunity to learn and let go of these products. If you’re able to eliminate the toxic items in your home, you will be taking the first step in keeping you and your family healty.