There’s something to be said about walking into a clean home, but we can do without inhaling an onslaught of harsh chemical odours and fumes. What about using natural or “green” cleaning products? You can lessen your exposure to harmful ingredients that may have negative effects on your health, and the planet.
Since the mid 20th century, about 85,000 new chemicals have been introduced to the market through various products. Still, I can recall the strong scent of vinegar on cleaning day from childhood. Perhaps it’s time to get back to sourcing more natural ingredients in our cleaning routines, and feeling healthier and enjoying cleaner household air at the same time.
Chemical-laden cleaning products can cause myriad immediate and short term health problems. You might feel satisfied at how the house smells after scouring and scrubbing, but those strong fumes can lead to headaches, dizziness, skin, respiratory and eye irritation and asthma attacks. Medium to long term negative impacts are also a risk with some cleaners containing known or suspected carcinogens, neurotoxins, reproductive system toxins and hormone disruptors. These factors are also issues of real concern for families who use these products.
Topping the toxicity list are drain, oven and toilet-bowl cleaners, chlorinated disinfectants, mildew removers and wood and metal polishes. Even benign products, such as dish detergent, can contain toxic chemicals.
It’s important to consider as well that both children and pets in our homes are even more vulnerable. Their shorter height can place them at higher risk of contact with floors, fixtures and other items that may have been cleaned or treated with toxic substances. Their smaller physical size may also result in a lower capacity to dissipate toxic compounds they may come into contact with.
Whether you choose to make your own vinegar solution to remove mold and mildew or purchase natural, chemical-free products, you’ll feel better knowing that you’ve eliminated chemicals from your home along with the mold, mildew and spaghetti stains. Plus, you won’t have to worry any more about accidentally spilling bleach on your beige bathroom towels.