We buy cleaning and household products to kill germs and clean our houses, but many people don’t consider the ingredients those products contain, or whether or not they are safe. Of course most people know that you shouldn’t ingest or inhale these products directly, but don’t have a clear understanding of harm they can do beyond that. This post will share with you the dangers of household products as well as some DIY Natural Cleaning Product alternatives!
The Dirty Truth of Household Products
Common household cleaning products contribute to indoor air pollution, are poisonous if ingested, and can be harmful if inhaled or touched. In fact, some cleaners are among the most toxic products found in the home. Cleaning ingredients vary in the type of health hazard they pose. Some cause acute, or immediate, hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns. Others are associated with chronic, or long-term, effects such as cancer and other diseases.
Chemicals can cause severe burns on eyes, skin and, if ingested, on the throat and esophagus. Ingredients with high acute toxicity include chlorine bleach and ammonia, which produce fumes that are highly irritating to eyes, nose, throat and lungs, and should not be used by people with asthma or lung or heart problems. These two chemicals pose an added threat in that they can react with each other or other chemicals to form lung-damaging gases. Combining products that contain chlorine and ammonia or ammonia (i.e. oven cleaners) produces chloramine gases, while chlorine combined with acids (i.e. toilet bowl cleaners) forms toxic chlorine gas that can be deadly.
But they smell so good……
Fragrances added to cleaners such as laundry detergents and fabric softeners, may cause acute effects such as respiratory problems, headache, sneezing, and watery, irritated eyes in sensitive individuals or allergy and asthma sufferers. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has found that one-third of the substances used in the fragrance industry are toxic. However, because chemical formulas of fragrances are considered trade secrets and private information, companies aren’t required to list their toxic ingredients they simply have to label them as containing “fragrance.”
Other ingredients in cleaners may have low acute toxicity but contribute to long-term health effects, such as cancer or hormone disruption. Chemicals that are hormone disruptors can interfere with the body’s natural chemical messages, either by blocking or mimicking the actions of hormones. Health effects can include decreased sperm counts, increased rates of male birth defects and increased rates of some types of cancers. Ingredients used in some detergents and cleaners have been shown to mimic the estrogen hormone. Not to mention that these chemicals get washed down our drains and into our local water sources and into the environment. Toxins are bad for everyone so eliminating as many as possible is good for ourselves, our family and the environment.
DIY Natural Cleaning Products
Making your own homemade natural cleaning products does not need to be hard or expensive. In fact, you can make several products in a very short period of time. Here are some great easy DIY recipes for natural cleaning products using common ingredients and essential oils. Using these homemade products will eliminate toxic chemicals and cut down on indoor air pollution which helps to improve overall health and wellness! Click here to learn where to get pure Essential Oils for your cleaning products.
If you are looking for some DIY Natural Cleaning Product Recipes Here are some from my favorite oily bloggers:
- 7 DIY Cleaning Recipes Using Vinegar by Good Girl Gone Green
- Homemade All Purpose Cleaner Recipe by The Coconut Mama
- Top 10 Natural Household Cleaning Products by Naturally Persnickity Mom
- How to Make Your Own Cleaners by Don’t Mess With Mama
- Homemade Shower Spray by Good Girl Gone Green
- DIY Windex by Overthrow Martha
Have you tried to make your own natural cleaning products yet?