Are we aware of what’s in our cleaning products?
Are home cleaning products dangerous to our health? Would you normally spray your bathroom with a bottle that has ‘hazardous’ or ‘irritant’ on the label? How about our kitchen bench? Would you clean the area where you prepare food with a product that listed a ‘carcinogen’ on its ingredients list? And that’s another thing…not all ingredients on a cleaning product are required to be listed, only the active ones. Some have none listed at all. When the WARNING and FIRST AID section of the label is the most prominent on a product shouldn’t that ring alarm bells? So, why do we use synthetic home cleaning products as opposed to natural?
Every day we see an array of ads telling us that our home environment is full of dangerous germs. We are told that we should use one of the “strong and powerful” cleaners from the supermarket shelf to get rid of “up to 99.9 percent of germs” in order to reduce the risk of sickness. But is this really the case?
Dr Peter Dingley is one of Australia’s leading researchers and educators. He was an Associate Professor and leading researcher in Health and the Environment and has spent more than 20 years studying the effects of chemicals. He says that we have become obsessed with ridding our homes of bacteria, even though many of them are actually beneficial to our health. “The truth of the matter is you don’t need antibacterial treatments on benches in homes — just keep them clean and dry,” says Dr Dingle.
Many of the ingredients found in conventional cleaning products are associated with allergies and, in some cases, cancer. Kidsafe NSW points out that 95 percent of childhood poisoning incidents are caused by common household cleaners.
And what about the environment? Let’s not forget that all these chemicals literally go down the drain, interfering with the waste treatment process and ultimately polluting our waterways. The final result of this can be damaging to our marine life, vegetation and, in turn, us!
Fortunately natural and eco-friendly cleaning products are readily available these days.
So if you decide to try a non-toxic cleaning product then look for one without ammonia, phosphates, chlorine and petroleum distillates. Non-toxic cleaning products these days are just as effective at removing dirt and grime without the irritating fumes and harmful chemicals. We are surrounded by chemicals these days and reducing our exposure, even if just a little can only be good for us in the long run.
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