Keeping a clean house is important. Not only does your home look better, but keeping dirt, dust, and grime off surfaces helps to keep building materials intact and pests and mold at bay. You can also minimize the spread of germs around your home.
But in making sure your house is “clean” you may be introducing dozens of toxic chemicals into your environment and directly onto the surfaces where your family eats, plays, and sleeps and into the air that they breathe. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), “The cleaning products in your home may be harboring hazardous ingredients.”
Their research reveals a growing body of evidence that “fumes from some cleaning products may induce asthma in otherwise healthy individuals. A large and growing body of evidence links the frequent use of many ordinary cleaning supplies at home or on the job with the development of asthma and other respiratory problems. It is already known that cleaning product fumes may trigger attacks in persons previously diagnosed with asthma.”
The soap and cleaning products industry is over $60 billion and ever year there are more and more products featuring the word “green” on their labels. But there is no regulation that “green” means that a product is safe, natural, organic, and/or free of toxins or other harmful ingredients. “Green” can really mean anything. Many brands make it difficult, if not impossible, for consumers to learn what ingredients are in them. These products commonly contain chemicals that can not only exacerbate asthma, but also cause reproductive problems, developmental toxicity, and burn or irritate your skin. Some have even been linked to cancer.
Keep your home clean – safely and without introducing hazardous chemicals into your indoor environment. Check out EWG’s recently updated “Guide to Healthy Cleaning” (http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners) and their recent research on “Cleaning Supplies and Your Health” (http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/content/cleaners_and_health)
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