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Category: articles

 Toxic Cleaners

It is becoming increasingly clear that we are surrounded by a chemical soup that is impossible to escape from. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the household & personal care products that we come in contact with every day ~ are all full of a myriad of cancer causing, hormone disrupting, immune suppressing, neuro-toxic ingredients that are grossly unregulated. It is estimated that there are 1000 new chemicals introduced into the environment each year. Chemicals are usually tested for human safety individually without concern as to how they will react once inside the human body with toxins already present.

One group of chemicals that are particular disturbing are those that disrupt our delicate endocrine system. These chemicals can mimic hormones by sending false messages or blocking hormone receptors that receive messages. Hormone disruptions can result in damage to the immune and reproductive systems as well as the brain. The unborn child is particularly susceptible. During critical stages of developmental, the exposure to any number of chemicals can have devastating results.

“Chemicals have replaced bacteria and viruses as the main threat to health.

 The diseases we are beginning to see as the major causes of death

…… are diseases of chemical origin.

Dr. Dick Irwin, Toxicologist, Texas A&M University

Our homes are filled with toxins and making the change over to a green home can be daunting. There is probably little you can do about the actual construction of your home without great expense, but the most effective changes you can make involve shopping a little differently, exploring new products and perhaps making some of your own. Many products that you have in your home are very easily eliminated.

There are many new microfiber cloths that require no cleaning products at all. The most effective one that I have found is for windows. No more window cleaners! After you use it you can just put it in the washing machine. If need be, you can use some vinegar in a spray bottle.

There are many companies that make non toxic cleaning products and they are not hard to find at your local health food store, grocery stores and on line. They are often economical, concentrated products that you can mix up yourself in a spray bottle.

Body care products are of special concern because we put them onto our largest organ, our skin, every day and our skin absorbs what it comes in contact with. Become familiar with the chemical ingredients used in the manufacturing of these products, especially the most harmful ones and look out for alternatives.

One of the best websites devoted to less toxic products in your home is www.lesstoxicguide.ca . It will give you suggestions for less toxic products you can use in your home as well as easy home made options. You may be surprised at how easy it is to reduce the toxins you are exposed to every day.

Non- Toxic Cleaners

  • Vinegar in a spray bottle for windows (use a micro fiber cloth to help the job along). This works really well to keep mould away on window sills and window frames too.
  • ½ water and ½ 3% hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle with lemon grass, cinnamon, or tea tree essential oils for an antibacterial spray for counters and bathrooms.
  • Borax works well for many jobs such as scrubbing the bathtub, spot remover and oven cleaner.
  • Use baking soda and vinegar to clean tubs and sinks.
  • A ball of aluminum foil in the dryer can be used instead of toxic dryer sheets.
  • Baking soda on the carpet to get rid of odours.
  • Use essential oils in a diffuser for air fresheners. Chemical air fresheners are one of the worst offenders as far as hormone disrupting toxins.

 

~ by Kira Neumann, RHN, NNCP

 

 


March 28, 2011