What many don’t realise is that the everyday cleaning products we use to keep our homes clean and fresh are actually harmful for our health. Because of the well-known brands and their clever marketing, we often feel we must use the latest cleaning technologies.
However, it only takes a few minutes in the supermarket aisle to read the labels and find effective eco-friendly alternatives that aren’t harmful for our health. Beware of these harmful cleaning chemicals.
Ammonia is commonly found in many bathroom, toilet and floor cleaning products. It releases a very strong smelling gas that causes irritation to the eyes, nose, throat and skin. Ammonia can also lead to wheezing, respiratory problems and it can burn the skin. This is why many cleaning products with ammonia recommend only using with gloves and in a well-ventilated area.
Formaldehyde is used as a preservative. Often used in kitchen cleaners and disinfectants, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, a chemical that can cause cancer. Many products use formaldehyde because it is effective at killing germs. Unfortunately, it is also harmful to our bodies, damaging our skin, lungs and irritating our eyes and nose.
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Also called sodium hypochlorite, bleach can create a dangerous gas when mixed with common toilet cleaning chemicals such as ammonia. Easily able to burn our skin and cause damage to our lungs, bleach is added to many cleaning products to kill germs. However, there are many green cleaning products that effectively kill germs without being harmful to our health.
Phenols are a group of chemicals that are known to have harmful effects on our reproductive, circulatory and respiratory systems. Found in laundry detergents and disinfectants, phenols are quickly absorbed by the body and it doesn’t take long for toxicity to occur. As more knowledge emerges about the dangers of phenols to our health, some countries are beginning to ban their use in household cleaning products.
When you think about it, the cleaners we use throughout our home affect our bodies in a number of ways, from the clothes we wear on our skin, to the bathrooms we use to clean ourselves, right through to the kitchen bench tops we use to prepare our food. Each and every day, our bodies are absorbing chemicals as we live, breath and come in contact with our home environment. Creating an eco-friendly environment for your family is simple and inexpensive. It only takes a little knowledge on which chemicals are harmful and which are not.