In our efforts to maintain sanitary and fresh smelling households, we unwittingly bring many hidden toxins into our households. An average of 62 toxic chemicals pollute the average home. These toxins are three times as likely to cause cancer than outdoor air. In addition, 3 million poisonings are reported each year from common household cleaners — and these products are the top cause of poisoning in children.
Toxic cleaners and cosmetics have been linked to the astonishing 600% increase in asthma cases that have occurred since 1980. Other common diseases associated with chemical toxicity exposure are; multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, depression, hormonal imbalances and circulatory problems.
There are more toxic chemicals in most homes than in a modern chemistry lab!
Let’s look at a few common household products and explore their potentially dangerous hidden ingredients.
• Air fresheners – Who hasn’t used an air freshener? The fresh scents are intoxicating, and an easy quick-fix for nasty smells. Unfortunately, they contain petroleum distillates, the chemicals used in paints and solvents. They are flammable, irritate the eyes, lungs, skin, and may even cause pulmonary edema. Air fresheners also contain formaldehyde, which can cause cancer.
• Bleach – This common cleaning agent is used for disinfecting and washing clothes. Bleach contains sodium hypochlorite and/or chlorine — and has been linked to increasing rates of breast cancer in women, reproductive problems in men, and behavioral problems in children. NEVER mix bleach with drain or toilet bowl cleaners, which contain ammonia. The combination of ammonia and chlorine will produce chlorine gas, the same deadly chemical warfare agent used in World War I!
• Drain cleaners – These clogged drain remedies usually contain sulfuric acid or sodium hydroxide (lye). They can cause painful chemical burns, blindness if splashed into the eyes, and lung destruction. There’s a reason these chemical cleaners warn users to use gloves when handling!
• Mothballs – Composed of naphtha or naphthalene, the powerful ingredient in mothballs is a carcinogen so strong it will kill head lice! This chemical can cause headaches, dizziness, and can even lead to cataract formation.
Among the many other toxic cleaning products readily available in grocery stores are; ammonia, laundry detergents, oven-cleaners, rat poisons.
Now let’s take a look at a few safe and sustainable alternatives to common household cleaning products.
• Air fresheners – Use flowers, herbs, or natural potpourri. Diffuse essential oils to scent and cleanse the air. Natural incense may also be an option for you.
• Laundry bleach – Borax provides a safe alternative to bleach and can be used on all clothes. You might also choose to add ½ cup white vinegar to the rinse water.
• Drain cleaner – Try flushing the pipes once a week with boiling water. Here a simple, all natural formula for a homemade drain cleaner. Start by adding in ½ cup baking soda to the sluggish drain, followed by ½ cup vinegar. Wait a few minutes, then pour in 2 quarts of boiling water, and flush.
• Mothballs – Cedar chips also act as moth and insect repellent. Any garment that has been contaminated by insect eggs can be run through a hot clothes dryer to kill the eggs.
There are many other safe alternatives that can replace common household cleaning products. Not only are these products non-toxic, they’re also incredibly economical.
• For brass polish, use equal parts salt, flour, and vinegar
• A good disinfectant is ½ cup Borax dissolved in a gallon of hot water
• For fabric softener, use ¼ to ½ cup baking soda per wash load
• Natural furniture polish – use almond or olive oil, or part vegetable oil mixed with lemon juice in a 2:1 ratio
• For oven cleaner, scrub with a copper scrubber and baking soda, soap, and water
These are just a few examples of toxic cleaning products, and their safe alternatives. We all want a healthy and safe environment for our families, children, and pets! While the commercial cleaning manufacturers may be slow to “get the message” we can make safer choices. With a little care our decisions can help detoxify our living spaces, improve our overall health, and promote sustainable, earth friendly products.
At Texas Spine & Wellness, Garland Chiropractor Dr. James Mixon helps people who are searching for practical ways to better health. By using Nutrition Response Testing and his whole food nutrition programs, he can help you improve your health without the harsh side effects of medications. If you want to feel your best, give us a call We’re here to help!