How many times have you started coughing when cleaning the bathroom or simply opening the laundry detergent? Does walking down the cleaning aisle of the supermarket smell really strong to you and cause you discomfort? Well when you discover what is in these products it can be a little alarming.
I recently had a chat with Alison Palmer form Health Connection Ballarat, you can listen to the podcast here
In Australia ingredients in cleaning products do not have to be listed on the label. You can ask for a material data safety sheet, which you may be able to find online, but even then it will only include what the toxic ones are according to the Therapeutic Good Administration (TGA). (source) You don’t have to look too far to see ‘ warning’, and ‘poison’ signs on the back of many products sold on the supermarket shelves in Australia.
Kidasfe Victoria report that the major cause of injury and hospital admission is unintentional poisoning, including cleaning products, bleach, cosmetics and more (source)
Ingredients in cleaning and also some personal care products that are potentially damaging to your health include
Sodium Hypochlorite otherwise known as bleach can cause iritation in the eyes, mouth, lungs and skin. Bleach is also very reactive with ammonia and other acids. Bleach is used in many bathroom cleaners that comes with some serious health effects. A study looking at the exposure of school age children demonstrated that passive exposure of bleach cleaning can increase the risk of respiratory and other infections. (source)
Triclosan (in anti-bacterial soaps, detergents and toothpaste) is an anti-bacterial that has now been banned in the US for domestic use. Triclosan accumulates in fat and can build up over time and has suggested that is can disrupt the thyroid hormones. (source) Triclosan has been reported to decrease oocyte and embryo quality source, making it a damaging agent to reproductive health.
The Florence statement is a consensus of 200 scientists and medical professionals who have concluded based one extensive research that Triclosan and triclocarban are environmentally persistent endocrine disruptors that biaccumulate and are toxic to aquatic and other organisms. source THe FDA in America has stated that anti-bacterial soaps are no more effective than using plain soap and water (source)
Phthalates A widely used group of chemicals that can interfere with hormones in the body, posing risks to reproductive and thyroid systems. Not only are these a contaminant in humans but are also widespread in the environment and wildlife as well ( source )
Phthalates are most commonly found in cosmetics and body care products. The most common use is as an ingredient in ‘fragrance’ The Phthalate acts as a solvent to synthetic fragrances allowing them to bind together and last for a long time. Many cleaners and most importantly laundry detergents and fabric softeners will have fragrance included in them. Don’t really fancy having that around my kids!
Sodium Hydroxide– a corrosive alkali- found in oven cleaners. It can irritate the skin, cause respiratory problems and has concerns for vision (source)
Butoxyethanol (2-BE) used in cleaning products and surface cleaners, floor strippers, window cleaners, spot cleaners. Is a scheduled poison! Exposure by inhalation, swallowing or direct contact can cause, headaches, irritation to the eyes and nose, nausea and triedness (source)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate– a widely used inexpensive foaming substance in body wash, hand soap, toothpastes and soaps. May cause skin irritations. It has been recommended by the international journal of toxicology that concentration levels of no more than 1% in products with prolonged use, however cleaning products can have sls levels of between 10-20% (source)
Cleaning your home naturally can be a lot simpler and easier than buying multpile cleaning products from the supermarket. It just requires a new approach, learning about what to use and when.
Bi-carb soda: a readily available powder that is useful in making scrubs, cleaners that need a little bit of extra scrubbing action
Vinegar- has high acidity allowing it to loosen mineral depposits and dissolve soap scum. great also for removing excess soap off washing when used in your rinse section of your washing machine. It is also great for softening the water too ( ditch the fabric softener!)
Essential Oils- add a natural scent and allow you to clean naturally. My top picks are lemon ( refreshing), Tea tree, Thieves and Purification (odour eliminator) and Eucalyptus. Make you own air freshener using water, essential oils and a dash of witch hazel. Better still, you can use a cold water diffuser with essential oils to not only frangrance your home but purify the air too.
Castille Soap- I love Dr bronner’s and is the main base for my foaming hand soap that I use in my bathrooms.
Lemons- have a lemon tree? use a half cut lemon and some bi-carb to clean your sink or glass in your shower. Add half a lemon to your dishwasher for extra cleaning. Add 1/2- 1 cup of lemon juice to a load of washing for whiter whites.
Salt-I use this in my homemade washing powder. Great for removing stains
Thieves Household Cleaner– This is a plant concentrate that I literally use for my whole home. It is made of plant based ingredients and that is it. No synthetics, no fillers and it really does work. As it is a concentrate is is super cheap to use and cheaper than any other cleaner you will buy in the supermarket. Your bathroom will love it and so will your skin! Did I mention that is is safe for your children to use too? You can read more about how I use this cleaner here.
Overhauling your laundry products may be one of the best ways to reduce exposure to synthetic fragrances and other synthetic ingredients (which are really hard to find out what they are as they are often not listed). Have a think about it, every time you wash clothes are potentially being exposed to synthetic ingredients and fragrances- especially if you use fabric softeners. Those clothes are then worn on your body all day. You sleep for long periods of time in the sheets laundered in the washing powder too. You can try my recipe for home made here, or you can speak to me about using Thieves Laundry soap which I now use as it is excellent and lasts a really long time and let’s face it, I don’t always have time to make it!
Changes I have noticed since removing some of these toxic products
- No more worry about having unsafe things in my home!
- No coughing when I clean the bathrooms- infact the scent now smells invigorating. Essential oils will do that for you.
- Reduction in dry flaky skin
- No more bleeding gums- I now use a sls free toothpaste
There is so much more I could write about but that might be enough information for you to think about and make a few changes. Your awareness is the only thing in between you and the products you use.
Young Living Healthy Home Premium Starter kit might be just the thing you need to get started and ditch the toxic cleaners for good. Get started straight away, you won’t regret it. Young Living products come with a money back guarantee so you have nothing to lose. please chat to me for more details.