Cleaning House and the Toxins You Leave Behind While Cleaning



What exactly is a clean house? Most of us might think a truly clean house is one that is cleaned by using bleach or ammonia or other chemical cleaning products. However, do you realize how using such chemicals are harmful for your health? True, bleach gets rid of germs; however, harmful toxins are left behind and those toxins are not good as you can breathe them in and they can seep into your body through your skin. We all think that our home is the safest place to be. Some of us spend money on security systems to secure our family’s safety. If we take such precautions to keep our families safe then why don’t we take similar precautions in order to ensure that our home is safe and healthy from toxins?

Dangers of Harsh Cleaners

For years, I used to clean my house with bleach, then I started getting headaches due to breathing in the toxins as I was cleaning. That’s when I decided to start using only natural cleaners. Even then, not every natural cleaner I found was good. Yes, they did not have the harmful toxins; however, they still had a strong scent which bothered me. I guess you can say that I am extremely sensitive to chemicals and the toxins they emit—probably even more so since I’ve stopped using all of the harsh chemical cleaners and laundry detergents for at least the last 6 – 7 years. Just the other day, my husband and I were walking in Costco and we needed to buy some paper towels. Even simply walking by the chemical cleaners aisle, caused me to get a headache, just from normal breathing. Have you ever thought about the fact that even just walking by the chemical cleaners you can breathe in toxins?

Have you cleaned your house today or this week? Don’t you love the sense of cleanliness you get when you finished housecleaning? What you may not realize is that you’ve made your house dirtier and less safe. If you’re not using natural cleaning products, then most likely you’re using chemical cleaners. These cleaners do get rid of the dirt and bacteria; however, do you realize what they leave behind? Harmful toxins chemicals are left where you live and play every day. Would you want your children walking on kitchen floors that had been cleaned with bleach or other chemicals? Which do you think is more harmful, the dust and dirt on the floor or the residue left behind by chemicals?

Some of these statistics are staggering:

  • Over 90% of poison exposures happen at home.

  • Common bleach is the #1 household chemical involved in poisoning.

  • Organic pollutants, found in many common cleaners and even air fresheners, are 2 to 5 times higher inside your home than out.

  • A person who spends 15 minutes cleaning scale off shower walls could inhale three times the "acute one-hour exposure limit" for glycol ether-containing products set by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

  • Common cleaners give off fumes that have been linked to increasing the risk of your kids developing asthma, the most common serious chronic childhood disease.

  • 1 in 13 school-aged children has asthma. Rates in children under five have increased more than 160% from 1980 – 1994.

  • Children are highly vulnerable to chemical toxicants. Pound for pound of body weight, children drink more water, eat more food and breathe more air than adults. The implication of this is that children will have substantially heavier exposures than adults to any toxicants that are present in water, food or air.

  • If your home is anything like the average U.S. home, you generate more than 20 pounds of household hazardous waste each year (the EPA designates toilet cleaners, tub and tile cleaners, oven cleaners, and bleach as hazardous waste).

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