Live Well Corner: Is Your Home Clean and Toxin Free?



Is Your Home Clean and Toxin Free?

By Joanne Troppello

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 family’s safe then why don’t we take similar precautions in order to ensure that our home is safe and healthy from 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 toxic 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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