A Cleaner Spring Cleaning
05.13.13 A Cleaner Spring Cleaning
Did you know that many ingredients in common cleaners, even "green" cleaning products, have been linked to allergies, asthma, and other long-term effects like reproductive harm and cancer? Chemicals found in cleaning solutions may be impacting the way our hormones work by either mimicking estrogen, androgen or thyroid hormones, or by stimulating or blocking production of these hormones when the chemical is absorbed into our bodies.
While it is true that small amounts of chemicals found in these products may not pose a problem in isolated instances, it's important to keep in mind that there is a cumulative effect. And like it or not, cleaning our homes just happens to be one of the things we do regularly.
According to the EPA, our greatest exposure to toxic chemicals is right in our own homes. And without proper ventilation, chemicals undoubtedly accumulate, especially in rooms where the windows stay closed. So, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Disinfectants are pesticides and often act as endocrine (hormone) disruptors. Even worse, some are carcinogenic. Pesticides are also fat soluble, making it difficult to eliminate from our bodies.
- Fragrance is common in cleaning products. Of course, we want our "clean" to smell good, although to many folks, a deep clean needs to smell sanitized, as in strong chemicals. Synthetic fragrances are mostly protected as "trade secrets", therefore can contain up to 200 undisclosed and potentially suspect ingredients.
- Antibacterial seems like a good idea when cleaning but the reality is.. not when it's chemically antibacterial. The toxic chemical Triclosan is generally added to make products "anti-bacterial" in lieu of using naturally antibacterial essential oils.
Cleaning Glass: The "original" glass cleaner, tinted blue for what Windex claims, "provides a pleasing color," also has Ammonium Hydroxide, Propylene Glycol, synthetic fragrance and a list of other chemicals. Low scores from the Environmental Working Group for toxicity as well.
Safer Solution: I Can See Clearly Wow glass cleaner is solvent-free (no ammonia, alcohol, ethers) and can still provide a clean surface without residue or streaks. Made with 100% plant derived ingredients, you can breathe easy as this cleaner is fragrance free and safe for people, pets and our planet.
Cleaning Floors: Conventional floor cleaners may include ingredients like nonylphenol ethoxylate or chemicals with potential for developmental, endocrine and reproductive effects. And toxins that can be harmful to the respiratory tract and the environment. Here are the low scores of many conventional brands on EWG.
Safer Solution: Simply Floored contains no VOC's, petrochemicals, ammonia, SLS, ethoxylates or synthetic colors/fragrances. It is scented using the natural essential oils of citrus and mint and is not only safe on various types of flooring including wood, tile and marble, but most importantly, it's safe for people and pets and doesn't negatively effect the environment.
Cleansing Scrubber: Common brand name scrubbing cleaners contain long lists of chemical ingredients and also warnings to "minimize use when pregnant" and to "avoid repeated or prolonged use." Most have bleach added and are sure to irritate your eyes while using. One particular iconic brand in a green tube contains sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione dihydrate which is a highly toxic pesticide, and a known groundwater pollutant and probable carcinogen. Not too comforting to think of this residue in your bathtub or kitchen sink!
Safer Solution: Even the Kitchen Sink is naturally effective at removing gunk with out using harmful and toxic chemicals. Zero petroleum solvents, bleach, ammonia, corrosive acids, bleach, fragrance or dyes. Scented with the essential oils of clary sage and citrus, this scrubbing cleanser is safe for your home and the people and pets in it.
All-Purpose Surface Cleaner: Maybe the most common everyday cleaning solution - we wipe down our counters, tables and bathrooms regularly to keep germs at bay. Unfortunately, many people are still in the habit of using surface cleaners that contain chemicals like 2-butoxyethanol, d-limonene and quaternary ammonium compounds. These chemicals can soak through the skin and damage red blood cells, migrate into the lungs and trigger asthma.
Safer Solution: What-EVER all-purpose surface cleaner is just that. Use it on whatever (washable, non-porous) that needs cleaning because it's safe, requires no rinsing and doesn't leave a residue. Scented with clary sage + citrus essential oils, wipe down your surfaces without the worry of introducing chemicals into your home. And of course, safe for for waterways and marine life too.
For a complete list of the Cleaners Hall Of Shame and for updates as new products are added, visit EWG's database.
Or, make your own! The Come Clean Natural Cleaning Set comes with spray bottles, a built-in juicer for fresh lemons, a micro fiber cleaning cloth and a recipe booklet.
Are you getting ready for a Spring Cleaning? What do you like to use?
20% OFF ALL OUR CLEANING SUPPLIES through Monday 5/20/13 with promo code SPRINGCLEAN20.