For years we have been buying the same household cleaners from the same big-name brands. They are literally a part of our lives.
But, did you know that these familiar names are not selling products with our best interests in mind? Yes, sadly, it’s true. Now this is not to disparage the effectiveness of these products in cleaning and producing results, but – and that’s a big BUT, these same effective cleaning products are not always safe for people. Some of them contain downright dangerous toxic chemicals to which no one, not even our pets, should be exposed.
According to Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., “Many common household chemicals are dangerous. They may be reasonably safe when used as directed, yet contain toxic chemicals or degrade over time into a more dangerous chemical.” It’s enough when we must confront known harmful chemicals, but to find that they can degrade into even more dangerous forms is downright scary.
Let’s look at some examples…
Ammonia – Ammonia is a common ingredient we have all used. It is especially common in glass cleaners and wipes. It is a volatile compound that can irritate the respiratory system and mucous membranes if inhaled and it can cause a chemical burn if it is spilled on skin. Ammonia will react with chlorinated products (e.g., bleach) to produce deadly chloramine gas. Yet, this has been a home standard for years.
Laundry Detergent – Laundry detergents contain a variety of chemicals, such as alcohol ethoxylate, alkyl ethoxy sulfate, amine oxide, ethanol and hydrogen peroxide. Few know what these are and what they mean to our health. Ingestion of cationic agents may cause nausea, vomiting, convulsion, and coma. Non-ionic detergents are irritants. Also, many people experience chemical sensitivity to dyes and perfumes present in some detergents.
These are just two of the many product types we use on a regular basis.
It’s time to read the fine-print – check all labels for ingredients and warnings. Better yet, select products that are known to be safe, i.e. non-toxic, green, bio-degradable. Your family will appreciate it and Mother Earth will too.