Are We Killing Ourselves Clean?
I’m always banging on about the health issues that nasty ingredients in our foods can cause, and the importance of reading the ingredients to avoid them, but what about the potentially dangerous toxins and chemicals found in common everyday household products? As you’re about to find out, that “freshly cleaned” smell is more likely doing us more harm than good.
What triggered my curiosity was my delightful 14 year old, who recently decided to divert from our organic, inoffensive (yet effective) smelling deodorant to Lynx…as teenagers do. And lots of it. Cough, cough…
The smell permeated the entire house. After the first can was done (and I couldn’t stand it anymore), the Lynx mysteriously disappeared, but the smell lingered. A week later I can still smell it in the bathroom and his bedroom.
This prompted a look into the effects of fragrances and chemicals in common Australian household products. What I found was pretty scary…
What are the harmful effects of toxic chemicals in household products?
Many homes contain multiple commercial products like air fresheners, bathroom cleaners, floor polish, fabric softeners, oven cleaners, window cleaners and many more. According to The Chemical Maze, the average home today contains more chemicals than were found in a typical chemistry lab at the turn of the 20th century.
These include many chemicals, according to the The Australian Department of Environment and Energy, that we have no idea what the short or long term risks are.
“There are approximately 38 000 chemicals listed on the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (AICS), that are allowed to be used in Australia which have not yet been assessed for their risks to the environment or human health.”
Hmmmm….alarm bells anyone?
Given we have an unprecedented rate of chronic health conditions and a significant rise in allergies, mental health conditions, autism spectrum disorders to name but a few, you really do have to wonder what we are being exposed to on a daily basis.
Results show that household products give off more than 133 different VOC’s or volatile organic compounds which are usually in the form of vapours or gases, so we often can’t see or even smell them or know that they are permeating our skin.
One of the major contributors of VOCs in homes is the use of household cleaners and other products like air fresheners and pest control agents. VOCs include highly toxic chemicals, some of which are even known cancer causing agents and include formaldehyde, benzene, glycol ethers, methylene chloride, perchloroethylene, toluene, trichloroethylene and xylene.
Did you know?
Toxic chemicals in household products are not required to be listed on the label.
Yep, you read that right.
Currently there aren’t any regulations in Australia requiring manufacturers to disclose the full list of ingredients on product labels.
So what we are breathing in is a toxic mix of potentially dangerous chemicals which are known to trigger asthma and allergic reactions, affect our kidney and liver function, disrupt our hormones and DNA expression AND, according to The Chemical Maze, which I highly recommend downloading the app, even known cancer causing agents.
But they are apparently still OK (#actuallynotatallOK) for us to buy from the supermarkets and use freely… scary stuff really.
Here’s a quick run down of a couple of common household products you may want to rethink:
This is just a snapshot of things we regularly use….
Anything with a fragrance. That “freshly cleaned smell” is not so fresh.
Air fresheners which do anything but ‘freshen’ the air. They just cover up harmless natural odours with toxic synthetic ones.
Any common household cleaners which give off fumes as these can aggravate respiratory problems like asthma.
Chlorine bleach, which is the chemical most frequently involved in household poisonings.
Window cleaners containing ammonia and butoxyethanol.
- Ammonia fumes can irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory system.
- Butoxyethanol easily penetrates the skin and can cause nausea, headaches, dizziness and eye and skin irritation.
Oven cleaners are one of the worst and most dangerous cleaning products. They can cause severe damage to eyes, skin, mouth, and throat. Really, if it does this much damage and smells so toxic, why would you want it anywhere near your food?!?
Toilet bowl cleaners can be fatal if swallowed and even breathing in the fumes can be harmful.
How to Reduce Your Family’s Risk of Chemical Exposure
- Educate yourself and your kids about the perils of dangerous chemicals in your home.Keep them inaccessible from kids and pets.
- Eliminate or even better, chuck out the household products that contain these chemicals.
- Ventilate your home by opening windows instead of using air fresheners. Far cheaper and soooo much better for the environment and your health.
- Choose natural cleaning products – such as sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), vinegar and tea tree oil. These are far cheaper, effective and get the job done.
- Decorate your home with indoor plants. Plants not only look great, but they also absorb and eliminate toxic VOCs. Great plants for even the brownest of thumbs are: Native Kentia Palm, Peace Lily and Devil’s Ivy.
- Support your body’s own detoxification system by eating plenty of green leafy vegetables (ideally organic), whole foods, plenty of drinking filtered water. If you need a helping hand with some cleansing herbs and supplements, make sure you seek advice from a qualified nutritionist (like me!) or naturopath.
- Share the love – with your family and friends that you have gone chemical free and invite them to join you.
- Celebrate – your new health, wealth, peace of mind and freedom from toxic household chemicals…perhaps with a little organic wine, wink wink!
Want to Know More?
I can highly recommend a few easy to read resources:
Low Tox Life by Alexx Stuart
The Chemical Maze App
When you’re ready, here are three easy ways I can help you get your health on track…
- Save your seat and join my next FREE Online Wellness Workshop. If you want to know exactly how to get more energy, lose that stubborn weight for good (exactly what I teach my private clients) and feel clearer, calmer and more in control, then click here.
- Get on the list. The doors to my new program which covers all things HORMONES are opening soon. Jump on the waitlist by hitting here to find out more
- Book in for a FREE discovery call so we can talk about YOUR health challenges and how I can best help you.