You clean and you clean and you clean, and because you clean so well you have every right to believe that the cleaner your home is the healthier your home is! And then one day you realize that the cleaners you’ve been using in your home are most likely toxic and hazardous to people and pets.
FACT: According to the American College of Medical Toxicology, use of household cleaners containing toxic chemicals should be discontinued whenever possible.
Side-effects of these toxic cleaners may be linked to people who suffer from headaches, migraines, backaches, stiff joints, fatigue, mood swings, nausea, diarrhea, asthma or allergy attacks, dizziness, memory loss, stuttering, premature puberty, low sperm count, reduced motor skills, dyslexia, ADHD, anti-social behavior, autism, birth defects, cancer/tumors and Cardiovascular disease.
FACT: According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the air pollution inside your home can be anywhere from two to five times more polluted than the air outdoors and this indoor pollution is due largely in part to common household cleaning agents, which over time can damage the lungs, liver, kidneys, blood, skin, eyes and noses of both humans and pets.
The truth of the matter is, we breathe more than we eat and we breathe more than we drink, which in turn means that we’re constantly breathing in the toxic chemicals of traditional household cleaners day-in and day-out.
FACT: The U.S. General Accounting Office has called indoor air pollution "one of the most serious environmental risks to human health,'' yet no agency has authority to control pollutants in indoor air.
So, how do children and pets fair in the world of toxic household cleaners? Pound for pound children breathe in more air than adults, which means they’re exposed to more toxins. As if that weren’t bad enough, the breathing “zone” (2 feet or less from the floor) for small children and pets is often more dangerous because many chemicals are heavier than the surrounding air and therefore they tend to linger longer in this “zone”. And young kids are more sensitive because they are still developing the basic body systems: the brain, internal organs, respiratory and immune systems are not fully developed until adolescence.
A must watch video for everyone, especially parents!
- Of Chemicals commonly found in homes, 150 have been linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer, and psychological abnormalities. - - - Consumer Product Safety Commission
- 1 out of 13 school age children have Asthma and Asthma rates in children under five years of age increased 160% since 1980.
- 90% of all reported poison exposures occur in the home due to household cleaners.
- Bleach is linked to rising rates of breast cancer in women. Bleach is linked to reproductive problems in men. Bleach is linked to learning and behavioral problems in children.
- Toxic chemicals in household cleaners is 3 times more likely to cause cancer than outdoor air.
- One out of three cleaning products contains ingredients known to cause human health or environmental problems. - - - GovPro.com - “Purchasers Buy Safer, Effective, and Affordable Commercial Cleaning Chemicals.”
- The use of an air freshener in a child’s room along with an air purifier that creates ozone can result in formaldehyde levels 25 percent higher than the state recommends. - - - University of California-Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
A connection has been made regarding the use of air fresheners in the home with an increased risk of earache and stomach in babies. It’s also been noted that new mothers suffered from more headaches and depression if they heavily relied on commonly available air fresheners to keep air pleasantly scented. - - - Brunel University (UK)
Additional FACT: Many air fresheners DO NOT “purify” the surrounding air, but in fact, interfere with the ability to smell by coating the nasal passage with an oil film, or by releasing a nerve deadening agent and may contain hormone disrupting phthalates.
- Babies that were frequently exposed to aerosols were 1 out of 5 times more likely to suffer from stomach disorders, diarrhea and cramps. - - - Bristol University
- Many scientists and doctors are discovering that there is a connection between our increased use of household chemicals and the increased incidence of chronic illnesses in children like cancer, asthma, ADD, birth defects, and a host of other problems. - - - Author and toxics expert Debra Lynn Dadd
- Another major concern is that many cleaning chemicals contain respiratory irritants. Even short-term exposure to cleaning agents can trigger asthmatic attacks. - - C. E. Mapp, V. Pozzato, V. Pavoni, and G. Gritti, “Severe Asthma and ARDS Triggered by Acute Short-Term Exposure to Commonly Used Cleaning Detergents,” European Respiratory Journal 16, 3 (September 2000): 570–72.)
- Mount Sinai School of Medicine tested 2,500 volunteers (none of which worked with chemicals) for more than 200 industrial chemicals which they are exposed to in their daily lives. Tests found 167 chemicals in the bodies of the volunteers, with 53 known to cause cancer in humans or animals, 94 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, 79 cause birth defects or abnormal development and others are linked to an array of health problems affecting the nervous, reproductive, hormonal, cardiovascular and immune systems. - - - Jane Kay, a Chronicle Staff Writer for the San Francisco Chronicle
- Women who work at home have a 54% higher death rate from cancer than those who work away from home. The 15-year study concluded it was as a direct result of the much higher exposure rate to toxic chemicals in common household products. - - Toronto Indoor Air Conference 1990
- "A child is accidentally poisoned every 30 seconds at home...” - - - U.S. Poison Control Centers
- When cleaning products and air fresheners are used indoors, occupants are exposed to airborne chemicals, potentially leading to health risks. - - - California Environmental Protection Agency
- The Average American Uses about 25 Gallons of toxic, hazardous chemical products per year in their home and a major portion of these can be found in household cleaning products. - - - "Prosperity Without Pollution," by Joel S. Hirschorn and Kirsten V. Oldenburg, 1991
- The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission cannot restrict or ban a product once it is on the market until such a time that it can show a significant risk and that the benefits of regulation outweigh the costs.
People simply assume that products on store shelves have been tested for safety issue, but the truth is that these products aren’t closely regulated by any government agency. Although labels are required to provide hazard symbols like "poison" and "flammable", and must provide information about first aid treatments for those ingredients, there are no requirements mandated for them to state such things as “may cause long-term health effects.
Why didn’t anyone ever tell you that:
- Most manufacturing facilities are mandated to have their employees wear protective gear when handling many of the same chemicals that you use in your home on a daily basis.
- Many so-called “green” cleaning products may actually be creating the same harmful environment in your home as their traditional cleaning counterparts.
- The manufacturing of cleaning products is virtually unregulated, and that manufacturers can make claims of being “green” without verification.
- Many air fresheners DO NOT “purify” the surrounding air, but in fact, interfere with the ability to smell by coating the nasal passage with an oil film, or by releasing a nerve deadening agent and may contain hormone disrupting phthalates.
Did you know:
The majority of adults have no idea that the ingredients in cleaning products are not listed on their containers. Many simply believe that the manufacturing companies are required to disclose the chemical ingredients contained in their products. The truth of the matter is, manufacturers are only required to list the ingredients that are active disinfectants (because these are technically pesticides) or known to be acutely hazardous (which to them includes ingredients that cause fires or explosions but not those that cause cancer or developmental diseases). assume that everyone did check the labels on these products, would they really be able to tell which ingredients are harmful and which aren’t?
Most people believe that the government is regulating these products and therefore they feel safe. The United States government only regulates the product to the degree that it does what it says it does. For example, if a product is supposed to whiten, then they are suppose to make sure that it whitens it, and not to the degree that it may harm human health or the environment. In fact, our own government regulations are so lax that some cleaning products contain ingredients banned in other countries.
Although manufacturers of household cleaners are not required to disclose the chemical ingredients in their products nor the health risks in which they pose, they are required to post upon these cleaners a WARNING label if they contain known hazardous chemicals - the warning label must clearly describe any potential risks, along with precautionary steps and first-aid instructions. Simply put, the more serious the safety warning on a product, the more likely that it poses risks to your health and the environment.
Definitions of Household Cleaner “WARNING” Labels in Lehman Terms
A product that is highly toxic, and can cause injury or death if ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin.
A product that is either highly toxic, flammable, or corrosive. It also means the product could poison you, cause serious damage to your skin or eyes, or easily cause a fire.
WARNING and CAUTION
Indicates that a product is toxic, corrosive, reactive or flammable. For example, Warning: May be fatal or cause blindness if swallowed.
A product that is Poisonous or causes long-term illness (such as cancer). Bad for both people and the environment.
A product that eats through many materials and destroys tissue.
A product that causes injury or inflammation upon contact.
A chemical that causes a substantial proportion of exposed people to develop an allergic reaction in normal tissue after repeated exposure to the chemical.
Thinking that the only possible solution to making your home a healthier home is to buy some so-called “green” cleaning products? Think again!
Definitions of “GREEN” Terminology In Lehman Terms
While the term implies that the product will cause no harm to the consumer or environment, there is currently no standard definition for the term nontoxic or non-toxic and unless otherwise specified by a highly regarded, independent third party organization.
While the term implies that the product is made of or includes natural ingredients which are not harmful, the term alone means absolutely nothing because a standard definition for “natural” currently does not exist in the industry. Furthermore, the term “natural” doesn’t mean it’s less toxic.
Environmentally Friendly. While the term implies that the product has some environmental benefit or that it causes no harm to the environment, unless this phrase has been verified by an independent organization such as Green Seal, then the term should be considered unverifiable.
While this term is confusingly multifaceted (i.e. aerobically - with oxygen or anaerobically - without oxygen, or biomineralisation - in which organic matter is converted into minerals, or biosurfactant - an extracellular surfactant secreted by microorganisms, enhances the biodegradation process and so on), in the cleaning industry, any cleaning product used in your home should become biodegradable within three days. Were you aware that it takes approximately 500 years for a plastic bottle to become biodegradable?