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As lives become busier, over-scheduled and more stressful, it’s easy to gravitate towards the latest products that promise to make annoying chores even easier. But have you ever wondered what that quick fix is costing you?
Unlike food, cleaning products because of proprietary law aren’t required to list ingredients, making it harder for us to make the right choice. Most conventional cleaning products are virtual chemical cocktails. But they work, so we keep using them to fight bacteria and add a clean scent to our home and laundry. But if you want to green your routine, you don’t have to sacrifice cleanliness—or even a pleasing scent. Natural solutions can actually clean more effectively, cost less, and keep your family healthier.
Phthalates are found in products containing synthetic fragrances, such as air fresheners, dish soap, even toilet paper. Companies often don’t disclose what is in their scent so you won’t find this ingredient on the label. However, if you see the word “fragrance”, there is a good chance phthalates are present.
Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors. Men with higher phthalate compounds in their blood had correspondingly reduced sperm counts, according to a 2003 study conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Harvard School of Public Health. Although exposure to phthalates mainly occurs through inhalation, it can also happen through skin contact, which is a significant problem. Skin, unlike the digestive system, has no real safeguards.
When possible choose fragrance-free or all-natural products. Bypass aerosol or plug-in air fresheners and instead use essential oils, open a window, or add plants to your home.
While essential oils have a pleasant smell, there are additional health benefits that should be considered.
- Essential oils can be used to purify the air in your home. Many essential oils such as Juniper Berry, Lemon, Lime, Melaleuca (Tea Tree), and specific blends like Purify and doTERRA On Guard contain aromatic compounds with cleansing properties.
- Essential oils can help open airways. doTERRA Breathe, Douglas Fir, Lavender, and Eucalyptus, just to name a few.
- Essential oils like Arborvitae, doTERRA Breathe, and doTERRA On Guard, can also minimize the effects of seasonal threats: Only a few drops of essential oil are needed when using an ultrasonic diffuser. This is a cost effective solution to harmful aerosol products.
Triclosan is found in most liquid dishwashing detergents and hand soaps labeled “antibacterial”. Triclosan is an aggressive antibacterial agent that can promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. The American Medical Association has found no evidence that these antimicrobials make us healthier or safer, and they’re particularly concerned about over use of antibacterial chemicals — that’s how microbes develop resistance. In addition, the EPA is currently investigating whether Triclosan has negative effects on thyroid hormones.
Avoid antibacterial products with Triclosan. If you’re hooked on hand sanitizer, try dōTERRA On Guard Sanitizing Mist. There are also simple alternatives to liquid dish washing detergents. The recipe above contains only four ingredients and is a natural solution that smells delicious.
2-butoxyethanol is the key ingredient in many window cleaners and gives them their characteristic sweet smell. It belongs in the category of “glycol ethers,” a set of powerful solvents. Law does not require 2-butoxyethanol to be listed on a product’s label. According to the EPA’s web site, in addition to causing sore throats when inhaled, at high levels glycol ethers can also contribute to narcosis, pulmonary edema, and severe liver and kidney damage. Although the EPA sets a standard on 2-butoxyethanol for workplace safety, if you’re cleaning at home in a confined area, like an unventilated bathroom, you can actually end up getting 2-butoxyethanol in the air at levels that are higher than workplace safety standards.”
Sodium Hydroxide is found in oven cleaners and drain openers. Otherwise known as lye, sodium hydroxide is extremely corrosive and can cause severe burns when used inappropriately. Research confirms that Easy-Off oven cleaner and Mr. Muscle oven and grill cleaner, for example, contain poisons that can cause difficulty breathing due to fumes as well as swelling in the throat.
Green cleaning products improve air quality indoors, lowering the health risks brought about by traditional cleaning products. It has been proven that using green products for cleaning can reduce health issues such as eye, respiratory and skin burns or irritations, allergies, headaches, chemical poisoning, nausea, and even reproductive hazards.
If you are concerned with money saving, then, green products are the best answer. Compared to other cleaning products, green cleaning products often cost less.
Many of you may still be asking “why should people start buying green products?” Well, the answer to this is quite simple, natural products should be used in your home in place of chemicals that can potentially endanger the health of you and your family.