Are Your Household Cleaning Products Harming You and the Environment?

Are Your Household Cleaning Products Harming You and the Environment
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, at no cost to you. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we make a small commission. Read our full disclosure for more information. 

Did you know that there are dangerous chemicals lurking in your everyday household cleaning products? Well have no fear! Here we will break it down for you, and recommend safer alternatives for you and the environment!

What are the impacts on health?

Multiple studies have found a correlation between some household cleaning products and asthma. A recent Canadian study found that young children exposed to higher levels of household cleaning products had higher chances of developing asthma.

What’s more? This Canadian study examined infant exposure to 26 different types of household cleaning products over a seven-year period. The cleaning products included dishwashing soap, laundry detergents, disinfectants, polishes and air fresheners.

The study found that the first few months of a newborn’s life are vital for the development of their immune and respiratory systems. Wheezing and asthma in children were found to be more common in households that frequently used these specific products: liquid or solid air fresheners, plug-in deodorizers, dusting sprays, antimicrobial hand sanitizers and oven cleaners. Infants spend most of their time indoors; therefore, they come into regular contact with household surfaces which may expose them to chemicals.

What’s more? Another study examined the use of household cleaning products and the development of asthma in adults. This European study,examined over 3000 people, who did not have asthma, and their use of 15 different household cleaning products over an average of 9 years.

Participants who used cleaning sprays once a week showed asthma symptoms or wheezing. Those who used cleaning sprays 4 times a week were much more likely to be diagnosed with asthma. The products that were most likely to cause asthma were glass-cleaning, furniture, and air-refreshing sprays. This study concluded that the frequent use of household cleaning sprays can put people at risk of developing adult asthma.

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What are the impacts on the environment?

Household cleaning products contain chemicals that are also damaging towards the environment. In particular, these toxic chemicals can have very dangerous health effects for the reproductive systems in fish and other aquatic animals. Some chemical can even can cause a decline in oxygen levels and kill fish (1).  

In 2005, a freight train derailed near Squamish BC, Canada, and spilled 41,000 liters of sodium hydroxide into the Cheakamus River Canyon. The spill killed almost all the fish in the area. Over 500,000 fish died. This shows how toxic sodium hydroxide is to the environment (2).

Sodium Hydroxide can be found in oven cleaners, bathroom cleaners, disinfectants, drain openers, and toilet bowl cleaners. Just think what it could be doing to your body. It is a highly corrosive material that can damage your nasal passages and cause chronic skin irritation (2).

It is estimated that it may take over 50 years for the Cheakamus River Canyon and it’s aquatic life to recover from the spill. Chemicals found in household cleaning products can cleary be very toxic (2).

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What are the Alternatives?

There are more and more natural alternatives coming out to replace chemical cleaning products that are damaging for your health and for the environment. Here are three alternative natural cleaning brands.

1) Mrs. Meyer’s

This band offers a number of cleaning products including air fresheners, laundry detergents, dish soap and all-purpose cleaning sprays. Their products use plant-derived ingredients and essential oils for a powerful clean and for a natural scents. Their detailed ingredient list can be found on their website. For an extra bonus, their products are not tested on animals. 

2) Better Life

This is another all natural brand of cleaning products, They have plant-derived, environmentally friendly cleaners with natural scents. Their products are cruelty free and non-toxic. They offer a wide range of products such as all-purpose cleaners, laundry detergents, and microfiber cleaning cloths and mop pads to name a few.

3) Method

This is another brand that provides a number of cleaning products such as all-purpose cleaners, cleaning wipes, bathroom cleaners and floor cleaners. This brand also uses plant-based ingredients in their cleaning supplies. They are very climate conscious and animal friendly.

Final Words

Remember: there are always better and safer alternatives out there! What alternative cleaning products will you try?

Live Well Settled.

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, at no cost to you. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we make a small commission. Read our full disclosure for more information. This website is a participant in the Indigo Affiliate Program which allows it to earn commissions from Indigo if you make a purchase on indigo.ca after linking through this website. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Sources 

(2) B.C. river’s recovery from spill could take decades | CBC News. (2006, February 7). Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/b-c-river-s-recovery-from-spill-could-take-decades-1.578776

Babies frequently exposed to cleaning products at higher risk of asthma: study | CBC News. (2020, February 19). Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/babies-cleaning-products-asthma-study-1.5467244

(1) THE DIRT ON TOXIC CHEMICALS. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://greencleanersassociation.ca/index.php/ct-menu-item-19/ct-menu-item-21/ct-menu-item-29

The Use of Household Cleaning Sprays and Adult Asthma An International Longitudinal Study. (2007). Retrieved from https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1164/rccm.200612-1793OC

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