Did you know that many of the products we use routinely to clean our homes contain toxic chemicals? I didn't until I started reading about it. Did you know that our government allows this? These include glass cleaners, scouring powders, general purpose cleaners, toilet cleaners, carpet spot removers, oven cleaners and degreasing products. Some of the ingredients in these products, such as chlorine, solvents, caustics, chemical disinfectants and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), have been found to cause eye and throat irritation as well as more serious long term respiratory diseases and cancer. They also contribute to indoor air pollution.
Before you use a product, think about the residue that will remain on surfaces, on clothing, on your skin and in the air. These exposures are not insignificant. Cleaning and washing products can also contaminate our drinking water supplies when they are rinsed down drains and flushed down toilets. Recent studies have shown that when liquid laundry detergents are discharged into rivers and other bodies of water, they interfere with reproductive function in marine life. There are currently over 85,000 chemicals and chemical compounds that ate allowed by the government and about 1000 are added every year.
So what can we do? Are we at the mercy of these products? Well first of all - don't panic. You're not going to die tomorrow but it is a worry. You can start by using only products that are labeled 'green'. That is - they are natural and many of them clean even better than their chemical twin.
So why doesn't everyone? Well for one they are more expensive and for another the 'chemical' business is a multi-billion dollar industry and as they say - money talks. Avoid products labeled Danger , Poison , or Warning and work outside or provide fresh air if you must use a strong product to get the job done. Another choice is to make your own cleaners from simple food ingredients (such as vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice).
A Grassroots Tip: regular cooking oil removes paint from hands better than paint thinner or turpentine If you prefer to purchase alternative products, Veruni Natural Cleaning and Personal Products offer a large selection of safe products for most household cleaning needs. Whatever you choose to do just choose wisely. It will go along way in helping improve the quality of life in your family, for your pets and for the environment. PRODUCTS Veruni Natural Home Cleaning Products - Safe for your family, pets and the environment READING LIST Safe Shoppers Bible by David Steinman and Samuel Epstein (Macmillan 1995) Green and Clean: The Complete Guide to Non-Toxic and Environmentally Safe Housekeeping by Annie Berthold-Bond (Ceres Press 1994) Raising Healthy Children in a Toxic World by Philip Landrigan, Herbert Needleman and Mary Landrigan (Rodale, 2001) Home Safe Home: Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Everyday Toxics and Harmful Household Products in the Home by Debra Dadd-Redalia and Debra Lynn Dadd (J.
P. Tarcher, 1997) ©Kathy Wozniak.
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