Your Cleaning Supplies Can Make You Sick

Many popular cleaning supplies contain toxins that can make you sick. The problem, though, is that most Americans have so many different products that it can be an overwhelming task to go through all of them and decide what is safe to keep and what to ditch.
Here are some guidelines that can help you weed through the mess:

  • Instead of pledging simply to clean your home, think about unpolluting it. This will require going beyond the act of simply removing dirt and clutter to take a closer look at what you are using to do the tasks.
  • Tackle this challenge room by room and remember that it can take quite a while, so give yourself plenty of time. This can be a project done over several weeks or even months.
  • Consider organizing your products and supplies into piles that are environmentally friendly and those that contain chemicals. Then remove the latter group that will have no place in your soon-to-be-healthier lifestyle.
  • Look beyond your cleaning cabinets to include air fresheners, makeup, chemically-treated sheets, scented bath products, produce, meats and processed foods and a host of other products. Anything that requires special handling or ventilation is probably not a safe item to keep.
  • Make a list of the products you are getting rid of, then brainstorm some other, “greener” other ways you might be able to accomplish the same cleaning goals without the harmful effects.
  • Get used to reading labels when you shop, so from here on in you can make wise and healthful choices.
  • Remember that not everything touted as “environmentally-friendly actually fits the bill, so use your own judgment and if in doubt, do your research before you buy.

Types of Things to Avoid

If you aren’t sure exactly what kinds of toxins and other substances can trigger asthma and make you sick, here are some of the types of chemicals you will want to avoid:

  • Ammonia
  • Formaldehyde
  • Mothballs
  • Scented room sprays, lotions and bath products
  • Petrochemical-based products
  • Things treated in pesticides

Consider a Range of Healthier Alternatives

Just because you are cleaning your life of toxins doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your high standards for cleanliness. You just may need to get creative in figuring out some products that work for you without making you sick. Here are some ideas of things public health advocates suggest you can try:

  • Use apple cider vinegar mixed with water to clean your mirrors and other glass.
  • Buy cotton flannel sheets or percale sheets that aren’t treated with formaldehyde.
  • Clean your laundry, dishes and other areas of your home with products that are soap-based instead of those that use detergents made from petrochemicals. This is a much more healthful option.
  • Buy only disinfectants that are made with plant oils instead of pesticides.
  • Also select pesticide-free, organic food and produce.
  • Avoid permanent ink pens and markers that contain toxic solvents and instead opt for water-based writing materials.

Good for You and the Planet

The bottom line is that when you make choices that are good for your health, these items will be much more environmentally friendly, too. By reducing the amount of toxins you use on a daily basis, environmentalists point out that you will reduce the harmful effects such substances leave on our planet and will also be reducing the risk of asthma, cancer and other diseases for you and your family.