In the past two centuries, most families have transitioned from home-made concoctions for the convenience of store-bought and ready to use aggressive chemical mixtures. What is known today as traditional products, like ammonia, bleach, and other cleaners (with warning labels on the back!) are not as traditional as they seem. Cleaning supplies that were in use before the advent of synthetic commercial products include baking soda, vinegar, soap, and hot water. So-called traditional cleaning products are really just based on older formulas that use natural ingredients. If people were to return to the original chemistry, that is, the original ingredients, our homes would be cleaner without polluting. Cheap conventional chemicals do their job well but sadly carry hidden costs that most people are unaware of.
The hidden costs of conventional cleaning products are mostly health-related. We deaden our nerves and coat our nasal passages through air-fresheners that contain a pesticide! Methoxychlor, formaldehyde, and phenol are not good for our bodies at all.
The latter can cause swelling, burning, and peeling of our skin, and some people have even be known to break out in hives. We put our eyes, respiratory tract, and skin in risk with ammonia only because we thought it would disinfect our homes. We damage livers through skin absorption of antibacterial cleaners like triclosan.
We use a corrosive without care, even though it has the capacity to irritate or burn our skin, and if it accidently gets mixed with the aforementioned ammonia, its deadliness is comparable to Agent Orange (a weapon of war!). Chlorine is a common household product today, but it was originally the first agent for chemical warfare. After the Second World War, there was too much of the stuff. It became added to the water supply and many things we buy and use everyday. Public swimming pools use chlorine to keep the water clean without even considering the synergistic effects it can have on people because of chlorine’s ability to react to such things as cosmetics and urine. The use of chlorine has, indeed, been linked to cancer.
Talking about synergistic effects, consider all the residues that are left by dishwasher detergents and laundry room products. They are harmful if swallowed, and heat makes it easier to get into our bodies. People have allergies, itches, sinus and skin problems, yet product-use isn’t really questioned so much by the public. There have been introduced more than 80,000 synthetic chemicals since World War II and there is a big lack of information on more than 80% of these. Just because something is sold does not mean that it is safe!
If you have a chemically well-stocked home, minimize your use of these products. Consider disposing of them at a facility that can receive hazardous waste. Clean any spills quickly. The most important thing is to read! Following the directions on each label so that you can do your best to avoid any unwarranted risks. Conventional cleaning solutions must be seen as latent problems that we need to protect our homes, families, and pets from as much as possible. If enough people realize the truth, one day we may see a drastic change in the future in our lives (and for those who are yet to be born!). For more information about the risks of conventional cleaning products and alternative solutions check out this Chicago cleaning services website.