Sunday, August 01, 2010

Are Your Laundry & Cleaning Soaps Safe?


Did you know that more people get sick or die from poisoning of common household products? These are products we use every day... on our clothes, our furniture and even the dishes we eat off of! Because we can never fully rinse these chemicals off, we tend to breathe them or taste them.

Because we are unable to feel, see, smell, or taste many household toxins at first contact, it is important to be aware of the most common household toxins and to proactively take measures to prevent or reduce our exposure to them.

The most common household toxins are as follows:

1. Triclosan:
Most commonly found in: many liquid soaps and in some deodorants, toothpastes, cosmetics, kitchenware, and children's toys.

2. Phthalates:

Linked to: endocrine, reproductive, and developmental problems.

Most commonly found in: vinyl flooring, plastic food packaging, plastic bags, plastic clothing, detergents, children's toys, shower curtains, and personal care products like soap, shampoo, nail polish, and hair spray.

3. Bisphenol A:
Linked to: endocrine problems.

Most commonly found in: food and drink containers, baby bottles, teethers, toys, metal food cans, and dental sealants used to prevent cavities.

4. Carbon monoxide:
Linked to: cardiovascular and nervous system failure.

Most commonly produced by: leaking furnaces and chimneys, gas stoves, wood stoves and fireplaces, back-drafting from gas water heaters, and auto exhaust from an attached garage or nearby traffic.

5. Perfluorinated chemicals:

Linked to: many different types of cancer and developmental problems in children.

Most commonly found in: teflon-coated cookware, microwave popcorn bags, and stain-guarded clothing, furniture, and carpets.

6. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs):

Linked to: reproductive, respiratory, neurological, and developmental problems. Also linked to different types of cancer.

Most commonly found in: air fresheners, hair spray, perfumes, cleaning products, paints, carpets, and furniture made out of pressed wood.

7. Radon:

Linked to: lung cancer.

Most commonly found in: confined spaces, the most common of which are poorly ventilated basements that have cracked walls and/or floors.

8. Lead:

Linked to: cancer, neurological dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, reproductive problems, and developmental problems in children.

Most commonly found in: lead plumbing pipes found in older homes, lead-based paint, crystal tableware, and some varieties of imported mini-blinds.

9. Pesticides and herbicides:

Most commonly found in: non-organic food supply, non-organic farming regions, and non-organic landscaped areas that are well maintained.

Although we are all at risk of experiencing health problems due to exposure to the household toxins listed above, particularly worrisome are the effects that these toxins may have on babies growing in their mothers' wombs.

A study conducted in 2004 by the Environmental Working Group found that umbilical cord blood from 10 newborns contained chemicals used in consumer products, pesticides, and by-products from gasoline, garbage, and the burning of coal.

Still, within the context of living emotionally balanced lives, we can significantly lower our risk of developing many different types of chronic disease by doing our best to avoid the most common sources of the toxins listed in this article.

Please check out the plant-derived cleaning products that Healthy Environments promotes. They work great!

Deborah Mumm,
The Allergy Queen
Plant based Cleaning Products

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