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Commercial home cleaning products are not just more expensive when compared with natural alternatives. They are full of toxins known to affect your skin, lungs, nervous system, and even your endocrine and reproductive systems. These dangerous toxins invade your body either through the fumes they create or direct contact with your skin.

The Dirty Truth about Cleaning Chemicals

Most of us grew up believing it was important to have a clean, shiny germ-free home, and our cabinets contained an array of colorful, fragrant liquids and powders. We never considered that these could be harmful to our family’s health; promoting allergies, cancer and other disease. The following are in household cleaners, but other toxins in your home can come from carpet cleaning chemicals, new furniture and flooring, and pesticides.

  • Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs), common in detergents and disinfectants, can disrupt hormones.
  • Ammonia is poisonous when swallowed, extremely irritating to respiratory passages when inhaled and can burn the skin on contact.
  • Antibacterial cleansers containing triclosan may be contributing to the rise of antibiotic resistant germs.
  • Butyl cellosolve (aka butyl glycol, ethylene glycol monobutyl) is a lung-tissue irritant and poisonous if swallowed.
  • Chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite), an all-purpose whitening agent, can irritate the lungs and eyes and in waterways can become toxic organochlorines.
  • Diethanolamine (DEA) can combine with nitrosomes (often-undisclosed preservatives) to produce carcinogenic nitrosamines that penetrate skin.
  • Fragrance frequently contains phthalates, chemicals linked to reproductive abnormalities and liver cancer in lab animals and to asthma in children. This is why you should never spray commercial air fresheners or use plug-ins.
  • Phosphates soften water for detergents but contribute to algae blooms in our waterways, which can kill off fish populations.
  • Sodium hydroxide, found in drain, metal and oven cleaners, is extremely irritating to eyes, nose and throat and can burn those tissues on contact.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate, a common sudsing agent, can penetrate the skin and cause contact dermatitis.

Toxic cleaning products not only affect your health; they find their way from home drains or garbage cans to the soil, drinking water, and air – affecting all humans, animals, and plants. The good news is that you can make your own non-toxic cleaning products at home with ingredients you probably already have. This will not only save you money; it can improve your health.


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