Be Safe, Go Green, Get Clean

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According to a 15-year study presented at the Toronto Indoor Air Conference, women who work at home have a 54% higher death rate than cancer than those who work away from home. The study concluded that this was a direct result of the increased exposure to toxic chemicals, many of which are found in common household products. Of the 75,000 registered chemicals, only a fraction has been tested for human health concerns. Furthermore, more than 9 out of every 10 suspected poison exposures occurs at home with household products.

We believe your home should be the safest place in the whole world.

Below we expose some of the harmful and toxic chemicals lurking under your sink and in your laundry room. All Purpose Cleaners: Many popular household cleaning solutions like Fantastik & Formula 409 contain a synthetic solvent and grease cutter called butyl cellosolve. This hazardous petroleum-based chemical contains neurotoxins and can irritate your skin and eyes. Plus, repeated exposure to it can cause permanent liver and kidney damage, and impair the body's ability to replenish blood supply. Many all-purpose cleaners may also contain synthetic solvents that can cause hormonal disruptions. As butyl cellosolve are neurotoxins and nasal irritants, another toxin, morpholine, can cause liver or kidney damage.

Bathroom Cleaners: Traditional scouring cleansers like Ajax & Comet contain crystalline silica, an eye, skin and lung irritant, classified as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" by the National Institute of Environmental Health Science.

Some tub, tile, and sink cleaners may contain chlorine and may contribute to the formation of organochlorines, a dangerous class of compounds that can cause reproductive, endocrine, and immune system disorders. Some may also contain phosphoric acid, which is corrosive in high concentrations and is an eye, skin, and respiratory irritant.

Glass Cleaners: Window cleaning sprays like Windex & Glass Plus contain ammonia, a suffocating gas, irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract. Many, like Windex and Glass Plus, contain butyl cellulosolve, a neurotoxin that's easily absorbed through the skin.

Laundry Detergent: Most well known powders like Tide, All, Gain & Dash contain corrosives that can burn the eyes and skin. Other chemicals include sodium bisulfate (a corrosive that can cause severe eye, skin and respiratory irritation), ethoxylated alcohols (which may contain I, 4-dioxane, and is "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.")

Many laundry powders also contain irritants that can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled-a common cause of allergic response. Triethanolamine dodecylbenzenesulfonate is such an irritant, and is on the EPA and DOT hazardous substances list. Contact can irritate and burn the skin and eyes, breathing it can irritate the nose, throat and lungs causing coughing, wheezing and / or shortness of breath. Repeated skin contact may cause dryness, itching, chronic irritation, and rash.

Automatic Dishwashing Detergent: Two of the best selling brands of automatic dishwashing detergents, Cascade & Sun Light, contain phosphates and chlorine – two extremely toxic chemicals. Chlorine fumes are released in the steam that leaks out of the dishwasher, and they are highly irritating to the eyes, throat and respiratory tract. Inhaling them can cause headaches, burning eyes, and breathing difficulties. Phosphates released into the environment rob lakes and ponds of oxygen, leading to the suffocation of aquatic plants and animals and creating algae.

So, if you want a safe, non-toxic home, look at natural alternatives that are just as effective as their toxic counterparts.

Copyright (c) 2008 Shelby Steinborn

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