Cleaning

by Ms. S on December 7, 2009

Please note that this section contains my personal notes from my readings on this topic.

Cleaning with nontoxic ingredients is one of the most important things you can do for your family’s health.  It is also one of the easiest.

– Healthy Child Healthy World (2008) by Christopher Gavigan, page 37

Studies have shown that women who work inside the home have significantly higher cancer rates than those who don’t. Repeated exposure to cleaning products is one of the contributing factors. (”Squeaky Green” p47)

  • Many of the ingredients in cleaning products are “endocrine or hormone disrupters,” which can mimic estrogen in the body. This is not a good thing because estrogen imbalances have been linked to breast cancer. (“Squeaky Green” p47)
  • Chlorine bleach is a dangerous chemical to keep in your home and is a registered pesticide. According to the EPA, 26,338 children were exposed to or poisoned by household chlorine bleach in 2002. That’s a high toll to pay for the belief that our whites will be whiter. (“Squeaky Green” p110). Instead of chlorine or ammonia, green products’ active ingredients are likely to be hydrogen peroxide or soap.

  • Floor cleaners contain toxic chemicals. The active chemicals in many common floor cleaners are chemicals that are known toxins. Two of the worst actors, 2-butoxyethanol and methoxyethoxy ethanol, have been linked to developmental and fertility problems, birth defects, as well as short-term problems, birth defects, as well as short-term problems like nose and throat irritation and headaches. There’s more: some of the chemicals in floor cleaners are VOCs, and contribute to the same air-pollution problems seen in city traffic. (“Squeaky Green” p62)
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