What's Hiding Under Your Sink?
We all want to feel safe in our homes, but most people are unaware that many popular products we have in our homes do more harm than good.
Which products in our homes are unsafe?
Degreasers can damage lung tissues and dissolve fatty tissue surrounding nerve cells. Drain and toilet bowl cleaners can be harmful simply by breathing during use and fatal if swallowed. Oven cleaners can cause severe damage to the eyes, skin, mouth and throat. Chlorine Bleach is highly corrosive and extremely reactive. It was listed as a hazardous pollutant in the 1990 Clean Air Act and is the chemical most frequently involved in household poisonings in the United States. Additional examples include window cleaners, carpet cleaners, mold & mildew cleaners, germ killers and fragrances.
Did you know? 9 of 10 suspected poison exposures occur at home with household cleaning products. A 15-year study released at the Toronto Indoor Air Conference found that women who work at home had a 54% higher death rate from cancer than those who worked outside the home. This study concluded the deaths were a direct result of increased exposure to toxic chemicals with many found in common household cleaning products. The Consumer Products Safety Commission reports that "of chemicals commonly found in homes, 150 have been linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological abnormalities."
What other choices do we have?
Here are three simple steps to create a healthier home:
1. Get Educated and Read Labels. Several popular cleaning products contain warnings that the products are dangerous, poisonous or flammable. You probably need a magnifying glass to read the labels on personal care products, but check them as well. Visit the National Institute of Health's Household Products Database, www.householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov to find out what is in your home. You can search by product name, ingredient, manufacturer, and health effect.
2. Take action. Apply a safer, more natural standard for the things you choose for your home and personal care. There are now products that are safe, powerful, green and smart so you can make greener choices without sacrificing convenience or budget.
3. Dispose of hazardous waste properly. Contact your local sanitation department and ask them how to dispose of hazardous waste safely.