The Dirt on Household Cleaners: Hazardous or Beneficial?

Are you ready for the Spring Cleaning? What cleaning products do you use to make your home clean and sparkle? Without realizing it, people have put health hazards in their homes while using many popular cleaners. Additionally, they may use spray bottles with these potentially toxic chemicals that go into the air they breathe. With tiny droplets and residue, the risks are substantially increased from asthma to cancer.

What’s hiding in those “cleaning agents”?

Toxic ingredients in household cleaning products contain carcinogens, i.e., cancer-causing chemicals, in addition to endocrine disrupters and neurotoxins. Several carcinogens, classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), are commonly found in household cleaners. Here are some examples:

A carpet cleaner may contain perchlorethylene, a known carcinogen.
A paint stripper may contain methylene chloride, listed as a possible human carcinogen.
Moth balls and moth crystals contain either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, listed as a possible human carcinogen.
Laundry detergents may contain trisodium nitrilotriacetate (NTA), listed as a possible human carcinogen.

Other known carcinogens such as benzene, formaldehyde, vinyl chloride, and carbon tetrachloride are also present in household cleaning products. (Learn more about their cancer-causing properties in this in-depth article “Eliminate Cancerous Roots in Our Homes”)

The ugly truth is that it often takes years and decades to develop cancer, through continual exposure to hazardous chemicals or even possibly long after chronic exposure. It’s such a sad consequence, given the fact that, with the right knowledge, we can control the exposure and avoid cancer risks discussed here.

What paths do these toxins travel?

1. They can remain on any surface you’ve cleaned.
2. They can enter your body via inhalation, contact, or possible ingestion.
3. For a pregnant woman, these chemicals or toxins can migrate through her own body into that of her baby, where they can damage the developing brain or other organs. As a result, a baby could be born with a defect or illness.
4. They can cycle back into your home. Although you may feel safe after watching the used chemicals disappear down the drain or toilet, it is possible for them to leach back into the tap water systems.

The point is — Even if the amounts are tiny, they can build up over time, contaminating the water we use to drink or cook, shower in, and wash our clothes and dishes. So, make sure what you’re using at home is safe, not just convenient. Think before you pour any chemicals down the drain.

More importantly, take action to protect yourself and your loved ones. Go through your household cleaners, such as bathroom disinfectants, glass cleaners, drain cleaners, oven cleaners, dish detergents, garden pesticides, paints, paint strippers, stain removers, furniture polish, detergents, degreasers, and even flea powders. Check to see if any toxic and cancerous ingredients are present, and safely eliminate them.

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