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Toxic Versus Green Clean

13 Sep 2019 7:21 PM | Cindee Moyer

For some homes, green cleaning means that they only use substances like baking soda, ​vinegar, and lemons to clean their home. This list includes natural green cleaners. Some households may seek out manufactured green cleaning products that are healthy for the environment (some are greener than others ). When you change to  a green cleaning product, it is a good idea to avoid phosphates, chlorine, artificial fragrances, and artificial colors. [1]

     The average household contains about 62 toxic chemicals, per the experts.  Phthalates are in fragrances, and are linked to disease processes in the human body. They are known endocrine disruptors and also are linked to lower sperm counts in men. Exposure to phthalates is through inhalation and skin.  Healthier choices are fragrance free products or green products that use plant based fragrance enhancers.[2]

     Triclosan is a strong antibacterial agent that can promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria.  The Environmental Protection Agency is currently looking into whether Triclosan is an endocrine disrupter and a probable carcinogen. It also can be found in rivers and streams, where it is toxic to algae.  Healthier choices include simple detergents and soaps with nontoxic ingredients. [2]

     Ammonia is a common agent in many commercial cleaning products used for bathroom fixtures, sinks, windows, and jewelry.  When inhaled, it is a powerful irritant linked to asthma and worsening chronic lung diseases. It can create a poisonous gas when mixed with bleach.  A healthier choice may be Vodka, as it produces a reflective shine on any metal or mirrored surface. [2]

     Manufacturers say that in small amounts the toxic agents wont be a problem. It is hard to gauge how repeated exposure may contribute to disease processes. While some of the products cause immediate issues, like lung irritation, headaches, or skin burns, chronic exposure to the products leas to a "toxic burden" with more serious physical consequences. [2]

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