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Cleaning products to avoid if you have allergies

Most household cleaning products are harmful to children. According to research done by the University of Minnesota [1], several chemicals found in the home are linked to allergies.

Most household cleaning products are harmful to children. According to research done by the University of Minnesota [1], several chemicals found in the home are linked to allergies. They cause birth defects, cancer, and psychological disorders. The Consumer Protection Safety Commission [2] states that since 1970, asthma cases have increased by 59 percent. Children under 15 years of age have suffered from asthma at a higher rate of 41 percent. The data is alarming to healthcare professionals.

Chemical Ingredients to Avoid Found in Household Cleaning Products:

Formaldehyde

The Agency for Toxic Substance & Disease Registry (ATSDR) [3] states that if exposure to formaldehyde is high, it will irritate the upper respiratory tract including the eyes, ears, nose, and throat when you inhale the chemical. It could lead to nose and throat cancer. It causes skin irritation. If it gets taken orally, it will inflame the gastrointestinal tract. Small cases have reported occupational asthma, but it is rare.

Using products with formaldehyde can increase the concentration levels indoors that could be a potential hazard. Formaldehyde is a type of flammable gas that is colorless at room temperature. According to the ATSDR, consideration of individual factors has to be examined to detect the level of harm the substance will cause. Formaldehyde produces itself naturally by plants, animals, and humans.

You can get exposed to formaldehyde by breathing it in, ingesting it, or by skin contact. You can find it in wood products, automobile exhaust, and cigarette smoke. You can also find it in paints, varnishes, commercial cleaning products, and permanent press fabrics.

When you breathe in the substance, it will only enter your blood at high levels and goes to your respiratory tract. When you ingest it via food or water, it will enter your body through the digestive tract. When you use cleaning liquids with the substance, it will enter your system by way of the skin.

Ammonia

You can become blind, get lung damage or die from excessive exposure to Ammonia. A mild exposure will result in coughing, nose and throat irritation. If you swallow the chemical, your mouth and throat will burn. It will also cause stomach irritation.

Ammonia is poisonous to children under the age of six. It is a colorless gas that has a piercing and suffocating scent. It exists in nature as well as in the human body. It aids the body in making protein and other molecules. You can find it in fertilizer, water purification system, plastics, and explosives. It also exists in pesticides, fabrics, dyes, liquid dish soaps, and other chemicals. Most people get exposed to ammonia by breathing in the fumes.

According to the New York State Department of Health [4], ammonia damages the cells in the body if you breathe, swallow or come into contact with it via the skin. The damages depend on how severe the exposure is. Your eyes, nose, and throat, will burn.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)

According to Dr. Mercola [5], prolonged exposure to SLS can cause damage to the hair, skin, and eyes. It can also cause immunological problems as well as cancer. At a high concentration, SLS can irritate the eyes. It is a foaming agent that you can find in most detergents, soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, and other personal care products.

Dr. Mercola further states that the effect of slathering certain commercial chemicals on your skin is more damaging than eating them. When you eat the chemicals, the saliva and the enzymes contained in your stomach help to break them down and flush them out of your body.

On the other hand, when you come in contact with them via your skin, the chemicals get absorbed directly into your bloodstream. There is nothing to filter out the chemicals, so they find their way to your organs. They will sit and accumulate in your delicate organs for long periods and eventually become toxic.

It is paramount that you protect your skin. It guards the internal organs against harmful infections. It gets rid of waste via perspiration. The skin acts as a barrier to harmful bacteria. It is a haven for friendly bacteria, and it also keeps your body temperature normal. If you expose it to harmful chemicals, it may not function optimally.

Alternative but Healthy Ways to Clean

Even if the product has a claim to be natural, it is still advisable to read the label. You can make your cleaning agents using natural ingredients. To make a glass cleaner, you can mix one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice into one quart of water. Spray it on the glass, and use a soft cloth to clean it.

You can make furniture polish by mixing one teaspoonful of lemon juice with one pint of mineral or vegetable oil.

Getting rid of the odor from carpets does not have to involve toxic chemicals. You can sprinkle baking soda on the affected area and let it sit for fifteen minutes. Vacuum the area afterward.

Substitute mothballs with cedar chips, lavender flowers, rosemary, mint, or white peppercorns.

Conclusion

It is annoying enough to have to deal with allergies. Adding to the symptoms will only compound your problems. Instead of using harsh chemicals with formaldehyde, ammonia, and SLS, it is wise to use all-natural ingredients instead. To be sure that the cleaning agents are free of chemicals, you can make them yourself by using natural products that you have in your kitchen. Using natural products can help to reduce asthma cases and other respiratory illnesses.

Further Reading:

  1. The Household Toxins Institute, “The Health and Environmental Hazards Hidden in Traditional Household Cleaning Products,” http://www.tc.umn.edu/~angv0004/HealthHazards.pdf

  2. Consumer Protection Safety Commission, “Biological Pollutants in the Home” http://www.cpsc.gov/safety-education/safety-guides/home/biological-pollutants-in-your-home/

  3. Agency for Toxic Substance & Disease Registry, “Public Health Statement for Formaldehyde,” September 2008, http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/phs/phs.asp?id=218&tid=39

  4. New York State Department of Health, “The Facts about Ammonia,” https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/chemical_terrorism/ammonia_general.htm

  5. Mercola.com, “Deadly and Dangerous Shampoos, Toothpastes, and Detergents: Could 16,000 Studies Be Wrong about SLS?,” July 13, 2010, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/07/13/sodium-lauryl-sulfate.aspx

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