Tips for living a less toxic, healthier lifestyle - Part Three
Clean up your cleaning products
We’ve all been working hard to reduce the amount of single-use plastics we use in our home cleaning routine; swapping plastic spray bottles for refillable glass options and ditching regular sponges for washable ones instead. But packaging aside, when it comes to your weekly scrub, have you considered the environmental impact of the cleaning chemicals themselves?
We think that we need to use harsh, toxic ingredients to kill bacteria and cut through the build-up of daily grease and grime, but it’s simply not true.
What’s more, it’s become apparent that consistently using petrochemicals, detergents and chemical disinfectants can do more harm than good – both for the environment and for us.
When I walk down the laundry/cleaning aisle of any large grocery chain I am overwhelmed by the heavy artificial fragrances and chemical smells emanating from these products. These products are sealed so can you imagine what they smell like when you open them.
Why do cleaning products smell so strongly?
Because there are large amounts of artificial fragrances needed to mask the smell of the chemicals.
Take a look at your household items like shampoo, surface spray or laundry detergent. Now flip it over and read the ingredients. Look towards the bottom of the list and you might see the word “fragrance” or “perfume”. Seems simple right? Wrong.
Unfortunately, these hidden chemicals contain phthalates which can cause myriad of health issues. While you might assume that “fragrance” is just one ingredient, it’s actually anywhere from 1 to over 3,000 chemicals that companies are not obligated to share with consumers.
The Environmental Protection Agency ranks indoor air pollution among the top environmental dangers, and much of this pollution comes from common cleaning products (or what we’ll call “indoor pollutants”). Immediate effects of exposure to indoor pollutants can include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as exacerbated symptoms of asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Long-term effects (following long or repeated exposure to indoor pollutants) include respiratory diseases, heart disease, and even cancer.
Clearly, the side effects of using synthetic fragrances are evident, so what do we do about it?
We work on transitioning our household items to fragrance-free or natural fragrance options. Just because they are natural, doesn't mean they don't smell amazing!
It's time to take your health and well being into consideration when selecting cleaning products as well as the environment.