With a new season round the corner, it’s a great time to start making some small changes around the home for the better.
When we buy cleaning products for our home, we expect them to … clean! But while chemicals in our cleaners leave our home sparkling and germ free, they can also be poisonous when ingested, and harmful if they come into contact with our skin, or when we breathe them in.
A recent 2012 report by the United Nations and World Health Organisation found that many household and industrial chemicals could have disrupting effects on our hormone system leading to health problems such as breast cancer in women, prostate cancer, attention deficit and hyperactivity in children, and thyroid cancer. It found that close to 800 chemicals were known or suspected to interfere with our hormone system, but only a small fraction of these have been investigated in tests.
We can be exposed to a variety of toxic chemicals through our food, dust & water, inhaling gases & particles in the air and through skin contact. While we cannot avoid toxic chemicals in today’s world, it is extremely important that we try to minimise them where we can, in our everyday lives.
Why these common ingredients are getting some major attention.
Sulphates – when combined with other chemicals, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate can form nitrosamines, cancer causing carcinogens that penetrate the skin. You’ll find sulphates in a range of makeup , shampoo, conditioner & toothpaste too.
Diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA) – these can also form the same nitrosamines, cancer causing carcinogens that penetrate the skin.
Petroleum and petrochemicals – contain two cancer causing chemicals, Benzo-A-Pyrene and Benzo-B-Fluroanthene.
Chlorine or ammonia – these can cause respiratory and skin irritation and create toxic fumes if accidentally mixed together.
When in doubt, a great resource to check ingredients in your skincare, cosmetics and around the home is the EWG Database at www.ewg.org.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid all cleaners marked as poison. Most household cleaning can be done with soap, water, baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, borax and a decent dose of elbow grease. For convenience, however, I also keep a good range of ready to go cleaners.
Here are 3 products to help keep your home clean and green:
Abode Sensitive Dish Liquid: A fragrance free, lathering product that has been pH adjusted and formulated using plant-based ingredients, this dish washing liquid is particularly great for people with skin sensitivities. The unique formula using food grade ingredients does away with harmful chemicals such as cocobetaine, sodium lauryl sulphate and ethoxylated ingredients.
Abode Sensitive Laundry Liquid: This is a hypoallergenic laundry liquid specifically designed for babies and children, pregnant women and people with skin or chemical sensitivities. Free from all petrochemicals, phosphates, zeolites and chlorine which commonly affect people with sensitive skin, the Abode Laundry Liquid is perfect for the home without any environmental or physical health hazards.
Resparkle Sparkling Clean Home Kit: This is my favourite natural cleaning product kit for the home! Environmentally friendly using Australia’s first refill pod system, this technology means reducing your carbon footprint by 75%. The kit includes a bathroom & glass cleaner, kitchen & multi-surface cleaner and a refill pod for each with no phosphates, ammonia or chlorine – only 100% plant based ingredients here. Better yet, there are none of the harsh fumes produced by many conventional brands.
While you may be thinking of a Spring detox to eliminate internal toxins, why not also think about eliminating the toxins from your home?