Good health is built upon a lifetime of daily habits, but what if our well-intentioned habits aren’t really so healthy after all? By taking a closer look at household cleaning products, we can take an important step toward an environment that supports a long and healthy life.
You might think reading labels is just too much to add when our lives are already so complex and harried. But the Environmental Working Group says US laws allow manufacturers to use almost any ingredients in cleaning products, including known carcinogens and toxic substances that can harm a developing fetus or infant. The Environmental Protection Agency regulates only cleaning products that contain registered pesticides.
This means many cleaning supplies currently on our closet shelves contain chemicals that could trigger allergic reactions, asthma attacks, skin or eye irritations, and are carcinogenic—and those chemicals aren’t necessarily on the label. If this raises concerns, buy only products whose manufacturers voluntarily list their ingredients and ensure the following chemicals are not in the product:
- Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, may be listed as a preservative or it could be released by other preservatives like citrus or pine oil.
- Sodium borate (borax, boric acid) may be added to cleaning products as a cleaning agent or enzyme stabilizer, and can disrupt our hormonal systems.
- Chloroform, a suspected carcinogen, may escape in the fumes released by products with chlorine bleach.
- 1,4-dioxane, is a common contaminant in detergents and is a suspected carcinogen.
- Found in antibacterial spray cleaners and fabric softeners, Benzalkonium chloride can cause asthma.
If You Suspect Your Products
Instead, you may want to check for products that are green-certified or simply use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning. More health tips to follow in upcoming newsletters, along with an exciting new 6-week Deep Clean for Radical Health Program in February that will help you simply and easily rid your body of toxins and boost your immune system and energy.