It is surprising how many people in today's era of information are still not aware that our households are full of toxic chemicals. Despite this, thousands are switching over to safer products and this is why:
"Since 1950 at least 70,000 new chemical compounds have been invented and dispersed into our environment. Only a fraction of these have been tested for human toxicity."
"We are by default, conducting a massive clinical toxicology trial, and our children and their children are the experimental animals."
Herbert L. Needleman, M.D., Philip J. Landrigan, M.D. Raising Children Toxic Free.
It is alarming, the information about safety of products and the lack of labelling required for these products.
"Of the 70,000 chemical compounds, only 25% have been tested - and they were tested individually. Chemicals do not occur individually in our body, they occur in combinations.Tiny amounts of only 2 toxic chemicals at the same time are 1,000 times more dangerous than 1 of them alone." The Center of Bio Environmental Research
Are they in our homes?
Sadly, yes they are. "The nation's worst pollution is found inside our homes. A 15 - year study has shown American homes have chemical levels 70 times higher than outside. The number of chemicals used inside the home has more than doubled since 1950." The EPA, Environment Protection Agency
It is of importance to note that the following is only a small glimpse of the products containing these chemicals. These would include dishwashing detergents, household cleaners, disinfectants, furniture polish, air fresheners, fabric softeners, bleach products, mold/mildew cleaners and shampoos.
We become poisoned by ingestion, inhalation and absorption through the skin. "Some products release contaminants into the air right away, others do so gradually over a long period of time. Some stay in the air up to a year." American Lung Association.
All of this results in poor health and less vitality than we would normally have in a fresh, unaltered environment. "50% of all illness is due to poor indoor air quality" 1989 State of Massachusetts Study. The red flags of this toxic crisis are staggering. One person in three has allergies severe enough to be treated by a doctor. One person in ten suffers from migraine headaches or high blood pressure. One in five families have a member suffering from mental health concerns. "70% of cancers are triggered by exposure to hazardous substances in our environment" Toxic Substances Strategy Committee. Shockingly, One in every two now get cancer. "Women who work in the home have a 55% higher death rate from cancer than women who work outside the home." 17-year EPA Study. "Asthma rate has tripled in the last 20 years." "Incidence of lung cancer has increased 364% despite the fact that smoking has declined in the general population." National Cancer Institute.
There is so much more. We have not even touched on how these chemicals effect children or pets who are much more vulnerable.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
"Damage to organs caused by environmental chemicals frequently cannot be repaired or corrected once they injury has occurred. PREVENTION, is therefore essential." Herbert L. Needleman, M.D., Philip J. Landrigan, M.D., Raising Children Toxic Free.
"Just by reducing (not eliminating) environmental carcinogens alone, we would save at least 50,000 lives taken annually by cancer." Dr. Lee Davis, former advisor to the Secretary of Health
This is what has consumers, such as myself switching to healthier, safer cleaning and personal care products. "Green cleaning" is not a new concept. People have been making their own cleaners for years. Typically they have used ingredients such as vinegar or baking soda. But in the last several years, some commercial brands have appeared on the shelves, websites and through mail order. There are other brands as well such as ecover, Earth Friendly Products and Seventh Generation. All of these tend to be better than the home "recipes" as they typically clean much better and can sanitize. These cleaners are formulated with surfactants which can remove grease and oil, mildew and mold. If you are not having your products delivered to your door, you sometimes need to search for them or get them at a few different stores, but they are available. You may need to go to your local health food store.
It's all about reducing as many toxins as you can. Prevention is the key!
Vivian Ball Ramirez