THE DIRTY TRUTH ABOUT MODERN DAY “CLEANING”
The life of a busy Mommy consists of asking, “Why is this sticky? When did you break this? What’s that smell? Who just used the toilet? How many times to I have to tell you?!? ” When you have 7,189 things to get done it’s impossible to follow their every move to keep things tidy. It seems at least once a day I find a surface that prompts me to wrinkle my nose in disgust. In the past, I would grab a store bought can of disinfectant and run through the house like a crazy person spraying every pillow, doorknob, and toilet seat with a layer of “magic disinfecting goodness.” Then I would proceed to take a bottle of supermarket deep cleaning solution and soak the mystery, syrupy, substance on the counter until it was eaten away. Afterward, I would sit down for a quiet (30 second) moment and bask in the great good I had done by de’germing my home, making is “safer” for my family. Little did I know……I was doing so much HARM by using those products.
LABELS ARE DECEIVING
According to Environmental Working Group, “Cleaning products, unlike foods, beverages, cosmetics and other personal care products, are not required by federal law to carry a list of ingredients (“Cleaning Supplies,” n.d.).” When looking at the label these companies use words like “fungicidal” and “antibacterial,” which sounds AWESOME, but REALLY what does that mean?
After researching, I uncovered some shocking details about the “magic disinfecting goodness” I used (almost daily) to kill 99.9% of germs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies this product as a pesticide. The Toxic Action Center states, “Pesticides are the only toxic substances released intentionally into our environment to kill living things. This includes substances that kill weeds (herbicides), insects (insecticides), fungus (fungicides), rodents (rodenticides), and others (The Problem with Pesticides, 2015).” With low-level exposure over time they can cause cancer, Parkinson’s disease, neurological problems, infertility, and reproductive harm.
Germicidal, Fungicidal, Tuberculocidal, Virucidal=Pesticide
As mentioned, they are not required by law to list the ingredients, but if you look closely on the label, it DOES tell you it is harmful to humans AND animals.
The most disturbing thing about this project for me was that this ONE product was so horrible for our health….ESPECIALLY my children. “There is now considerable scientific evidence that the human brain is not fully formed until the age of 12, and childhood exposure to some of the most common pesticides on the market may significantly impact the development of the central nervous system (The Problem with Pesticides, 2015).” Children are growing and forming each day and though we cannot control what they face outside of our home, we CAN (as much as possible) control what they are exposed to inside of our homes. What can I do to get these chemicals out of my home, you ask? Click on the link below to see three easy steps to change your own habits.
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Toxic Action Center. (2015). The problem with pesticides. Retrieved from http://www.toxicsaction.org/problems-and-solutions/pesticides
Environmental Working Group. (2016). Cleaning Supplies: Secret Ingredients, Hidden Hazards. Retrieved from http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/content/weak_regulation