Eliminating toxic chemicals from your life could be one of the most important decisions you make about your family's health.
There are many things you can do to start down this path. The first and most important step is to remove toxic chemicals from your home. One of the most common places to find these is in your cleaning products.
Traditional cleaning products, the ones you see advertised on TV and in magazines, that are available in typical grocery and discount stores, are designed to do a job and to be convenient. Those can be good things, but they come at a high cost. The cost is added up in dollars and cents, but there is also a cost to your health and to the health of the planet.
Typical household cleaning products are loaded with toxic chemicals. In fact, as many as 9 out of 10 calls to Poison Control Centers involve typical household products. Three of the most common household toxins are chlorine, sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid. A good non-toxic, environmentally safe cleaner will not contain any of these harsh chemicals.
Chlorine bleach is the household chemical most often involved in household poisonings. In addition to being toxic, it has been known to cause disorders of the immune system, and to damage the reproductive and endocrine systems. This is NOT safe, yet many ads show just such a product being used to clean children's toys and eating surfaces.
Sodium hydroxide causes irritation to the respiratory system, and direct contact can damage delicious tissue such as the eyes, mouth and throat. It is commonly found in dish washing and laundry products, as well as in oven cleaners and bathroom cleaners.
Hydrochloric acid causes severe skin damage on contact, and is fatal if swallowed. Just breathing in the fumes is harmful. This is a common ingredient in odor eliminators and toilet bowl cleaners.
None of these ingredients is safe, and none has a place in a green lifestyle! Get rid of them, but be careful: they are hazardousous chemicals and need to be treated of carefully. These products are also harmful to the environment when you use them and flush them down your drains. They end up in our watersheds, upsetting the pH balance which can harm aquatic plants and animals.
The next question most people ask is: "If I get rid of the toxic chemicals, how do I keep my house clean?"
There are many environmentally safe cleaners on the market.
Be a label reader! Be sure the products you purchase do not contain chlorine, sodium hydroxide or hydrochloric acid.
Next, look for products that are concentrated and that you use in diluted form or use in very small amounts. This saves excess packaging from ending up in landfills.
Finally, seek out products made by a company with a commitment to the environment. Is the company one who still produces other toxic household products? Or are all the company's products safe and toxin free?
Following these few simple guidelines can help you on your way to removing the harmful chemicals from your home and living a lifestyle that is healthy for you and your planet!