Could the chemicals you use in your home make you sick?

October 15, 2014

Part 5 in our series – What is happening to our children when 1 in 6 has a developmental disability.

In a study conducted by the Environmental Working Group, Body Burden – 287 chemicals were found in the umbilical cord of 10 newborns.  This study has prompted attention to the chemicals used in consumer products. There are currently over 80,000 chemicals used today, with only 200 that have been evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency. DID YOU READ THAT?--ONLY 200 out of 80,000 chemicals!??Clean house

Back in the day, before I got sick and started doing my research, I used to love to clean. There was nothing better than the smell of lemon Pledge and a bleached bathroom. Oh, and don't forget, the wonderful smell of the carpet freshener with the neat lines on the carpet from the vacuum. Cleaning day was the best!  We knew it was clean because it smelled clean. But was (is) it really?

Years ago I moved away from cleaning products to more natural products like Melaleuca. I also make a lot of my own.  Since I haven’t used commercial cleaning products in a long time, I had to look them up on the Internet. From what I remember, the ingredients aren’t listed, but the parent companies like SC Johnson are kind enough to list the ingredients. I researched 4 different products I formerly used in my home (I had flash backs from organic chemistry about carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, Periodic Table of Elements, and ½ life):

Popular cleaning products
Pledge (lemon scent) has the following ingredients/chemicals: dimethicone, butane, propane, and isobutane.

Windex has the following ingredients/chemicals: water, alcohol, 2 hexoxyethenol, videt EGM, and Propylene glycol to name a few.  In a nutshell, these chemicals are known to be endocrine disruptors, and contribute to asthma symptoms.

Renuzit Air Freshener has the following ingredients/chemicals: formaldehyde (toxic if inhaled), petroleum distillates, benzyl alcohol (respiratory problems), and p-dichorobenzine (central nervous system depressant).

Tide laundry detergent doesn't list their ingredients, Proctor & Gamble is keeping it a secret!  I did however find that most laundry detergents contain phosphates, EDTA, artificial fragrances, and phenols, to name just a few.  These chemicals cause endocrine, respiratory, and reproductive problems.  They also contribute to eczema, asthma, and skin sensitivity for certain individuals. 

I’m flabbergasted that I didn’t question the health risks associated with the chemicals I used in my home. This is just a snippet of the chemicals that we use in our home. We spray this in our furniture, breathe in the fumes, and our children absorb it when putting their hands in their mouth. Constant exposure to poor indoor air quality (from the products we use to clean our homes) can cause or increase difficulties with:

  • Asthma, allergies, and other respiratory problems
  • Headaches
  • Eye and skin irritations
  • Sore throat, colds and flu
  • Memory loss, dizziness, fatigue and depression

Companies are only required to list how they are dangerous (combustible, corrosive, poisonous, etc.), they are not required to list the ingredients. Children are the most vulnerable to chemicals because their immune systems are not fully developed, and some chemicals may interfere with neurological functioning.

We all have to clean. So what should you do?   My first recommendation is to get on the Internet and search for all-natural cleaning products or “do it yourself”. 

Natural cleaning productsHere is a list of all natural ingredients and their uses:

Vinegar is a multipurpose cleaner. It’s good for cleaning glass, mirrors, vegetables, cuts, as an odor eliminator, and can act as an insect repellent.

Baking Soda is a multipurpose cleaner. It is good for scouring (stove tops, bathtubs, tile) and it removes stains.

Castile Soap is a vegetable based soap made out of oil. This soap is best diluted and can be good for bathing, shampooing, and washing clothes. (You can get this at Target and/or Walmart)

Lemon Juice is acidic, much like vinegar. It adds an ice citrus smell and can be used to remove odors, lift stains, and is a de-greaser, which is also nice for washing dishes.

I think this is another piece of the puzzle as to why our kids are so sick.  We spend the majority of our time inside our homes.  If they are filled with toxic chemicals lingering on our Natural Solutions for home.furniture and in our air, how can these chemicals not harm us?  This is especially true for those children who already have allergies, asthma, and eczema.  For more information on products you use in your home, visit the Environmental Working Group's site to see how they rate. 


185 S. Marley Rd. New Lenox, IL 60451