Friday, September 10, 2010

Common household products

OK, I'm doing a little reading up on household products and how they effect our health. Just one more thing that I never thought twice about. My son has asthma. He's had it since he was about 2 months old. In 13 years, not one doc has ever told me that what I am using in my home could be either causing his asthma, or making it worse. Why is that?
Since I started caring about my health, and the families health, I have been reading anything I can get my hands on about what causes cancer.
I was told by my doc, who is a cardiologist, Md, and a nutritionist to take Shaklee products. No, he doesn't sell them.
But I have a friend who does. A friend who shared Shaklee products with me years ago, I bought a bottle of B vitamins and never asked her another question about supplements. Until I got the cancer diagnosis.
I called Sarah after the doc told me to take the Shaklee vitamins and told her what he told me to take. This was my real introduction to Shaklee and this time I wanted more details!
Anyway, Shaklee has a product line for home care. I wanted to know what is the point of this. So I've been doing some research, and let me tell you, I am feeling some guilt! lol.
Here are some tidbits from a pamphlet I've been reading, and no, it's not a "shaklee" pamphlet.

~ Scientists and doctors are discovering that there is a connection between our health and  the use of common everyday chemicals. 
~ The typical home now contains over sixty -three hazardous products that together contain hundreds of different chemicals.  More children are afflicted with  asthma, learning problems, and cancer then ever before.
This was written in 2005 so I'm sure the stats are even worse now, but this is what it says-
 Today in the US, one in three women and one in two men will suffer with cancer some time during their lives. Cancer is the number two killer of adults and the leading cause of death from disease in children. Approx 8,000 children will be diagnosed with cancer per year. ( I sure don't want this to be one of my children!)

~Although other factors are involved, more and more scientists are linking these aliments to long term chemical exposure.

~ Another study, conducted over a 15 year period, found that women who worked at home had a 54% higher death rate from cancer then women who had jobs away from home. The study concluded that the increased death rate was due to daily exposure to hazardous chemicals found in ordinary household products! Obviously the children in these homes were exposed to the same chemicals, with even greater risk of illness.

I found this really interesting too-
There are 3 ways toxic chemicals can center your body, by eating or drinking, by breathing it, and by absorbing it through the skin.

Even things you think are safe, like perfume and mouthwash can be poison to a child.

The book talks about a kid who ate a fingerful of wet electrasol and  got burns in his esophagus.
Or a 3 year old that drank 3oz of conditioner and died.

~ gradual poisoning that happens over time as children breathe the vapors from toxic chemicals. Toxic fumes can be released even when a chemical is tightly sealed in it's container! What?!

Yes, it says if you don't believe it, walk down the cleaning products isle at your local supermarket and notice how strongly it smells of toxic vapors, even though all the containers are sealed tight. It says this is called "outgassing". hmm, never heard of this, or thought about it!

It says that  toxic fumes, go directly into the bloodstream and quickly travel to organs like the brain, heart, liver and kidneys. The results are symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches, lightheadedness, irritated nose, throat, and lungs and give you sinus infections.

This is one that started the guilt on me, Toxic residues from laundry products on bed sheets and pillow cases, as well as clothes can be inhaled while sleeping or wearing the clothes!
So here my poor son with asthma is sleeping on chemicals and wearing them all day long. Not only does he inhale them, but they get absorbed into his skin.

The book explains that just as smoking one cigarette is not likely to give you cancer, one ordinary exposure to chemicals in cleaners probably won't harm you either, BUT every day for years is likely to result in cancer, so too, cleaning your home everyday or every week with toxic chemicals is likely to harm your health , and is even more likely to harm the health of your children.

Here's the thing, this is not just talking about chemicals in cleaning products. Those are big ones, and dangerous ones for various reasons, but they are also referring to things we use everyday like mouthwash, hair conditioner, shampoo, deodorant, cologne, laundry detergent, make up, soap in the shower, hand soap, etc, etc.

The most pressing issues for children today are- asthma, childhood cancer, ADD and other learning disorders.

Many of these things may have something to do with the chemicals in the home.

I know, this is a lot to take in, and a year ago I had the attitude that there is too many things to worry about, that everything causes cancer, so what's the point in worrying about it??! But when you yourself get the cancer, your attitude changes and you don't want the cancer to come back, or anyone else to get it, so you start thinking about these "stupid little things".

The book says that almost all cancers are due to environmental factors!  I guess that's why sometimes we see people with cancer, who never smoked, never did drugs, didn't drink alcohol, ate well, but still got cancer. Well, maybe it was the chemicals and quality of air in their home that caused it!

I don't know about you but this gets me thinking about what I am exposing my family to at home.

 I know several people who have kids that have been diagnosed with ADD and are put on medication for it.
The book explains that neurtoxins affect the nervous system and brain development. Of the top 20 chemicals  reported  by the toxics releases inventory, 3/4 of them are known or suspected neurotoxins. They include ammonia, chlorine bleach, toluene, methyl ethly ketone, all common in cleaning products.

The book tells a story about a child that had dramatic changes in personality and ability to think in response to chlorine. Her mom noticed that after she swam in a chlorinated pool, she would cry much more and would complain of a headache and leg cramps. and we use bleach to clean our clothes and our sinks, counters, etc.

It talks about  ritalin and how many children are on it, and says many of these kids are misdiagnosed, and suffering from acute allergic reactions to environmental agents found  at the home and in schools!!

I never put two and two together before. When I would clean with bleach, I always got dizzy and felt funny, but never thought it was from the bleach. Duh!

So there's a list of products in here that are toxic, I will share some of them. I think I had almost ALL of them in my house.

Air fresheners- Cause cancer, irritate nose , throat, and lungs.
All purpose cleaner- causes eye damage, irritates nose, throat and lungs.
bleach- toxic by swallowing , vapors are harmful, causes central nervous system disorders.
Carpet shampoo- may cause cancer, causes central nervous system and liver damage.
Dishwasher detergent- toxic, damage to mucous membranes and throat.
fabric softener- may cause cancer, causes central nervous system disorders, causes liver damage.
laundry detergent- toxic, irritates the skin and lungs.
toilet bowl cleaner- very toxic, causes skin,nose, throat, and lung burns.
window cleaner- causes central nervous system disorders, causes liver and kidney disorders.

This is only the beginning of what I am learning.
Needless to say, I have purged my house off nearly all of these chemicals!  I know there are still things I need to change, but it's going to take some time to replace them all.
But I am no longer ignoring these things!  Knowledge is power. We want to take control of our health, and our children's health. Our kids can't do this for themselves, we need to do it for them. Educate yourselves!!  I'll try to post more about this next time. 

1 comment:

  1. What are you replacing them with? Organic and all natural cleaners and products? Thanks for making me think Amy!!