Most of us know that there are toxic chemicals in our cleaning products.
I realized this in 2011 when I started investigating possible culprits for my chronic severe migraines. And, over time, I switched out all of my personal care & cleaning products for real, natural solutions.
However, I realize now that I have been walking around with blinders on.
I knew things were bad. I just had not realized how bad.
I attended a conference where I learned some shocking facts about formaldehyde.
I am one of those people who tends to want to verify facts. Especially when the facts seem extra hard to digest. So, this led me into an intensive few days of research. Shockingly, I was able to verify all of the facts presented. The more I read, the more horrified I became. At this point I am outraged.
Let me share what I learned and you can make your own, informed decision.
Let's start by talking about Formaldehyde.
In 1987, the Environmental Protection Agency classified Formaldehyde as a probable carcinogen after unusually high or prolonged exposure. Subsequent studies have linked formaldehyde to cancers like leukemia. As a result, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified formaldehyde as a human carcinogen.
OSHA regulates the permissible level of Formaldehyde over an 8 hour period as .75 parts per million. If it's just 15 minutes, it's 2 parts per million.
The average home is more toxic than the outdoor air. We build our homes to be more and more energy efficient. However, these building products inside of our home, releases formaldehyde over time. We don't have the “drafts” and airflow to introduce fresh air to our household. Furthermore, most cleaning products we use in our home either contain formaldehyde or ingredients that will interact with chemicals in the air and create formaldehyde.
The result is toxic air inside of our homes.
A few facts:
Furniture polish- 75 part per million.
Average all purpose cleaning spray – 12,000 parts per million.
Average disinfectant surface wipes – 1,798 parts per million.
OSHA says the permissible level of Formaldehyde over 15 minutes is 2 parts per million.
The thing is– while this is concerning, this is just part of the story. There's a relatively new study called the Hawkins Study that shows that it's not just exposure to ONE chemical. It's our exposure to the combination of chemicals, over time, that is contributing to higher rates of cancer. Of course, we don't yet know the “recipe” for cancer, but exposure to these carcinogenic toxins can not be helping us.
How can you research the products you use? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has been hard at work testing household products across a broad range of categories. They assign each product a letter grade. A, B, C, D or F.
Looking through each category you'll notice that 50%-60% are rating a D and F category.
Most companies do not put all of the ingredients on their label. They can do this because there are laws protecting their “trade secrets”. They simply use terms such as “fragrance” to sneak chemicals in that don't have to appear on the label. Often, these are harmful chemicals. The EWG tests the products and finds hidden chemicals and many times this leads to a D or F rating.
I encourage you to go to the EWG and research the cleaners you are using in your home.
There are easy-to-make cleaners out there that are safe and natural. Our philosophy is “If you can't ingest it, we shouldn't be cleaning with it”. Our skin and the air we breathe are the two biggest ways we are exposed to chemicals.
In our home we use:
This affordable concentrate makes about 6 months worth of all-purpose cleaner for our family of 5 plus 5 pets. You can use it as a degreaser, for glass/windows, in your dishwasher and even for treating clothing stains! Click here for more info.
This was our very first step. Within a few months, we were able to throw away all of our chemical cleaners and save money and cleaning supply storage space! We went from 9 bottles of different cleaners to just two bottles. Both of them being Thieves All-Purpose Cleaner. One is mixed stronger than the other for heavy duty jobs.
From here we branched out.
Need to scour a pan? Forget the Comet. Instead, use baking soda!
Watch my Facebook page for recipes, tips & tricks on cleaning naturally. I teach local classes too, so come check one out!
A closing note…
One of the problems with how our government regulates chemicals is that there is very minimal regulation. A company can say, ‘here's a new chemical and it doesn't seem to be harmful to humans'. The organization has 90 days, and if they can't prove them wrong, it goes out the market.
The only time a chemical gets attention and taken out of a product is if there's solid proof that that product is dangerous which is why only a few of the dangerous chemicals have been taken off the market in the United States.