Friday, June 22, 2012

The Top 5 Toxic Home Cleaning Products and their Natural Alternatives

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June 21, 2012: The Top 5 Toxic Home Cleaning Products and their Natural Alternatives by Anthony Gucciardi

Home cleaning products are often overlooked when it comes to examining the toxic substances that may be currently present in your lifestyle. While food and water are more ‘obvious’ factors, toxic home cleaning products may also be taking a toll on your health. The EPA has even stated on record that indoor air pollution (with a shocking 12 different chemicals with irritant properties in the air at all times) is contributing to sickness and ill health.

Read: 4 Ways to Naturally Purify the Air in Your Home

Thankfully, natural solutions do exist. As for identifying the most toxic cleaning supplies that may currently occupy your home or office, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has created a list of the ‘most’ toxic products to help you remove these concoctions from your living space. Even ‘green’ and ‘nontoxic’ products have been targeted, which often contain hazardous ingredients that can be affecting your biology.

Here are the top 5 most toxic home cleaning products and the natural alternative you can use in your home:

1. Simple Green Concentrated All-Purpose Cleaner: Despite being labeled as ‘green’ and toted as an ‘environmental’ cleaning product, this product is quite toxic. It contains a solvent known as 2-butoxyethanol, which the EWG states can actually soak through the skin and damage red blood cells. In the fine print it even calls for the cleaner to be diluted, which many people miss.

Natural alternative: Mix a combination of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle (about nine parts water and one part white vinegar) and spray the surface that needs cleaning. This potent germ-killing natural cleaner beats the other health-damaging options and is perfectly safe.

2. Citra-Solv Cleaner & Degreaser: Just as Simple Green sports the ‘green’ label for brand association reasons, Citra-Solv uses ‘citrus’ and ‘orange’ buzzwords to push for a more natural image. The product, however, contains d-limonene — a chemical that can react with the ozone in the air to form concerning particles that can penetrate the lungs and form formaldehyde — a known carcinogen.

Natural alternative: Spray hydrogen peroxide followed by the previously mentioned vinegar solution in order to fight germs and maintain cleanliness. You can even use alcohol, particularly grain alcohol for this cleaning purpose.

3. Whink Rust Stain Remover: This harmful ‘cleaning’ product is used to simply brighten up porcelain toilets and sinks. In the fine print, however, the product plainly indicates that it may “be fatal or cause permanent damage” to your body. If that’s not enough, it is known that the produce can penetrate the skin and go as far as to attack the underlying tissues and bone.

Natural alternative: Use a half bottle of white vinegar and pour it into the toilet. Afterwards, shut the lid, let it sit overnight, and then scrub and flush come morning. You’ll have a much cleaner and whiter toilet without the bodily damage.

4. Spic and Span Multi-Surface and Floor Cleaner: There’s a reason that California has placed a ban on an ingredient in this product. Known as onylphenol ethoxylate, the chemical is known to be toxic to not only the human hormonal system but the environment as a whole.

Natural alternative: Utilizing the same vinegar solution or grain alcohol will work more efficiently and be much safer. Lemon is also very practical.

5. Mop & Glo Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner: This product contains rather large concentrations of a substance that even the United Nations states is ‘suspected of damaging the unborn child’.

Natural alternative: Baking soda can clean, deodorize, and clean floors without toxic ingredients. You can also use lemon for a fresh scent and a thorough clean.

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