Why chemical free? Because scientists and doctors have discovered a link between our health and the use of common everyday household chemicals.
Most homes typically have dozens of cleaning and personal care products that get purchased every month from local supermarkets, all of which contain chemical ingredients that could be harmful to your health and the health of your children.
Since World War II there has been a huge rise in the number of ‘man-made’ chemicals and it’s been reported that a typical home can contain over 63 hazardous products that together contain hundreds of different chemicals. While the big manufacturers encourage us to use these cleaning and personal care products every day, it is increasingly evident that certain chronic health problems are massively on the rise and research indicates that this is NO coincidence. The truth is, the dramatic rise in these various diseases has coincided with the increased use of hazardous, man-made chemicals in the home!
It seems we are! At the turn of the century the incidents of cancer were about 1 in 50, but based on figures from the USA today, 1 in 3 Americans will have some kind of CANCER, and that is expected to rise to 1 in 2 by early next century. Cancer is currently the number 2 killer of adults and more sadly the leading cause of death from disease in children.
Other disorders like ALZHEIMERS and MS, (Multiple Sclerosis) which are linked to the nervous system, are seeing year on year growth, and birth defects are also on the rise with no real explanation as to why, along with an increase in miscarriages, stillborn babies, and infertility.
Another disease, which was once very rare, is ASTHMA. Today this very common ailment has tripled in the last 20 years with around 30 million Americans currently affected.
ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) in adults and children is also on the rise and in 1993 a reported 2 million children were being given the drug Ritalin so they could sit long enough to learn, and by 1995 this figure had double to nearly 4 million and is expected to just keep rising.
There are of course other factors to take into account like vaccines, BUT more and more scientists are linking these ailments and diseases to LONG-TERM exposure to chemicals, and our greatest exposure is sadly right in our own homes:
- We breathe chemical vapors from household products in the air.
- We absorb chemicals into our skin when using household cleaners and body care products.
- We swallow small amounts of chemicals when we gargle or clean our teeth.
- We ingest chemicals when we eat food from our dishes that have been cleaned with chemicals that still contain a thin residue.
- In the USA 1.5 million young children are poisoned in the home each year and most of the time they are poisoned by a cleaning or personal care product.
It wouldn’t be sold if it wasn’t safe!
You’d expect that anything you buy from your local supermarket would be tested and proven to be safe! Well here are some disturbing facts:
- In the USA a product that kills 50% of laboratory animals through ingestion or inhalation can still receive federal regulatory designation ‘non-toxic‘
- Out of the 17,000 chemicals that appear in everyday household products, only 30% have been adequately tested regarding their effects on the nervous system and long-term exposure.
- No law requires manufacturers to list the exact ingredients on the packaging.
- Personal Care products have no real regulatory agency with clout, and many ingredients are never reviewed or approved before they are sold to the public.
Well that’s interesting because even if harsh and dangerous active ingredients are listed on a package, more often than not they are ‘lumped‘ together into a category called ‘INERT‘ (not active) ingredients. That in itself would understandably lead you to believe you are buying a chemical free product that would not be toxic or hazardous, but unfortunately many of the 1000 different chemicals in this ‘INERT‘ group are more harmful than the active ingredients. Finally on this point, there is absolutely NO WARNING on products about possible negative effects of long-term exposure, and most of the diseases we’ve mentioned in this post are diseases linked to the results of long-term exposure.
What Products and which Chemicals?
Again something disturbing is that the chemicals highlighted that could cause Death, Cancers, Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders, Learning disorders, Birth Defects, Respiratory illness Skin complaints and many other health problems appear in many of the cleaning and personal care products that we buy in our local shops and bring into our homes.
- Air Freshener
- Window Cleaner
- Floor / Furniture Polish
- Spot Remover
- All Purpose Cleaner
- Dishwasher detergent/liquid
- Laundry detergent
- Fabric Softener
- Stain Remover
Products you’ll find in your bathroom:
- Body Soaps & Moisturisersrisers
Have you heard of FORMALDEHYDE?
One out of the many toxic chemicals used in our everyday products is something called FORMALDEHYDE. This chemical is used frequently in both cleaning and personal care products, mainly because it’s a cheap preservative. It is said to be a ‘suspected carcinogen‘, and may be fatal if inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through the skin. What is scary is that a manufacturer could put Formaldehyde in shampoo and NOT have to list is as an ingredient! But here’s a real shocker, Formaldehyde can be found in Baby Shampoo, Bubble Bath, Deodorants, Perfume, Cologne, Hair Dye, Mouth Wash, Toothpaste, Hair Spray and many other personal care products.
What about Aerosols?
Good question. Aerosols used in the home or enclosed spaces send a fine mist of TOXIC CHEMICALS into the air that can be easily inhaled and absorbed. This fine mist settles and leaves a coating of toxins on surfaces where children crawl and play and adults eat and sleep. In addition, many of the propellants use toxins such as Vinyl Chloride, which can cause dizziness, headaches, blurred vision and nausea. If you weigh up the short term and long term harm of aerosol products it makes sense to be rid of them altogether and use chemical free alternatives.
Our bodies are very complex with a fragile system of chemical reactions and electronic impulses. Each of our cells breath, use energy and release waste much like the whole body does so even a small amount of harmful chemicals can affect the performance of the body’s processes. The three ways chemicals can enter the body are:
Ingestion – Nearly 1.5 million accidental ingestion of poison are reported in the USA each year, and the majority of the victims are under 12.
Inhalation – This can be more harmful than ingestion as when you swallow something the stomach begins to break down and neutralize the poison before it gets absorbed into the bloodstream. However, when you inhale toxic fumes, the poison goes directly into the blood stream and moves quickly to your organs, like the brain, heart, liver and kidneys. Toxic vapors can irritate your eyes, nose, throat, and lungs and give you headaches, muscle aches, and sinus infections.
Absorption – This is another potential threat that can’t be underestimated. 1 sq centimeter of our skin (the size of a 5p coin) contains 3 million cells, 4 yards of nerves and 1 yard of blood vessels and 100 sweat glands – how AMAZING is that! Well just as nicotine patches work by being absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin, chemicals used in household and personal care products will, without doubt find their way into our bodies too.
We will finish this post on something quite shocking!
Home is where we get most of our exposure to toxic chemicals as we can spend over 80% of our time indoors. A 5-year study by the EPA found that airborne chemical levels in the home were as much as 70% higher than outside and since the 1970′s while house builders have been making our homes more energy efficient, they have inadvertently been creating a more airtight environment.
Finally, a 15-year study found that women who worked at home had a 54% higher death rate from cancer than women who had jobs outside the home. The study concluded that ‘the increased death rate was due to daily exposure to the hazardous chemicals found in ordinary products‘. Some experts say that 30% of all cancer could stem from over-exposure to toxic chemicals.
So the question is …. Is the air in your home slowly poisoning you and your family?
Happily, there are solutions to improving your home environment and making it chemical free. You can make your own chemical-free cleaning products and we’ll share more about this or simply switch to buying ‘chemical free‘ products.