|The next time you visit your supermarket or neighborhood retailer, take a quick walk down the household cleaning isle. Take just a few seconds to notice the smell, then move on.
If you've already noticed the smell, have you ever wondered if breathing that in might be harmful to your health? Well, that "clean-smelling" odor you detect all the way down the cleaner isle is caused by something industry experts have termed "out gassing." Out gassing is the process by which those chemical vapors escape from the containers as they sit store shelves. And, just breathing them can be extremely hazardous.
As you may know, inhalation (or breathing) is one of three major ways that harmful chemicals can enter your body. The other two ways include ingestion (or swallowing) and absorption through the skin.
Inhalation is even more dangerous than actually ingesting a chemical, because the harmful agents go directly into the blood stream to affect the lungs, heart, brain, liver, and kidneys. It happens almost instantly. These chemically-based cleaners may get the cleaning job done, but the vapors can enter your system and start doing their damage before you even realize what's happening.
Now let's talk about absorption. One square centimeter of your skin contains millions of cells and nerve endings. This is why we're seeing advertisements for anti-smoking or weight-loss patches. They work because the ingredients enter your body easily through the skin. Unfortunately, the same applies to chemicals.
Every time a cleaning product or other chemical touches your skin, it gets absorbed. Washing your hands after using such cleaners cannot prevent some level of absorption. In fact, even days after you've cleaned a surface, touching it, preparing food on it, or even walking across it can result in harmful chemicals being absorbed into your body.
The third way harmful agents can enter your body is the most obvious: ingestion. If you swallow something, it will eventually get into your blood stream and affect your internal organs.
Ingestion is what most parents of young children worry about when it comes to cleaners. Putting them up high or locking your cabinet may help, but unfortunate accidents still happen, leaving the parents of about 1.5 million children devastated each year when their children are poisoned in the home.
Now you're aware that ingestion shouldn't be your only concern. Armed with this information, perhaps you can better protect yourself and your family. However, there are a lot of other things most people don't know about the household cleaners they're using. For example:
1. Of 17,000 household chemicals, only about 5,100 (or approximately 30%) have been adequately tested.
2. The government has very limited power to regulate and require proper testing of household cleaners for their potentially harmful effects.
3. Less than 10% of our household cleaners have been tested on the human nervous system.
4. Products that kill 50% of lab animals they're tested on may still be legally designated as non-toxic.
5. No law requires manufactures to list the exact ingredients on the cleaning products package label.
If those facts make you a bit nervous, you're not alone. Many parents and consumer protection agencies are already calling for stricter regulations and better testing. More research is also needed to find safer alternatives to the harmful chemicals currently being used.
Still, many families are simply opting to avoid these cleaners altogether and purchase bio-safe, non-toxic household products. Many of these safe cleaners are not only worry-free, but clean just as well or better than their commercially-made counterparts. These products are readily available online and elsewhere.
Those who are concerned about their family's health can purchase a myriad of safer products, and find numerous outlets to voice concern, including calling their state representatives to ask for government action.
About the author:
Author Vincent Platania represents the Fuller Brush Company.
Fuller Brush has been in business since 1906, and offers safe, environmentally friendly products for keeping your home and your body clean.
Circulated by Article Emporium
Watch Online Articles with YouTube for Free: