Amazingly, 80% of most people’s exposure to toxic substances occurs indoors! A study conducted by the Environmental protection agency found that indoor air quality can be 5 times worse than outdoor air quality. You see, the common cleaners and disinfectants that we use in our homes contain pesticides. It’s the pesticides that kills the germs. And ongoing exposure to these chemicals can result in damage to our liver, kidneys, endocrine and nervous system… and yes, pestidicides have been linked to cancer. Formaldehyde is also very commonly found in household products. Formaldehyde (in all its various forms – there are many names for it!) is a cheap preservative and extends the shelf life of various products. However, it may have the opposite effect on our lives because it can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, respiratory issues, fatigue, skin rashes, severe allergic reactions and even cancer. And yet this very toxic chemical is still a common ingredient in many of the products in our homes. Bleach is another product that is commonly found in our cleaners, yet bleach aggravates the membranes of the lower respiratory system causing shortness of breath and wheezing.
Do You Read Product Labels?
You would think that the most obvious way to protect yourself from toxic ingredients would be to simply read product labels! Many give dire warnings of the possible consequences of using the products in our homes. But incredibly, The USA Federal code of regulations exempts manufacturers from full labeling of products if used for personal, family or household care (USA FCR: Section 1910.1200C, Title 29, Section 1500.82 2Q1A) (**hint: That exclusion covers pretty much every product in the average American home**)
In her book Silent Spring, Rachel Carson said:
If we are going to live so intimately with these chemicals – eating and drinking them, taking them into the very marrow of our bones – we had better know something about their nature and their power.
But how can we make educated choices when manufacturers are not even required to disclose the potentially toxic ingredients in the products we use every single day?
How Dangerous Are These Chemicals?
Well… they’re dangerous enough that since 1938, Europe and Canada have banned thousands of toxic chemicals from being used in common household products. In that same time frame the FDA in the United States has banned 9 chemicals. Just nine. That means that thousands of toxic chemicals remain in the products being sold in the United States every day. In fact, companies that export their products to Canada and Europe actually use a different manufacturing line with different ingredients so that their products will conform to the legal requirements in those countries.
We clearly cannot count on legislation to protect us from toxic chemicals.
According to a Consumer Product Comission Safety Study there are 150 chemicals found in the average home today that are directly connected to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological disorders. Less than 2% of synthetic chemicals have been tested for toxicity or adverse effects. Of the chemicals that have been tested, the majority of them have never been tested for long-term effects.
Many of the same chemicals found in our cleaning products are also in our personal care products. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health analyzed 2,983 chemicals used in personal care products. Out of those chemicals, 884 were found to be toxic. One hundred forty six chemicals cause tumors, 218 cause reproductive complications, 778 cause acute toxicity, 314 cause biological mutations, 376 cause skin and eye irritations.
With all these chemicals in our homes, it is not surprising that women who work in the home have a 54% greater chance of dying from cancer than women who work outside the home. (Source: 17 –year EPA study)
What Effect Is This Having On Our Children?
According to the National Safety Council, more children under the age of 4 die of accidental household poisonings than are accidentally killed by guns at home. In a state of California study examinging 2, 435 pesticide poisonings in a one-year period, over 40% were due to exposure to disinfectants and similar cleaning products in the home. Liquid dish soap is the leading cause of accidental poisonings at home in children under the age of 6. (Who would have guessed that 2.1 million children in American are accidentally poisoned this way each year. (Source: Kay Heizer, Director of Non Profit organization “Healthy Choices”)
Even babies are not exempt. CNN reported that studies on newborns show that the average American baby has been exposed to over 200 “potentially hazardous” chemicals while still in the womb. There is so much poison in our homes that our babies are being born already toxic!
We Have Options!
It may feel overwhelming that so many of the products we use each day are toxic, but there is hope! We don’t have to subject our bodies and our families to the harsh chemicals found in mainstream cleaning products, personal care products, skin care products or cosmetics. As consumers we do have options!
When we first began farming our family learned how to make our own products. I made everything from window cleaner and laundry detergent to toothpaste and hand cream. The result was that we had some wonderful, high-quality, natural products, but they took so much time to make! While we still enjoy making our own products as a hobby, we don’t have time to make everything. Our family has found a responsible company that manufactures products that are safer for our home, our bodies and our environment. Shopping there is not only convenient, but we’re actually spending less money than when we purchased grocery store brands and the best part is that we are using products that are free from toxins and much safer for our health!
If you’re interested in learning more about where our family shops for non-toxic products, I would love to tell you about it! Click here to contact me or email me at info (at) GoodOldDaysFarm (dot) com and we can arrange a phone call and/or a webinar. Include your phone number in your message and I will call you so that we chat!
I am looking forward to helping you get the toxins out of your home, just like I’ve gotten the toxins out of our home!