top of page

Is Your Home A HEALTHY HOME? How common household chemicals may gradually be making you and your fam

Are you aware that scientists and doctors are discovering that there is a connection between

our increased use of household chemicals and the increased incidence of chronic illnesses like cancer, asthma, eczema, ADD, nervous disorders, infertility and a host of other health problems.

It’s alarmingly true – doctors and scientists have discovered that there is a strong connection between our health and the use of common everyday household chemicals. If yours is the typical home, you probably use dozens of cleaning and personal care products purchased at the local supermarket or pharmacy which contain chemical ingredients that could be harmful to your health and the health of your loved ones.

There has been a dramatic rise in the number of synthetic chemicals we use in our homes since the late 1940s. The typical home now contains over sixty-three hazardous products that together contain hundreds of different chemicals. At the same time, there has been an equally dramatic rise in chronic health problems.

A century ago, the incidence of cancer was about one in fifty, but today, one in three women and one in two men will suffer with cancer at some point in their lives. For me, my father was diagnosed with cancer in 1992 at aged 56 and he passed aged 62. Cancer is the number two killer of adults and the leading cause of death from disease in children.

You or someone you know has probably been touched in some way by cancer, or asthma or another of these illnesses. Although there are other factors involved, more and more scientists are linking these ailments to long term chemical exposure. For most of us, our greatest exposure to chemicals is right in our own homes! We breathe in chemical vapours from household products in the air, we absorb chemicals in though our skin while using everyday household products to clean our homes or make our bodies clean and smell good.

We also swallow small amounts of chemicals when we gargle, brush our teeth, or when we eat food from dishes that we have cleaned with chemicals and still contain a thin residue. Did you know the home is also where over 1.5 million young children are poisoned each year (in the USA) and most of the time they are poisoned by a cleaning or personal care product?

Which products? Which chemicals?

Chemicals that can cause death, cancer, central nervous system (CNS) disorders, learning disorders, respiratory illness, skin conditions like eczema and many other health problems appear in most of the cleaning and personal care products in your home. It can be difficult to determine which health risk a particular product poses and since manufacturer’s do not list the complete ingredients, it is impossible to learn all of the health risks by reading the label.

Here is a brief summary of just several of the general products used in everyday family homes.

Cleaning products

  • Air Freshener – toxic; may cause cancer, irritates nose, throat and lungs.

  • Disinfectant – very toxic; causes skin, throat & lung burns; causes coma.

  • Drain cleaner – toxic; causes skin burns; causes liver & kidney damage.

  • Oven cleaner – toxic; causes skin, throat and lung burns.

  • Window cleaner – toxic; causes CNS disorders; causes liver and kidney disorders.

  • Floor/Furniture polish – toxic; cause CNS disorders; may cause lung cancer.

  • Spot remover – toxic; may cause cancer, causes liver damage.

  • All-purpose cleaner – causes eye damage; irritates nose, throat and lungs.

  • Toilet bowl cleaner – very toxic; causes skin, nose, throat and lung burn.

  • Dishwasher detergent – toxic; causes eye injuries, damage to mucous membranes, and throat.

  • Laundry detergent – toxic; irritates the skin and lungs (eczema and asthma).

Personal care products

  • Shampoo – may cause cancer, irritates eyes, skin and lungs.

  • Deodorant soap – may cause cancer, causes organ degeneration; causes CNS disorders.

  • Bubble bath – causes bladder and kidney infections; irritates skin and nose.

  • Mousse and hair spray – may cause cancer; causes lung disease; irritates eyes and skin.

  • Mouthwash – toxic to children; may cause cancer.

  • Breath spray – may cause cancer.

  • Cosmetics – may cause cancer; causes CNS damage; irritates skin and lungs.

There is one common ingredient found in the products above and that is formaldehyde. It is used in both cleaning and personal products because it is a cheap preservative. The following information is taken from a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) which by law, must be supplied to anyone who uses any chemicals in the workplace. The MSDS for formaldehyde warns: “Suspected carcinogen; may be fatal if inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through the skin; Causes burns; Inhalation can cause spasms. Edema (fluid build up) of the larynx and bronchi, and chemical pneumonitis; Extremely destructive to tissue of the mucous membrane.”

All of these symptoms and more are caused by formaldehyde. Yet manufacturers can put formaldehyde in shampoo and not list it as an ingredient. You will be shocked to learn that formaldehyde is a common ingredient in baby shampoo, bubble bath, deodorants, perfume, cologne, hair dye, mouthwash, toothpaste, hair spray and many other personal care items. Now, I want to state that the amount of formaldehyde in many of these products is slight. Brushing your teeth everyday probably will not give you cancer, but the risk is still there. After all, formaldehyde is still a suspected carcinogen and if all cancers start from the abnormal growth of one cell, then why allow any amount into or onto your body?

Happily, there is a solution to this problem in the home, as some conscientious manufacturers now offer everyday household products that are safer, greener and more natural. Most of these people-friendly and environmentally friendly products work just as well or better, than supermarket store brands and in many cases, actually cost you less. So there is really no reason to risk your health, or the health of your loved ones any longer.

bottom of page