Having your first baby is one of the most rewarding things you will do in your life. Did you know that babies born today are contaminated with industrial chemicals. A study was done on new born babies where they took blood tests from the umbilical cord and analysed for the presents of 35 chemicals.
The Chemicals found have suspected links to birth defects, genital abnormalities and certain types of cancer, All the babies contained at least 5 of the 35 chemicals Some contained as many as 14 of the 35 chemicals.
Here are some examples of what are kids are contaminated with
- tin can linings
- cleaning fluids flame
- retardants cosmetic ingredients
- chemicals from baby bottles
- non stick and water-proof coatings non-stick
- chemicals flame-retardants banned, yet persistent,
- Pesticides such as DDT artificial musk’s used in cosmetics and cleaning products.
Worst house hold toxins
I have made a list of some of the worst chemicals that are found in your family’s home.
Monoethanolamine (MEA), Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA) What are they? Aliphatic amines are toxic, flammable, corrosive, colourless, viscous liquids. They are used as pH adjusters. What are the risks? They may cause liver, kidney and reproductive damage, as well as depression of the central nervous system. Inhalation of high concentrations – when cleaning an oven for example – can cause dizziness or even coma. The chemical can also be absorbed through the skin. It is a moderate skin irritant, and a severe eye irritant. Where are they found? Many cleaning products, including oven cleaners, tub and tile cleaners, laundry pre-soaks, floor strippers and carpet cleaners.
What is it? Ammonia is both caustic and hazardous. It is used in commercial cleaning products. What are the risks? A severe eye and respiratory irritant that can cause severe burning pain, and corrosive damage including chemical burns, cataracts and corneal damage. It can also cause kidney and liver damage. Repeated or prolonged exposure to vapours can result in bronchitis and pneumonia. Ammonia will react with bleach to form poisonous chlorine gas that can cause burning and watering of eyes, as well as burning of the nose and mouth. Where is it found? A wide range of cleaning products and hair dyes.
What is it? Sodium hypochlorite solution, commonly known as bleach, is frequently used as a disinfectant or a bleaching agent. What are the risks? A corrosive chemical, sodium hypochlorite is an eye, skin and respiratory irritant, as well as a sensitiser. It is especially hazardous to people with heart conditions or asthma, and can be fatal if swallowed. It may be a neurotoxin and toxic to the liver. Where is it found? A wide range of household disinfectants and bleach products.
What is it? Cosmetic biocide; denaturant; preservative. What are the risks? Classified as a Category 2 carcinogen. Low level exposure causes irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, and can cause skin and lung allergies. Higher level exposure to formaldehyde may cause joint pain, depression, headaches, chest pains, ear infections, chronic fatigue, dizziness and loss of sleep. Where is it found? Waxed paper, detergents, cosmetics, shampoos, bubble baths, and hair conditioners, athlete’s foot treatments, skin disinfectants, mouthwashes.
What is it? Used a deodorant; masking agent; and for perfuming. What are the risks? Can contain up to 4,000 separate ingredients, mostly synthetic. Known to trigger asthma attacks. The US EPA found that 100% of perfumes contain toluene, which can cause liver, kidney and brain damage as well as damage to a developing foetus. Symptoms reported to the FDA from fragrance exposure have included headaches, dizziness, rashes, skin discolouration, violent coughing and vomiting, and allergic skin irritation. Where is it found? Air fresheners, perfumes, cosmetics, personal care products, laundry detergents, cleaning products, household perfume products.
What are they? Widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries and as a food additive. What are the risks? Parabens are hormone disruptors and have been shown to be a reproductive toxin in animal studies. High levels of parabens have been detected in breast tumours,with one UK-based study finding high concentrations of parabens in eighteen out of twenty samples of breast tumours. Parabens may cause contact dermatitis in some individuals. Where are they found? Pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and cleaning products.
What is it? Fragrance ingredient; plasticiser; solvent. What are the risks? High level exposure causes irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and headache. An endocrine disruptor that harms the developing foetus and the male testes. Long-term exposure causes liver and kidney damage. Where is it found? Colognes, perfumes, cosmetics, hairspray, nail polish, paints, plastics, floor polish, window cleaning products, adhesives, toys, shower curtains.
What is it? Disinfectant, deodorant, and pesticide. What are the risks? It is a suspected carcinogen, and may cause lung, liver and kidney damage. A highly volatile registered pesticide is in the same chemical class as DDT. Under California’s Proposition 65, it is listed as “known to the State to cause cancer”. Where is it found? Mothballs, room deodorisers, urinal blocks, pesticides.
What is it? Antibacterial, anti-fungal ingredient. What are the risks? Triclosan is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity. Low level may disrupt thyroid function. Triclosan may encourage bacterial resistance to antibiotics. The American Medical Association recommends that it not be used in the home. Wastewater treatment does not remove triclosan completely, which means it ends up in our lakes, rivers and water sources, where it forms dioxins, which are extremely toxic. Where is it found? Toothpastes, deodorants, antibacterial hand washes, mouthwashes, toys, bedding, socks, garbage bags.
Here are some green tips to keep harmful chemicals away from your family.
- Don’t use anti-bacterial products. Microbiologists found soap and water best for washing hands and removing germs. Choose safer soaps. Look for certified organic liquid and bar soaps. Look for words like “saponified” and “soap”, which indicates it’s a true soap, and not a synthetic detergent. Avoid leave-on hand sanitizes. Leave-on hand sanitizes don’t remove the dust and dirt that can be contaminated with chemicals. Essential oil-based sanitizes are better bet because they don’t contain triclosan.
- Green clean your home Buy cleaning products that list their ingredients. Keep it simple – less is more. Clean toilets with bicarb soda and vinegar. Clean glass with vinegar. Clean surfaces and tiles with probiotics. Use a multipurpose green cleaner. Use microfiber cloths and mops.
Free cleaning recipes
Air Freshener – Commercial air fresheners mask smells and coat nasal passages to diminish the sense of smell.
• Baking soda or vinegar with lemon juice in small dishes absorbs odors around the house.
• Having houseplants helps reduce odors in the home.
• Prevent cooking odors by simmering vinegar (1 tbsp in 1 cup water) on the stove while cooking. To get such smells as fish and onion off utensils and cutting boards, wipe them with vinegar and wash in soapy water.
• Keep fresh coffee grounds on the counter.
• Simmer water and cinnamon or other spices on stove.
• Place bowls of fragrant dried herbs and flowers in room.
Dish washing Soap – Commercial low-phosphate detergents are not themselves harmful, but phosphates nourish algae which use up oxygen in waterways. A detergent substitution is to use liquid soap. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of vinegar to the warm, soapy water for tough jobs. Or use a citrus-based natural dish soap.
General Spray Cleaner – Mix 1/2 cup white vinegar with 1 cup hot water, add 1/8 tsp liquid dish detergent (nothing with bleach), 6 drops Eucalyptus oil. Pour into a spray bottle and shake before each use.
If you want to try out some green cleaners why not check out the Miessence home care range.