I came across this article today citing the top 5 chemicals you should consider banishing from your home and some alternatives you can use instead. I really wanted to share it as the chemicals they mention are easy to avoid and a great starting point if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to reduce your environmental footprint.
Coal-tar driveway sealant: If you plan to seal your blacktop driveway this spring, avoid coal-tar based sealants. They contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, which studies suggest can be carcinogenic, toxic, and mutagenic. When rainwater and other precipitation hit your driveway, the toxic chemicals run off into your yard and into your local drinking water supply. In fact, this situation has been compared to dumping quarts of motor oil right down a storm drain.
Synthetic pesticides: Chemical weed and bug killers both fit under this category and should be avoided both inside and outside of your house. (And dont’ fall for the ones that pretend to be “natural.”) Researchers link herbicides to various forms of cancer, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; insecticides have been connected to brain damage in kids. – I am especially partial to this one as a gardener. Last year when I was researching an organic fertilizer to offer my clients, I was surprised to find that the product only has to contain 35% organic matter in order to market itself as 100% organic. I searched high and low and found one that truly is 100% organic!
Antibacterial soap: The antimicrobial chemical triclosan in antibacterial soaps is believed to disrupt thyroid function and hormone levels in people; when it mixes into wastewater, it can cause sex changes in aquatic life. And health experts believe that overuse of this and other antibacterial chemicals is promoting the growth of bacteria that are resistant to antibacterial treatment.
Synthetic fragrances: Fragrance may be the most common type of chemical in your house. Used in laundry detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, cleaning supplies and disinfectants, air fresheners, deodorizers, shampoos, hair sprays, gels, lotions, sunscreens, soaps, perfumes, powders, and scented candles, fragrances are a class of chemicals that may take you extra time and effort to avoid. But it’s worth it. The term “fragrance” or “parfum” on personal care product labels can be a cover for hundreds of harmful chemicals known to be carcinogens, endocrine disrupters, and reproductive toxicants, even at low levels.
Harsh cleaning products: Isn’t it ironic that we actually contaminate our air when we use harsh chemicals—some of which are carcinogens—to clean our homes. Ammonia can trigger asthmatic attacks, and harsh oven cleaners and drain openers can cause terrible damage to children who come into contact with them. “Every year we have these dreadful third-degree burns of the throat and esophagus because kids got into cleaners under the sink,” Landrigan says. – This is where you could call on Green Clean. We use amazing Norwex cloths and only clean with water!
If you’d like to link to the article to find out their alternative suggestions to these these harsh chemicals click here. It’s a good and easy read!