Our environments and bodies are constantly covered in chemicals. We do need to disinfect our homes, schools and environments, but there are good- better- and best ways to do this. Our skin is an organ and absorbs a lot in a short amount of time. Our feet have the largest pores and absorb the most. Unlike the digestive system, the skin has no safeguards against toxins and absorbed chemicals go straight to the organs.
How are these chemicals from kitchen cleaners getting into our system?
Kitchen cleaners are laden with chemicals that you end up breathing in, and that get absorbed through your skin through things you touch. Have you ever coughed after spraying and cleaner in your kitchen or bathroom? It is not good to breathe these chemicals in for yourself- let alone your kids.
These chemicals are also ingested by eating food that has touched the counter. Babies are also exposed the them when they crawl on the floor. There are several options you can go for, instead of chemical laden cleaning products. I will provide some solutions I have used here.
Here are the top two chemicals you need to watch out for:
This chemical is found in many fragranced household products like air fresheners, dish soap, even toilet paper. We are mostly exposed to this chemical through inhalation, but it also found in soaps and absorbed every time you wash your hands. Because of proprietary laws, companies do not have to disclose what is in their scents, so you will not find phthalates on a label. What you would need to look for is the word “fragrance” on a label. If it is listed, there is a good chance phthalates are in that product.
The health risks: Phthalates are known for shutting down the endocrine system. This is your hormone system of the body. A study conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Harvard School of Public Health in 2003 showed men with higher phthalate compounds in their blood had reduced sperm counts.
PERCHLOROETHYLENE OR “PERC”
The other one to watch out for is found in dry-cleaning solutions, spot removers, and carpet and upholstery cleaners. We are exposed to this one through inhalation, through the skin form clothes that have been dry cleaned and the fumes from getting your carpets cleaned.
The health risks: Perc is a neurotoxin, and a possible carcinogen according to the the EPA. It has been documented that people who live in residential buildings where dry cleaners are located, have reported dizziness, loss of coordination and other symptoms.
These are just the top two, but I think you get the point. It is very important to know what you are breathing in, and if you cough after using a spray, this is a sign. If you want to learn more, and know where I got this information, check out this article: 8 Hidden Toxins in Household Cleaners.
I can’t tell you how easy it is to make your own disinfectant counter and bathroom spray. It will keep off even the toughest bacteria, viruses, and fungus from the surfaces of your home. Even better, its granite countertop safe!
Simply find yourself a spray bottle (glass is best), fill, and shake before every use. Oh, did I mention it smells amazing? Plus, I don’t have to worry about the kids using it—which means they get to help clean more. It’s a win-win.
Take a look at the Kitchen and Bathroom Cleaner recipe for more information and ingredients. You want to use disinfectants that are not carcinogens. Rubbing alcohol is, so if you use a food grade it is safer. A tiny bit of bleach is also an option and many many essential oils have been proven to kill the biggest bugs. Certain oils are not good for granite but there are many options. You can also make your won stainless steel cleaner and glass cleaners with vinegar. I usually add several drops of Spearmint essential oil to help balance the smell.