Do the chemicals in your household cleaners cause permanent damage?
Cleaning is not one of my favorite things to do, but it is a necessary evil. If you have even one child, you know that somehow messes seem to make themselves, and its almost impossible to keep up with your kids when it comes to dirtying up a house. So naturally, we moms use a lot of different chemicals in our bid to defeat the mess that never seems to end. That being said, most moms I know don’t use any kind of respiratory protection when they clean, which makes me wonder if the chemicals we are using are really safe.
According to study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, women who regularly use cleaning sprays have a greater decline in lung function over long periods of time than women who do not clean. The study followed 6,235 women in Norway over a period of 20 years.
The research showed that women who regularly engage in household cleaning saw a decline in the amount of air they could forcibly exhale in one second, at a rate of 3.6 milliliters per year. The total amount of air these women could forcibly exhale declined by 4.3 ml per year for home cleaners, and 7.1 ml per year for professional cleaners.
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This finding showed that the decline in lung function was comparable to that of women who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day. This decline is thought to come from the effect of cleaning chemicals on mucous membranes in the lungs, which makes sense if you think about how strong some of these chemicals are when used on non-porous surfaces. Imagine what they are doing to the inside of your lungs!
So what do you do about it?
There are plenty of non-toxic, gentle cleaning agents out there. In fact, here is a list, to make things easy for you. Even though many of them are a little more expensive, your lungs will thank you.
If you don’t mind things on your face, you can buy respirator masks from Amazon, for a little over six bucks.
If you are into DIY, research all-natural cleaning solutions that you can mix yourself. Here are a few easy ones from Wellness Mama.
When cleaning, always do so in a well-ventilated area, and don’t be afraid to open a window or two.
Always keep in mind that your health comes first, so no matter how messy your home might get, it isn’t worth putting yourself at risk to remove that stubborn stain on the tile.
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