While we are always cautious to keep our family and pets out of danger, we rarely think about the little things that may be slowly causing us great harm. One such threat is in our kitchen.
In a recent article, DavidSuzuki.org talks about the hazards in your kitchen.. our favorite cleaning products. He asks you to grab a bottle of one of your cleaning products and see if you notice anything missing… how about what’s in the product? Food and cosmetic products are the only products that require an ingredient list.
What does this mean?
Phthalates, chlorine, bleach, ammonia, sodium laureth sulphate, and ethoxylated alcohols are just a few things that are commonly found in household cleaners and are linked to a wide range of health issues such as asthma, cancer, allergies and multiple chemical sensitivities. Children and pets are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of these chemicals that you might be unknowingly exposing them too.
Why do they use toxic chemicals?
This might not surprise anyone, and it can be summed up in one word… profit. These toxic ingredients are cheaper than environmentally and people/pet safe chemicals. Because there is no law that requires them to list their ingredients, and no law requiring their products to be submitted for safety testing (or federal approval), manufacturers are free to put whatever they want in their products. The worst part is, we don’t know. Even a small amount of these chemicals being exposed on a regular basis can cause long-term health problems or death.
What can you do?
Safely dispose of your toxic cleaners and switch to “green” cleaning products. These are products that contain no harmful ingredients to your health or the environment, and are biodegradable (in less than 28 days).
If you’re looking for something else you can do (especially if your Canadian), go to davidsuzuki.org and fill out the email for that will send a message to your Minister demanding the laws made to protect us be enforced. On June 11, 2011 the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act required Minister Leona Aglukkaq to establish a committe to provide advice on labeling consumer products. Almost a year later, no such committee has been convened.
What else can you do? Also on the davidsuzuki.org website you can send a message to Proctor and Gamble, creators of Mr. Clean, Tide and Windex asking them to make a change. They make it very simple, just put your information in and the message is sent for you. The message says:
Dear Mr. Clean,
I’ve been with you through muck and mess, slime and stains. I let you into my house, even trusted you with my kids and pets.
But I can’t ignore the facts any more. You’ve been holding out on me! You’ve got dirty little secrets you’ve never come clean on. And that’s not how healthy relationships are supposed to be.
So… I’m breaking up with you. It’s you, not me.
I know you want me to be happy, so I have to tell you I’ve found something better! Turns out I can wash my floors, counter tops and shower with cleaners that don’t contain corrosive ingredients that can burn the eyes, skin, and lungs. I can even make my own all-purpose cleaner — where I know every ingredient in the bottle! Now that puts you, “the man behind the shine”, in a whole new light!
I’m ready for a new relationship, Mr. Clean; one I know is healthy for me, and for the planet.
If you decide to clean up your act — and stop hiding your dirt — let me know. Otherwise, this is the last you’ll hear from me.
Bye-bye, Mr. Clean. Breaking up with you is a clean slate for me.
How awesome is this? It’s time to act and protect the ones we love.
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