Allergies? Check Your Household Cleaning Products

Allergies? Check Your Household Cleaning Products

February 26th, 2013 by Loretta Lanphier, NP, CN, CH, HHP

Allergies? Check Your Household Cleaning Products

Sneezing? Coughing? Sinus drainage? Unexplained rash? Itchy skin?  Believe it or not but these symptoms can be traced back to chemical allergies found in everyday cleaning products.  Unfortunately, most people and even medical professionals associate these symptoms with seasonal changes in plants, trees, pollen, etc. instead of cleaning products in the home.

Every day we are literally exposed to hundreds of different chemicals in the products we use to clean our homes, personal care products we use on our skin, in the pesticides we spray in our homes, lawns, offices, gardens and playgrounds as well as in our food, water and air. In other words we walk in a chemical soup mix.

Not convinced? Pick out your favorite cleaning product that you use the most often.  If you home is like most, these cleaners are located under the kitchen sink.  Now begin reading. Don’t worry if you cannot pronounce all the ingredients, most cannot but yet recognize they are chemical names. Next, if you have some time, take this list to your computer and type some of the ingredients into your search engine and add +dangers. You may be very surprised to find that many of these ingredients are actually toxic chemicals that can harm health and well-being and yet are marketed as being safe or even natural.

Did you know that cleaning product chemicals have also been linked to reproductive concerns such as changes in sexual behavior, decreases in fertility, menstrual changes, changes in the onset of puberty, cancers of reproductive organs, miscarriage, premature birth and other effects. In fact, many scientists now believe that even low-level chemical exposure can have adverse impacts on the reproductive system.

Facts about Cleaning Products

Tens of thousands of chemicals are placed in products, and released to the environment, with very little if any information on the possible consequences for human health.  The government gives little oversight.

Currently there are no legal requirements for ingredient labeling on household cleaning products.  As such, we have very limited access to information about which products contain chemicals ingredients we may want to avoid.

Household cleaning product chemicals pollute the environment when sprayed in the air or washed down the drain which can cause harm to our ecosystems.

The United States Geological Survey found breakdown products of laundry detergents in 70% of North American streams.  These chemicals can cause harm to fish, frogs, turtles and other aquatic life.  Studies have shown that even low-level exposure has reduced the number of fertilized trout eggs and caused reduced embryo survival and abnormal embryos in another fish, the Japanese Medaka.

Below are some interesting tests results from Women’s Voices For The Earth about popular household cleaners and the health concerns they may cause.

Testing Results From Popular Household Cleaners

__________________________________ _______________________ _____________________
Product Name Chemical Detected Health Concern*
__________________________________ _______________________ _____________________

Clorox

__________________________________ _______________________ _____________________
Clorox Green Works Natural Glass & Surface Cleaner Original Scent Limonene Allergies
 __________________________________  ______________________  ____________________
Green Works Natural Laundry Detergent Original Scent Limonene Allergies
DL-Citronellol Allergies
 __________________________________  ______________________ _____________________
Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner with Bleach Chloroform Cancer
Carbon tetrachloride Cancer
Limonene Allergies
__________________________________  ______________________ _____________________
Original Pine-Sol Toluene Pregnancy complications
Limonene Allergies
 __________________________________  ______________________  ____________________

Procter & Gamble

__________________________________ _______________________ _____________________
Tide Original Scent 1,4-dioxane Cancer
Limonene Allergies
 __________________________________  ______________________ _____________________
Tide Free & Gentle (fragrance free) 1,4-dioxane Cancer
Limonene Allergies
 __________________________________  ______________________  ____________________
Bounce with Febreze Fresh Scent Spring & Renewal Limonene Allergies
DL-Citronellol Allergies
Linalool Allergies
 __________________________________  ______________________  ____________________
Bounce Free & Sensitive (fragrance free) Limonene Allergies
Linalool Allergies
1,4-dioxane Cancer
 __________________________________  ______________________  ____________________
Febreze Air Effects Spring & Renewal Linalool Allergies
Linalool Allergies
Galaxolide Hormone disruption
 __________________________________ _______________________  ____________________

Reckitt Benckiser

__________________________________ _______________________ _____________________
Lysol Disinfectant Spray Spring Waterfall Limonene Allergies
DL-Citronellol Allergies
Eugenol Allergies
 __________________________________  ______________________  ____________________
Lysol Neutra Air Fabric Mist Crisp Linen Limonene Allergies
Linalool Allergies
__________________________________  ______________________  ____________________
Air Wick Scented Oil Lavender & Chamomile Limonene Allergies
Linalool Allergies
Eugenol Allergies
Coumarin Allergies
 __________________________________  ______________________ _____________________
Air Wick Fresh Waters Air Freshener Limonene Allergies
Linalool Allergies
 __________________________________ _______________________  ____________________

SC Johnson & Son

__________________________________ _______________________ _____________________
Glade Plug In Scented Oil Hawaiian Breeze Limonene Allergies
Linalool Allergies
Eugenol Allergies
__________________________________  ______________________  ____________________
Glade Tough Odor Solutions w/Oust Refreshing Citrus Air Sanitizer Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) Reproductive harm, hormone disruption, neurodevelopment problems
Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate  (DEHP) Reproductive harm, hormone disruption, neurodevelopment problems
Diethyl phthalate (DEP) Reproductive harm, hormone disruption
Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP) Reproductive harm, hormone disruption
Galaxolide Hormone disruption
Limonene Allergies
Linalool Allergies
 __________________________________  ______________________  ____________________
Pledge Furniture Spray Dust & Allergen Outdoor Fresh Limonene Allergies
DL-Citronellol Allergies
 __________________________________  ______________________  ____________________
Pledge Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner Fragrance Free Hypoallergenic None N/A
__________________________________  ______________________  ____________________
Windex Original Limonene Allergies
Linalool Allergies
 __________________________________  ______________________  ____________________

Sunshine Makers

__________________________________ _______________________ _____________________
Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner Non-Toxic Biodegradable Toluene Pregnancy complications
Limonene Allergies
 __________________________________  ______________________  ____________________
Simple Green Naturals Multi-Surface Care Lemon Verbena Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate  (DEHP) Reproductive harm, hormone disruption, neurodevelopment problems
1,4-dioxane Cancer
Limonene Allergies
Linalool Allergies
__________________________________ _______________________ _____________________

*Health concerns listed are those which have been determined in the scientific literature through exposure to the chemical listed, by at least one route of exposure: inhalation, ingestion or skin absorption. In most cases, research has never been conducted to determine if exposure to the chemical through use of the cleaning product is associated with the health outcome.

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  • W Hurt

    People are correct in blaming these cleaners for allergies but incorrect as to why. The chemicals themselves are not causing the allergic reaction. The problem is the chemicals are killing the Bacteria that are necessary for a healthy immune system. This is why cleaning products never work at reducing allergic reactions and why germaphobes tend to be hyper allergic. They are actually killing their cure.

    Many studies have shown that children that grow up on a farm and in “dirty” environments have a very low incidence of allergic reaction. The research shows that there is a minimum level of healthy bacteria that must be present in out “gut” to maintain healthy immune systems. Antibacterial cleaning products kill the healthy bacteria.

    The research is less clear regarding the elimination of an allergy once it has been developed, but it is very clear that over “cleaning” will cause allergies. So if you want to help your kids grow up healthy, put away the clorox wipes and purel, let them eat the “stuff” off the floor and feed them a probiotic yogurt every day. What you may consider “disgusting” might be the healthiest thing they can put in their mouths.

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