Allergies? Check Your Household Cleaning Products

February 26th, 2013 by Loretta Lanphier

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 NameChemical DetectedHealth Concern*
______________________________________________________________________________

Clorox

______________________________________________________________________________
Clorox Green Works Natural Glass & Surface Cleaner Original ScentLimoneneAllergies
 __________________________________ ______________________ ____________________
Green Works Natural Laundry Detergent Original ScentLimoneneAllergies
DL-CitronellolAllergies
 __________________________________ ___________________________________________
Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner with BleachChloroformCancer
Carbon tetrachlorideCancer
LimoneneAllergies
__________________________________ ___________________________________________
Original Pine-SolToluenePregnancy complications
LimoneneAllergies
 __________________________________ ______________________ ____________________

Procter & Gamble

______________________________________________________________________________
Tide Original Scent1,4-dioxaneCancer
LimoneneAllergies
 __________________________________ ___________________________________________
Tide Free & Gentle (fragrance free)1,4-dioxaneCancer
LimoneneAllergies
 __________________________________ ______________________ ____________________
Bounce with Febreze Fresh Scent Spring & RenewalLimoneneAllergies
DL-CitronellolAllergies
LinaloolAllergies
 __________________________________ ______________________ ____________________
Bounce Free & Sensitive (fragrance free)LimoneneAllergies
LinaloolAllergies
1,4-dioxaneCancer
 __________________________________ ______________________ ____________________
Febreze Air Effects Spring & RenewalLinaloolAllergies
LinaloolAllergies
GalaxolideHormone disruption
 _________________________________________________________ ____________________

Reckitt Benckiser

______________________________________________________________________________
Lysol Disinfectant Spray Spring WaterfallLimoneneAllergies
DL-CitronellolAllergies
EugenolAllergies
 __________________________________ ______________________ ____________________
Lysol Neutra Air Fabric Mist Crisp LinenLimoneneAllergies
LinaloolAllergies
__________________________________ ______________________ ____________________
Air Wick Scented Oil Lavender & ChamomileLimoneneAllergies
LinaloolAllergies
EugenolAllergies
CoumarinAllergies
 __________________________________ ___________________________________________
Air Wick Fresh Waters Air FreshenerLimoneneAllergies
LinaloolAllergies
 _________________________________________________________ ____________________

SC Johnson & Son

______________________________________________________________________________
Glade Plug In Scented Oil Hawaiian BreezeLimoneneAllergies
LinaloolAllergies
EugenolAllergies
__________________________________ ______________________ ____________________
Glade Tough Odor Solutions w/Oust Refreshing Citrus Air SanitizerDibutyl 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
GalaxolideHormone disruption
LimoneneAllergies
LinaloolAllergies
 __________________________________ ______________________ ____________________
Pledge Furniture Spray Dust & Allergen Outdoor FreshLimoneneAllergies
DL-CitronellolAllergies
 __________________________________ ______________________ ____________________
Pledge Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner Fragrance Free HypoallergenicNoneN/A
__________________________________ ______________________ ____________________
Windex OriginalLimoneneAllergies
LinaloolAllergies
 __________________________________ ______________________ ____________________

Sunshine Makers

______________________________________________________________________________
Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner Non-Toxic BiodegradableToluenePregnancy complications
LimoneneAllergies
 __________________________________ ______________________ ____________________
Simple Green Naturals Multi-Surface Care Lemon VerbenaBis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate  (DEHP)Reproductive harm, hormone disruption, neurodevelopment problems
1,4-dioxaneCancer
LimoneneAllergies
LinaloolAllergies
______________________________________________________________________________

*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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