More and more our health is suffering because of exposure to toxins in everyday cleaners, bath, body and beauty products and food. As mothers, consumers and families, we have to take action at home to make our homes safer for our children and pets if we want them to grow to be healthy adults. Here are the top 5 reasons to go natural in your home, or at least, why I chose to as a mom of four!
This post is also available on my podcast, The Merry Messy Moms Show
This post is on my podcast, The Merry Messy Moms Show! Tune in wherever you get podcasts, or here:
My Story – Why I Decided to Go Natural
When I became a mom in 2009, I started to notice how man of my cleaning supplies had warning labels. And how those same cleaners would make me cough and make my eyes water as I used them. I also had to use rubber gloves or my hands would break out in a rash!
I was not okay with my cute toddler finding these poisonous items under the sink and ending up in the emergency room (or worse) if he swallowed them! So I began educating myself on the toxins in our cleaning supplies and was shocked by what I learned. I became determined to have a safe and healthy home for our growing family.
I threw all of our conventional cleaning supplies in the trash and began making my own using simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, Castile soap, water and essential oils. I began sharing my homemade cleaning recipes online, which was the birth of my blog in 2011. I've collected all of my research and recipes in my book, Detox Your Home, which you can find here on Amazon.
Here Are The 5 Reasons to Go Natural In Your Home
1. It Keeps Our Water Supply Cleaner
There are so many chemicals going down our toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers that sewage processing facilities are having a difficult time removing them all. That means that these toxins, some of which are poisonous, are getting back into our water supply and we are drinking them! I highly recommend having a water filter for your home. We use a reverse osmosis one and have been very happy with it!
Think of all of the toxins used in landscaping that get into the water supply as well – weed killers like RoundUp and fertilizers, which are poisonous to animals and wildlife. These also runoff into creeks and get into our water supply.
2. It Helps the Environment
Most of the store-bought products that we use to clean our homes and keep our yards looking nice contain toxins that harm aquatic life. Products like drain cleaners are extremely toxic to animals and humans both and go down our drains and out into the environment. Turtles, ducks, geese, frogs, insets, fish and more are all affected by these toxins. If we don't begin to use products that are environmentally friendly and biodegradable, we could all be paying a high price. Cancer is already so common in the US and I don't want to contribute to making it worse!
Towns and cities that are nearby farms and manufacturing facilities know first-hand the affects these toxins have on their health. Cancer, reproductive diseases, autoimmune diseases, and birth defects are common. Why would we want to be using these products in our homes and exposing our ourselves, our own children and pets to these toxins when there are cheap, safe and easy alternatives? If there were no other options, that would be one thing, but there are!
I like to do my part to take care of our planet and if I can make my own natural cleaners for just a few minutes once a month or so to do that, then I’m happy to! What an easy way to keep us and our planet cleaner and healthier.
3. It Prevents Air Pollution Inside Your Own Home
We often refer to air pollution as something that happens outside, something that happens in big, industrial cities. But did you know that the air inside buildings and homes is actual way more polluted?
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the air inside the typical American home is 2-5 times more polluted than the air immediatley outside – and in some extreme cases, 100 times more contaminated. Ten percent of all toxic exposures reported to the U.S Poison Control Agency are from common household cleaners. Chemicals within our homes contribute to indoor air pollution, especially ones containing fragrances, chlorine bleach and ammonia.
Gases from Cleaners Can Worsen and Even CAUSE Asthma
Toxins in cleaners can even worsen asthma and CAUSE adult-onset asthma – what?! How is this okay?
Many cleaning products, including spray cleaners and disinfecting wipes, contain asthmagens—chemicals that can either worsen asthma or cause asthma in someone who never previously had it. Studies show that using traditional cleaning sprays as rarely as once a week can increase your risk of developing adult-onset asthma. Common asthmagens and respiratory irritants in cleaning products include quats, ethanolamines, glutaral and sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach).
The US Consumer Products Safety Commission reports that,
“In the last several years, a growing body of evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted that the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicated that people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.”
4. It's Much Better for Your Health
Common cleaning chemicals can release more than 450 chemicals into the air and are linked to:
- Skin irritation
- Irritation – watery eyes, coughing, rashes, headaches, and migraines
- Brain fog and confusion
- Reproductive toxicity
- Harmful to babies in the womb
The most dangerous of all cleaners are drain, oven, and acidic toilet bowl cleaners. They are caustic and can cause chemical burns in your eyes and skin upon contact, and are deadly if swallowed. I also think it's really important that you use nontoxic cleaners on your floors because the bottoms of the feet and paws of animals are highly porous. Any chemical that's on the floor will be absorbed into your bloodstream through your feet.
According to the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org):
Studies have shown that infants exposed in the womb to cleaning products used by their mothers may suffer lower birth weight, lower IQ, and wheezing and respiratory symptoms that may persist throughout childhood.
The Health Effects are Cumulative
Our bodies are designed with a sophisticated detoxification system. But just like a drain can get clogged up, so can toxins build up in our bodies over time to point where we can no longer filter the toxins out effectively. They accumulate and being to cause disease.
Long term affects of these toxins are cancer and endocrine system dysfunction – which is damage to our thyroids, pituitary glands, adrenals and to our reproductive systems (think about how many couples struggle with infertility!).
5. Making Your Own Cleaners is Cheap and Eco-Friendly
It is so cheap to make your own cleaners at home, and my blog is full of them! See more recipes here. The ingredients are readily found in grocery stores and they are inexpensive. To be more ecofriendly and to save money, you can buy the ingredients in bulk, which saves on packaging, shipping costs and fuel, and waste.
When you purchase products in the store, you're paying for mostly water. You can buy the ingredients at home in bulk, like vinegar, baking soda and Castile Soap, and pay just pennies to use your own water. This also cuts down on waste as you can reuse your bottles and jars.