The following information is intended to help you make an informed decision about the types of household cleaning products you choose to use for yourself and your families.
You are what you eat, digest and absorb. What you absorb includes what is absorbed through inhalation and the skin, which happens to be the largest organ of the body. When the liver is overworked, the skin takes over with the elimination of toxins. Unfortunately, many toxins are not that easy to eliminate.
Since WWII more than 80,000 synthetic chemicals have been invented. Most have been created from petroleum and coal tar for the purposes of chemical warfare. The sad thing is that hardly any of these substances have been tested for safety, but have been added to our food, water and cleaning products without our consent and most often without informing us of any dangers. There is a lot of intentional suppression in this industry that adds approximately 1000 new chemicals each year.
According to the National Research Council, "no toxic information is available for more than 80% of the chemicals in everyday-use products. Less than 20% have been tested for acute effects and less than 10% have been tested for chronic, reproductive or mutagenic effects." More than 4.5 billion chemicals are known and 50,000 are commercially distributed. hat's worse is that tests are only done on single chemicals. There is never any testing done on combinations, which we're exposed to on a daily basis.
Imagine what your lifetime exposure is.
It requires a team of scientists, 300 mice, more than $300,000 US, and 2-3 years to determine whether one single suspect chemical causes cancer. These mice have much higher immune systems than we do. Governments are at the mercy of economic agendas. Industry interests almost always win over issues regarding health or government regulation. Only 1% of toxins are required to be listed on labels. This is mainly because the products don't make any claims about safety. Companies can also classify them as "trade secrets" to avoid listing them. Many of the ingredients labeled "inert" are actually more toxic than the active ingredients. If you don't know what it is, don't use it.
The chemical companies spend billions of dollars each year brainwashing us. Ninety-one percent of the population applies 300-million pounds of these poisons annually, often indoors. City dwellers use more chemicals per acre than farmers and spend more than $1 billion annually.
The first agent of chemical warfare was chlorine. The war ended with an abundance of this cheap chemical. In the name of huge profits, it was added to our water supply and many other products. Chlorine is the number one cause of breast cancer and can be lethal. Scientists won't handle chlorine without protective gloves, facemasks, and ventilation, yet it is in most store-brand cleaners, including dishwasher detergents. The harmful effects are intensified when the fumes are heated, as in the shower. It's in our drinking water, swimming pools, Jacuzzis, and more.
Fluoride is worse, but space limits its discussion here. Do your own research and avoid it. It's one of the biggest scams of all time. It has no benefits whatsoever. It's extremely poisonous!
Most household cleaners contain toxic chemicals. Ammonia is in almost all of them and is lethal if combined with bleach (forming chloramine). Industry requires readily accessible information about chemicals used in the workplace that includes the effects of combining chemicals. The main manual, Workplace Hazardous Materials Identification System (WHMIS), contains Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). Have a look at this manual. You may be surprised at how dangerous some products are that you use, unsuspectingly, in your home on a regular basis.
The government acknowledges that these cleaning products are hazardous, but regulation only requires labels to indicate if they are: combustible, corrosive, poison, caution, etc.
One million poisonings in Canada each year are due to household cleaner ingestion. Some are fatal. The #1 cause of household poisoning is dish detergent. What kinds of chemicals are in those products? These statistics were given before the recent hype over anti-bacterials, which are even worse.
Certain types of bacteria are necessary and beneficial. They eat decaying debris and keep the "bad" bacteria in balance. Nature is always safest and was never intended to destroy, like chemicals are.
Each time you wash your dishes, some residue is left on them. The residue accumulates with each washing. Your food picks up part of the residue -- especially if your meal is hot and you ingest it.
Dishwashing liquids are labeled "harmful if swallowed." Most contain Naphtha, a CNS depressant, diethanolsamine, a liver poison, and/or chlorophenylphenol, a toxic metabolic stimulant. Do you want to be using harmful products to clean dishes that you and your family are going to be eating off of? A few times I unsuspectingly used anti-bacterial soap while visiting and suffered from side effects each time. They include: rough, dry hands, a feeling in my nose as if it had been sanded with coarse sand paper until raw, and the strong smell of ammonia. These effects lasted at least 20 hours after exposure.
Washing your hands with cold water inhibits the spread of bacteria and germs. Hot water encourages growth of unwanted organisms. But in most cases, the bacteria are much safer than the chemicals used to kill them. You can use plain vodka or vinegar as a disinfectant if you are uncomfortable using pay phones, washrooms, shopping carts, etc., in public places. Remember, people are organisms.
I spilt some Brand X dish soap on the grass, which I immediately soaked with water until there were no more suds. About a week later the grass was dead. If it kills the grass, what is it doing to us?
Many household products contain harmful chemicals. For example, formaldehyde is in almost all cleaning products, including laundry detergents, toothpaste and shampoo.
Laundry detergents contain phosphorus, enzymes, ammonia, naphthalene, phenol, sodium nitilotriacetate and countless others. These chemicals can cause rashes, itches, allergies, sinus problems and more. The residue left on your clothes, bed sheets, etc., is absorbed through your skin, as is everything else you touch. Thus, the success and popularity of transdermal patches. Don't fall prey to the bombardment of advertisements strongly suggesting that you absolutely need these products. You don't, but their profit margins do. If declining health is what you desire, use these products.
Disinfectants are usually phenol- or cresol-based and deactivate sensory nerve endings. They attack the liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas, and the central nervous system (CNS) and it takes over a year to eliminate the unhealthy effects of spraying 2 ounces, even with heavy cross ventilation.
Oven cleaners are one of the most toxic products people use. They contain lye and ammonia, which eat the skin, and the fumes linger and affect the respiratory system. Then there ís the residue that's intensified the next time you turn your oven on. Use sea salt and baking soda instead.
Air fresheners interfere with your ability to smell by releasing nerve deadening agents or coating nasal passages with an oil film, usually methoxychlor, a pesticide that accumulates in fat cells and over stimulates the CNS. Dryer sheets fall into this category. They are extremely toxic. Avoid them. (The only reason you require fabric softeners is because the chemicals in laundry soap create the static. It may take several washings with chemical free detergents to eliminate the chemical residue static. Your patience will be well rewarded.) Some other common ingredients include: P-dichlorobenzene, naphthalene and formaldehyde. Fresh, organic citrus juices, vinegar, spices, and essential oils will do a better job, risk free.
Pesticides are dangerous. They are responsible for asthma, bronchitis, eczema, migraines, death, hives, joint and muscle pain for 16 million people in this country and the numbers are growing. Antibiotics are pesticides. You may be surprised to find out just how many everyday products contain pesticides, such as toothpaste and shampoo. Most public buildings are sprayed with pesticides on a regular basis. Don't count on your doctor to inform you of this. Medication and treatment for the effects of these chemicals is a very lucrative business. Doctors serve the pharmaceutical/chemical industry, not you.
Pesticides are the #2 cause of death by poisoning in this country. They can linger for more than 30 years. Inhalation can lead to nausea, cough, breathing difficulties, depression, eye irritation, dizziness, weakness, blurred vision, twitching, convulsions and more. They are stored in body fat. Long-term they damage liver, kidneys, lungs, and lead to paralysis, sterility, immune suppression, brain hemorrhages, decreased fertility, sexual dysfunction, heart problems and coma. Diazanon is a carcinogen, teratogen (serious birth defects), mutagen (genetic damaging) and it causes death. Pests are not life threatening.
Flea collars are pesticides and release a continuous supply to the pet. In addition to the great harm caused to your pet, it is absorbed through your skin every time you touch your pet. Leave your pet a dish of brewer's yeast; it will instinctively eat it as needed and repel fleas naturally. Please don't let the vet turn your pet into a drug addict because of chemical exposure and unnecessary vaccines.
Lice shampoo is a pesticide and is absorbed into the brain. Lindane, the main ingredient, causes convulsions, seizures, cancer and death. You can use your favorite shampoo several times a day, every day. The lice will be gone in less than a week. Lice are not dangerous.
Regular shampoos contain harsh chemicals. Baby shampoos advertised as gentle and "no tears" contain some of the worst chemicals, including anesthetizing agents to cover up the burning sensation that would otherwise be caused when the chemicals contact the eyes. Imagine what effect these agents have on the eyes and brain, especially after repeated uses.
Sodium laurel sulfate and other forms of this substance lower brain acuity and attribute to blindness, yet they are commonly used in shampoos, toothpastes and other personal hygiene products.
Everything that touches your scalp is absorbed into your brain first, so think twice before choosing to bleach, dye, or perm your hair. Use natural alternatives, if you must.
Effects of these toxic chemicals include: illness, allergies, asthma, ear infections, learning disabilities, nervous disorders, respiratory difficulties and more. The American Cancer Society stated "environmental pollution causes cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, coughing, asthma, nervous disorders, emphysema, wheezing, nasal congestion, burning eyes, headache, burning, tingling, skin flushing, muscle aches, irritability, mental confusion, uncoordination, hyperactivity and other debilitating illnesses."
The EPA depends on industry-sponsored tests for approval. In 1981, one company was found guilty of falsifying over 90% of more than 2000 studies. Those products are still readily available.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission on Chemicals Commonly Found in Homes identified 150 as linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological abnormalities. Ten percent cause high blood pressure (HBP) and migraines and 20% are responsible for mental disturbances. Indoor air in the home has been found to have five times higher toxic chemical concentrations than outdoor air. This is also true in rural areas. A five-year study conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showed many indoor air samples to be 70 times more toxic. Could this be why almost everyone is sick, especially children and those working in public buildings with no fresh air intake?
A scientific paper at the "Indoor Air Conference" in 1990 in Toronto stated "because of household cleaners, housewives have a 55% higher risk of contracting cancer."
With all these dangers well-documented and well known, industry still spends millions of dollars each year to convince us that we need these products. It is much more dangerous and expensive to dispose of these toxins in hazardous waste dumps, which are few and far between.
Exposure to toxins has synergistic and cumulative effects. They are known as xenobiotics (foreign to the body). The body was not designed to eliminate them, so it accumulates them. Doctors usually treat these toxic overloads with more poisons. Is it any wonder our healthcare costs are skyrocketing while we keep getting sicker and sicker? There are huge profits being made at the expense of our health.
The main ingredient in most weed killers is 2,4-D (dichlorophenoxyacetic acid). When combined with 2,4,5-T (trichlorophenoxyacetic acid) it forms "Agent Orange." Use of these products creates more resistant weeds while harming us. These chemicals eventually end up in our water table and in edible crops planted in the vicinity. When was the last time you saw bees, butterflies, dragonflies or ladybugs? They are almost extinct because of the overuse of these and other similar chemicals and pesticides. Are we next on the endangered species list? The effects of these chemical poisonings are often given names and treated as new diseases. We know differently. Treat your lawn with dish soap, coke & beer, diluted with water every month or so and use a mulching mower. Longer grass shades weed seeds. Plant basil to keep mosquitoes and other pests away. There are many books available about companion planting and beneficial insects, to keep the unwelcome ones away without compromising you.
You, your pets and children walk on and absorb the harmful chemicals applied to lawns and gardens. Avoid them. Weeds grow where soils are barren and deficient in certain nutrients -- the very ones that these weeds provide. They have longer roots that reach lower into the ground to provide those hard-to-reach nutrients, while preventing soil erosion. If you don't want them to spread, at least cut off the buds/flowers. It's usually the chemical dependent lawns that attract the weeds and produce larger ones.
These chemicals affect your lawn the way drugs affect you. The more dependent you are on drugs, the sicker you become and the more drugs you take. It's a never ending, vicious cycle of addiction. The less drugs a person takes the stronger their immune system is, and the healthier they are. It's best to avoid them all. The same goes for your lawn. It may take a couple of years for the "withdrawal symptoms" to subside, but the wait will be more than worth it. There is an entire ecosystem below the surface that works interdependently to ensure your soil, and your crops, flourish. The chemicals also kill all these beneficial microorganisms, worms, etc. Nature is our friend, treat it as such.
When Congress passed the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (the legal basis for the EPA's regulation of disinfectants), it assumed that they were all toxic. No guidelines were created for identifying non-toxic agents. In other words, they are all toxic and to be avoided.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards require testing a chemical to a specified amount listed in the regulation. If it kills half of a group of test animals, the chemical is toxic by this definition. If the test animals survive after being exposed to an amount greater than that listed, the chemical is non-toxic. The tests are done orally, transdermally and by inhalation. Not very strict or reassuring in my opinion. And where are the tests for long-term exposure, or on humans?
Beware of toxic chemicals. The danger doesn't end with their use. Everything that goes down your drain eventually ends up in your drinking water supply. This is multiplied by what your neighbors and every other person and industry put down their drains. More than four million pounds of household cleaning chemicals go down Canadian drains each year.
Everything that goes down our drains and toilets ends up at the water treatment plants where they are mixed with even more toxic chemicals, recycled and returned to us via our water taps (including drugs and poisons we ingested, inhaled and absorbed, then eliminated). Eventually there will not be enough water to dilute all these chemicals and we will end up with pure chemicals coming from our taps. Hence the huge market for bottled water and point of use filter systems. Avoid distilled and "drinking" water.
The remaining sludge is extremely toxic and is marketed as "natural fertilizer" called "bio solids." It's used on farms that supply produce to our supermarkets and the livestock industry.
Whatever goes down the sewers on the streets goes directly into the rivers. What we do to the planet, we do to ourselves. If a product is not friendly to the environment, it cannot be friendly to us. If a product requires special handling or ventilation, don't expose yourself or your environment to it. This is where you, your family and friends have to live and breathe. Next time you or someone you know feels ill, instead of rushing off to the doctor to get medicated (poisoned), why not look for the cause in a household chemical or food additive and eliminate it? This can save a lot of grief and more toxic overload, which will probably be labeled as some type of serious illness without looking for the cause.
Children are at higher risk when playing on floors with the residue from formaldehyde, asbestos and pesticides from common household cleaners. Their respiration rates are three times higher than adults, and their detoxification systems are not fully developed and cannot filter these toxins out. Have you noticed how many children are on inhalers lately? This is akin to putting the fire out with gasoline. The older you are, the more years of accumulation of these toxins you will have in your system. There are tens of thousands of chemicals in use, but if you ever get tested, they will usually only test for 150 or so, and those are probably not the worst ones. That's only about .002%. It's a joke really.
Personal care and cleaning products are very toxic. Prior to WWII they didn't exist, homes were clean, and people had fewer health problems. Do we really want to compromise our health so the chemical companies can become wealthy? How many toxic bombs are lurking in your home? There are many safe, chemical free cleaning products on the market today, or if you prefer -- use the basics; baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar and water. You'll be amazed at what a wonderful job they do.
Please do your own research and use the products that are the safest and best for your families. There are numerous books on these subjects. Don't leave your fate in the hands of multibillion-dollar chemical industries whose only concern is profit. Your shopping habits create a demand for the products you buy. If you don't like what is contained in the products offered in your stores, let it be known and switch products. Encourage industry to be responsible for their products, as we must be with our purchases. Educate your friends, neighbors and loved ones. Don't ever give anyone authority over your body or your health. It's your responsibility to be informed. What you don't know can harm you, and even kill you. Once the damage is done, it may be too late.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lorie Dwornick is a researcher, educator and activist living in Winnipeg, MB. She found out first-hand about the corruption in "the system" through cover-ups, fabrications and deception affecting her own health. This started her trek to get the answers she'd been denied. When she learns of something she feels others need their eyes opened up to, she makes it known so they don't have to go through the kind of ongoing ordeal that's been imposed upon her since becoming the victim of an accident many years ago. Victims are being treated like criminals. Lorie -- like many researchers -- uncovered all sorts of things she wasn't even looking for. As the saying goes, "the lies are hidden in plain view." She believes that eventually enough people will be aware of these things to expose the corruption to the extent that some, if not all, of it can be halted. The truth is almost always the opposite of what the propaganda machine (mainstream media) tells us. It is about mass manipulation and control.