Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 24 - The Green Clean

I think subconsciously I always new the cleaning products I used to clean were harmful. I always had an excuse not to clean. First off the fumes give me a headache especially when it came to cleaning the bathrooms. Small enclosed space - lots of chemical fumes - no wonder.

When I was pregnant I refused to do any cleaning - poor husband - worked so hard at work and had to clean too. And even after I was a little hesitant. What would happen if my baby cried and needed me while I was cleaning - all those fumes would not be good for them. Now I think back to when I used to clean the bath tub - I would dread bathing my children in the 'clean' bath as I was sure no matter how well I tried to rinse the cleaning agents off - there would still be some residue. Then there would be the times when my little ones would want to help clean and I would say "No, yucky dangerous don't touch". Yes we clean with yucky dangerous stuff. See all the different products I have used - picture to the right.

Turns out I was not wrong and my fears justified about the cleaning agents I used.

Ammonia - Fatal when swallowed
Ammonium Hydroxide -Corrosive, irritant
Bleach - Potentially fatal if ingested
Chlorine - Number one cause of poisonings in children
Formaldehyde -Highly toxic; known carcinogen
Hydrochloric acid -Corrosive, eye and skin irritant
Hydrochloric bleach -Eye, skin and respiratory tract irritant
Sodium hypochlorit - Potentially fatal
Sodium laurel sulfate - Carcinogen, toxin, genetic mutagen
Sodium tripolyphosphate -Irritant
Trichloroethane -Damages liver and kidneys
and the list goes on..................... If this is the dangers to us humans imagine what it is doing to the environment....

Some interesting facts:
  • In the past 40 years, at least 70,000 new chemicals have been released into the environment through new consumer and industrial products and food.
    Male and female infertility are on the rise. Research is now pointing to pesticides as a viable cause.
  • Women who work in the home have a 54% higher death rate than women who work out of the home. - Toronto Indoor Air Conference, 1990
  • According to the U.S Poison Control Centers, "A child is accidentally poisoned every 30 seconds and more than 50% of all poisonings occur at home with children under 5 years of age."
  • There has been a 25% increase in the last 25 years in cancer incidence among children under 15 years of age.
  • Thirty years ago the 3 major childhood illnesses were chickenpox, measles and mumps. Now it is asthma, ADD and cancer.

For more info on the above visit

Today, I decided to go "green" with my clean and now have only a few cleaning products: Vinegar, Baking Soda, Lemon Juice, Borax (for tougher cleaning) Water Newspaper and a little Rubbing Alcohol way safer now for my children to help clean and for the first time in a long time I was excited about cleaning and these non chemical alternatives really and truly work. No need to worry about the headaches, accidentally mixing chemicals or the potential dangerous residue left in the bath tub that could harm my children. Now see the "NEW" cleaning products I use pictured above. What a difference.

In my search for information on cleaning products I came upon this web page: it too list the dangers of our current cleaning products, however it goes on to suggest some alternative products as well as some recipes to make your own from the ingredients I listed above.

Here's to the "GREEN CLEAN" my challenge now is what do I do with all the dangerous cleaners, throw them out? NO; Keep them? NO my kids may get a hold of them. I am tempted to send them back to the company so they can be made aware that I am not interested in their poison anymore.

1 comment:

kate said...

Hi, I just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed reading your posts! Although I have always considered myself to be "eco-friendly" I have discocovered that there is a LOT more that I can and should be doing. I moved to a small rural town a few years ago that doesn't know the first thing about recycling and or being eco-friendly. Strangley enough, it has motivated me even more to help continue to educate myself, so that I can educate those who live around me!

Thanks for doing this- you are an inspiration!