It can feel impossible to know what’s toxic and what’s not anymore
The very idea of needing to find nontoxic cleaners seems ridiculous. Aren’t cleaners meant to clean? Toxins don’t seem very clean to me!
We are constantly inundated with toxins. The average baby is born with 287 different chemicals in their bodies. Products labeled as cleaners are turning our homes into chemical cesspools. And our schools and office buildings are causing widespread Sick Building Syndrome, leading to respiratory problems, extreme fatigue, and even cancer.
It sounds awful, I know. But, with the right information you can control what you do and don’t have on household surfaces, and in the air you and your family breathe. One simple step is to swap out your current cleaning products for nontoxic cleaners.
The Problem with Most Cleaning Products
Ingredients in household cleaning products have been linked to a wide variety of medical issues – things like:
- Autoimmune conditions
- Hormonal disorders
To make matters worse, labeling laws in the US are extremely lax. Product manufacturers are easily able to trick consumers with greenwashing terms like “non-toxic” and “natural,” when that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Finding Nontoxic Cleaners
So, if the manufacturers can legally get away with putting basically whatever they want on their labels, how can we possibly know what’s safe? Well, to start, while they can add anything to the label to make it look healthy, they’re also legally required to include any product warnings on their labels. Not to mention, it’s in their best interest if they want to avoid a lawsuit from an injured end-user.
Below are some examples of terms to look for. There are more, but you’ll get the idea – look for words that make you cringe!
- Fatal if swallowed
- Will burn skin and eyes
- Known or suspected carcinogen
Also, avoid anything with “fragrance” or “parfum” as an ingredient. This one item can actually include hundreds of chemicals. And almost always includes phthalates, a family of chemicals linked to hormone disruption, cancer and birth defects.
If reading labels sounds like a pain – and it certainly can be – the Environmental Working Group (EWG) provides a great resource that takes a lot of the work out of finding the best products for you. Their Guide to Healthy Cleaning provides safety ratings for more than 12,000 products to date, and they’re constantly adding to the database and updating information.
You can always save some money and the research headache by making your own cleaning products as well. Download my free guide to DIY household cleaners.