Most of us have been conditioned to believe that we must use powerful chemical disinfectants such as bleach, pine and ammonia cleaners to really clean. The truth is that hazardous disinfectants are not necessary to effectively clean. Even the most powerful disinfectants cannot completely sterilize every surface in your home, or the air. Chemical disinfectants only temporarily clean, and have negative long-term effects on you and the environment.

Some of the most harmful toxins ever created are found right in our own kitchens, bathrooms, and garages. The average household contains anywhere from 3-25 gallons of toxic materials, most of which are in cleaners. One of the most important places to eliminate toxic substances is in your cleaning products.

Synthetic chemicals are generally undesirable. Synthetic refers to chemicals made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource whose extraction, refining and need for transportation, can cause significant health risks and environmental degradation. The manufacturing of synthetics is an energy-intensive process, which introduces a variety of toxic chemicals into the air and water. Many do not biodegrade, and they accumulate in the environment.

We only need a few different products to clean our homes, and they don’t need to be toxic to be effective. Choose carefully and read labels. No law requires manufacturers of cleaning products to list ingredients on their labels, or to test their products for safety. We must all act individually to make sure our homes are not only clean, but safe, too.

 

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