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Household Cleaning Products May Do More Harm Than Good

In this age of super-consumption, marketers have trained us to seek out the brands that that deliver superlative benefits over the competitors…

”the tightest ship in the shipping industry”,

“the ultimate driving machine”,

“the greatest show on earth”,

“the best a man can get”.

We purchase these items thinking we are getting the most for our money, which will better our lives in some way.

Sometimes more is not more. Consider household cleaning products.

“Industrial strength” is one marketing-infused brand attribute that suggests cleaning products will make our homes cleaner and that the job will be done faster, or cheaper or all of the above.

“Industrial strength,” tells us the cleaning product is so strong that it really doesn’t belong in our homes. As consumers, we are driven to want such products simply because we’re technically not supposed to have them! At least according to the marketers.

The truth is many ingredients in the common household cleaning products we’ve grown to trust are harmful to our health.

As consumers why would we want such products around us, our families or our pets?

The problem is, most consumers aren’t aware of the hidden dangers these popular cleaning products present to our health. Nor are they aware how pervasive these health threats are.

Brown eyed chubby baby

WHO IS AT RISK?

Most products bear the warning “Keep Out of Reach of Children” in bold type on the label. As consumers, we believe that if our children don’t ingest these products they will not be harmed by them.

Consider though that the most common methods of exposure are through the skin and respiratory tract. Children are frequently in contact with the chemical residues housecleaning products leave behind, by crawling, lying and sitting on the freshly cleaned floor.

Children, especially infants and toddlers, frequently put their fingers in their mouths and noses, increasing risks for exposure. When infants eat solid food, how common is it that the food is placed directly on a high chair tray that has just been wiped down with a household cleaner or dish detergent?

Another factor is that pound for pound, children's’ exposure levels are higher than adults’ because, although the amount of chemicals in an exposure remains equal, children’s bodies are smaller so the concentration is stronger, essentially.  Also, their immune systems are still developing.

Thus, children are probably the highest risk population for chemical exposures through cleaning products. For many of these same reasons, pets may also be at risk.

Other populations with a pronounced risk are breast cancer victims, the elderly, asthma and allergy sufferers and those with compromised immune systems.

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