Monthly Archives: October 2015

Taming the Toxins in Your Home

Did you know that most of the cleaners on the shelves of your local store have hazardous ingredients?

Many of us grew up using off-the-shelf products to clean our homes, deodorize the air, rid our home and gardens of pests (insects, weeds, bad odors, etc.).  But, did you know that most of the products on store shelves these days have products that are causing all sorts of havoc on our bodies and our environment?

Let’s take this well-known carpet cleaner as an example:

IMG_1452

Resolve Spot and Stain Carpet Cleaner may be effective at removing those annoying stains in your carpet, but it contains many toxic ingredients that are difficult to pronounce such as methylchloroisothiazolinone.  Some you can pronounce, but they still are caustic.

Some side effects of the ingredients in this product include:

*Asthma / Respiratory Issues

*Skin Allergies and Irritation

*Developmental & Reproductive Toxicity

*Negative Environmental Impact (Especially to Aquatic Life*)

*Damage to DNA

*If you eat fish, think about what that means.

Simple Green Naturals CarpetA safer alternative is Simple Green Naturals Carpet Care

 

 

 

 

I will delve more specifically into other products in a later post.

Some other products considered to be hazardous are:

  • Automotive Fluid
  • Auto Batteries
  • Chlorine
  • Bleach Cleaners
  • Corrosive Chemicals
  • Drain Openers
  • Fluorescent Bulbs
  • Fluorescent Tubes
  • Fertilizers
  • Gasoline
  • Glue Adhesives
  • Herbicides
  • Hobby Chemicals
  • Household Batteries
  • Insecticides
  • Latex Paint
  • Mercury
  • Mercury Thermometers
  • Mercury Thermostats
  • Motor Oil & Used Filters
  • Muriactic Acid
  • Oil-Based Paint
  • Paint Thinner
  • Pesticides
  • Polishes
  • Pool Chemicals
  • Rust Remover
  • Stains Spray
  • Paint Stripper
  • Varnishes
  • Waxes
  • Weed Killer
  • Wood Preservatives

If you’re like most people, you don’t have time when shopping to read labels.  And, you probably don’t have time to deal with safely disposing of your hazardous chemicals.


Here is the SustainableThree solution in three steps:

  1. To tame those toxins, a quick and easy option is to contact Waste Management At Your Door.  You can arrange to have your household hazardous waste collected here:  http://www.wmatyourdoor.com/public-access/lookup-collection-availability-in-your-area.aspx
  2. Purchase environmentally-friendly products.  I like to use Environmental Working Group’s web site’s search engine to figure out what’s toxic and what’s not:  http://www.ewg.org/
  3. Make your own!  This may sound tedious, but it’s actually quite easy and will save you lots of money.  Often, more environmentally-friendly products are more expensive than their toxic counterparts.  You most likely only need to make up batches a couple times a year.  For example, a 32oz/1L. spray bottle of the name brand glass cleaner will cost you about $4. But, if you make your own using white vinegar, water, a drop of dish-washing liquid and some essential oils, the cost is about $0.60 (including the cost of the water.

Here is a great site for recipes  to make your own, eco-friendly cleaners:

http://greencleaning.about.com/od/InsideYourHome/


Here are some examples of common products and their eco-friendly counterparts:

Most Products People Use to Clean:

  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner

THIS:

Seventh Generation ToiletSeventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Received an “A” on EWG.org’s web site

 

NOT THIS:

Lysol Toilet CleanerLysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Received an “F” on EWG.org’s web site

  • Window Cleaner

THIS:

WFM-Glass-Cleaner-UnscentedWhole Foods Market glass cleaner, unscented

Received an “A” on EWG.org’s web site

 

 

NOT THIS:

Windex Glass CleanerWindex Original Glass Cleaner with Ammonia-D

Received an “F” on EWG.org’s web site

  • Cleanser

THIS:

Bon-Ami CleanserBon-Ami Powder

Received an “A” on EWG.org’s web site

 

NOT THIS:

Comet CleanserComet Disinfectant Cleanser Powder with Bleach

Received an “F” on EWG.org’s web site

  • Dusting Spray

THIS:

Sadly, EWG.org does not list an “A” rated dusting spray.

Here’s a good option:

Citra WoodCitraWood Natural Wood Polish

http://eartheasy.com/green-home/non-toxic-home-cleaning/citrawood-natural-wood-polish

 

NOT THIS:

EndustEndust Multi-Surface Dusting and Cleaning Spray, Lemon Zest

Received an “F” on EWG.org’s web site

 

I was shocked at what I found on EWG.org’s web site.  Many products that I considered to be environmentally-friendly failed when compared to some products which I would have thought to be toxic that weren’t. (i.e. Trader Joe’s “Next to Godliness Environmentally Sound Automatic Dishwashing Detergent Powder” received a “D” while their “…Concentrated Monodose Pacs” received a “B”, so it’s good to take a little time to research your products before you buy them.

Give me your specific questions about specific issues/products you are concerned about and let’s start a conversation!  Click here to ask your questions or express your concern.

BONUS:

If you shop often on Amazon.com, they will donate a portion of your purchase amount to  EWG.org (http://www.ewg.org/).  Use the link below to support them when you shop!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2F&tag=wwwewgorg-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957