Pollutants in the home can cause allergies and infections, and that can ultimately shorten your life. The average household has at least 62 toxic chemicals stored in the home, many of which are known to contribute to the onset of life-threatening medical conditions such as asthma and cancer.
There’s no clear evidence to link small doses of these materials to early mortality, but the question of long-term exposure to minute doses has not adequately been studied. Even common household cleaning products containing ammonia or chlorine can irritate breathing in sensitive people. Many of them to turn to greener options just to feel comfortable doing household chores.
Businesses profit from the green cleaning trend
Not every individual suffers respiratory distress from the use of harsh chemicals in the home. But there are enough of them to have created a demand for a flourishing industry of green businesses.
Carpet cleaners now offer steam-only cleaning. Green household products are a booming business, as well. About 34 million Americans were diagnosed with asthma in 2007, so anything that can be done to help this segment of the population breathe easier is bound to be profitable.
Areas in the home to target
Green cleaning isn’t just limited to window-washing and carpet cleaning. Even your clothing may contain lingering chemicals from the detergents used in washers and fabric softening products in dryers.
These can trigger allergies in sensitive individuals, and result in stuffy noses or itchy skin. To reduce exposure to unnecessary chemicals, target the following things in your home:
1. Dish cleaning: Any activity that results in consuming food from dishware washed with petroleum-based detergents is a prime target. Substitution of more environmentally friendly dish detergents and soaps is key. Not only will you consume less detergent residue on a daily basis, but the gray water can be recycled to water your plants.
2. Household cleaners: Any cleaner that requires rubber gloves and comes with a warning label is a likely candidate for green substitution. Tile and oven cleaners are two excellent examples. Look for green products that can reduce the stress of cleaning with toxic chemicals.
3. Laundry cleaners: One area that’s frequently overlooked is the laundry, yet it is the site of some highly irritating chemicals in laundry detergent and fabric softeners. Dry-cleaning services that specialize in “green” processes are also an option for consumers who want to reduce their exposure to toxins. Dryer balls can eliminate the need for fabric softeners, and there’s a variety of green laundry detergents on the market today.
Ridding your home of toxic chemicals is a gradual process of elimination and substitution. You can even purchase bins for collection of clothing and materials you need to get rid of.
The effort is worth it for people with a high sensitivity to harsh chemicals. Will it increase your life span? The jury is still out on that, but for those who prefer a gentler environment, these products are definitely a life-saver..