Keeping Asthma at Bay
Researchers have concluded that there is a direct correlation between asthma and other respiratory ailments, birth defects, etc that are directly related to common household cleaners. Are you living in a toxic home?
In 1998, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that asthma increased 75% from 1980-1994 and in 2007, the EPA reported that an average of one out of every 13 school-age children suffers from asthma.* In fact, "asthma has become the most common serious disease of childhood, and there are at least several well-designed epidemiologic studies that have documented a strong link between use of domestic and industrial cleaning products and risk of asthma," says Dr. John Spengler, Akira Yamaguchi Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation, Department of Environmental Health at Harvard University. "When reviewing the rapid increases of asthma rates in America, it is critical to recognize the link between pollution and human health, including chemical and biological pollutants in indoor environments."
To help raise awareness around the asthma epidemic, Shaklee has teamed up with Harris Interactive (January 2008) to survey more than 1,000 American moms about their perceptions.
The key results from the Harris Polls are as follows:
81% of moms believe that their household cleaning products can trigger asthma in children and adults.
38% of moms agree that the air inside their homes is more toxic than air outside.
A person who spends 15 minutes cleaning scale off shower walls could inhale 3 times the "acute one-hour exposure limit" for glycol ether-containing products set by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.
88% of moms agree that household cleaning products can be harmful to you and your family's health.
Most common household cleaners stored in you home are considered hazardous waste by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Furthermore, the EPA has determined that indoor air quality is at least 100 times more polluted than outdoors due to the use of toxic cleaning products which leaves residue in the air and on the surface.
94% of surveyed moms would discontinue use of their favorite household cleaning products if they learned they might be harmful to their families' health. However, 35% believe that their children have developed skin rashes from the chemicals in cleaning agents used at home.
Not only are common household cleaners detrimental to your health they are just as detrimental to the environment. In the United States we pour down 22 million pounds of household toxins down the drain. Most of the products are not adequately processed by sewage treatments or septic tanks. The long term effect of these toxins on our environment will offend our surface and ground water. Additionally, if every household in the United States replaced one 28 oz bottle of petroleum based cleaner with a bio-based product, we would save 118,700 barrels of oil per year.
"We are conducting a vast toxicologic experiment in our society, in which our children and our children's children are the experimental subject" state Dr. Herbert Needleman Pediatrician and Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Additionally, children are highly vulnerable to chemical toxins. Their ability to metabolize, detoxify and excrete harmful chemicals differs from that of adults. In addition, children have a faster metabolism which speeds up the absorption of contaminants and toxins. The National Academy of Science has recommended that infants and children be considered more vulnerable to chemicals, such as those found in household products, than adults in the absence of evidence to the contrary.
There are many natural and environmental friendly products that will clean your home and not harm the environment or your families' health. However, buyer beware, all green products are not created equal. The term green and all natural are widely misused in the household cleaning product business. When selecting your next cleaning products look for the Green Seal. Furthermore, the green seal only applies to general purpose cleaners and not for task specific jobs such as tile cleaners, toilet cleaners, etc. If you would like to read how a product is certified as green go to www.greenseal.org/certification/standards/houseoholdcleaners.cfm.
For truly green products and more information about removing the toxins from your home visit Creating a Healthy Home
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Independent distributor of Shaklee a leader in nutrition, wellness and eco-friendly products for over 50 years, visit http://www.shaklee.net/carolbelanger