My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 22. I had just graduated from college and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, but I knew I wanted to spend time with my Mom because I didn’t know how long the rest of her life was going to be. So, I moved back home and went with her to doctors appointments, nutritional counselors, surgeons, and eventually saw her through chemotherapy, and reconstructive surgery.
She beat the cancer, and it seems like a lifetime ago now, but it was a scary and confusing time. I was reading everything I could to try and help my Mom.
I remember being shocked when I first read that the things we use to clean and disinfect our homes, wash our bodies, and make things smell nice- we’re actually linked to all kinds of disease/dysfunction! I kept thinking, why do they make them if they know it can cause these harmful effects!? I was outraged.
See, my Mom cleaned houses while I was growing up. And the more I read, the more I began to wonder if being exposed to all those chemicals, everyday for years, might have been linked to her getting breast cancer. Or was it just genetics? And in that case, was I going to have breast cancer? Or was it a little bit of both? And, if so, what could I do to give myself the best shot I possibly could?
Since I had discovered that the household cleaners, skin care, AND hair products I grew up using ALL contained ingredients that could be linked dis-ease of some kind, I started looking for other options.
20 years ago, that was a lot more difficult than it is today. There are now apps like Think Dirty and websites like the Environmental Working Group where you can search for the items you currently use in your home and see how they rate, as well use the sites to find safer options.
Have you ever considered how the products you use affect your health? Did you know that cleaning and “freshening” your home with products that contain harsh chemicals and fragrances can be dangerous to your lungs and your endocrine system? Please read the labels on your products and educate yourself on the ingredients they contain.
Here are some of the ingredients I try to steer clear of in my household cleaning products and why:
• Perchloroethylene (PERC) is a potential carcinogen and neurotoxin.
• Heavy degreasers like: hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid, sodium or potassium hydroxide, or ethanolamines can cause skin burns, blindness and lung irritation.
• Formaldehyde can cause damage to the nervous system by shifting the balance of chemicals in the brain, which may lead to depression, mood swings, headaches, insomnia, irritability, and attention deficit disorders. This chemical has also been connected with the onset of ALS.
There’s much more awareness around “cleaner” cleaning products and there are many more options available. your home
• 2-Butoxyethanol can cause high-grade liver and kidney damage, narcosis, and pulmonary edema.
• Ammonia. If you have lung or breathing problems, you’ll notice pain and discomfort quickly from inhaling while using it. If you don’t have those issues, prolonged exposure will still affect you and can cause damage to your mucous membranes and cardiovascular system.
• Chlorine (The same chemical used to clean pool water) is concentrated in scouring powder, laundry whiteners, toilet bowl cleaners, and mildew removers. Prolonged exposure can disrupt thyroid function, irritate skin, and cause chronic dryness.
• Polysorbate20 has been linked to cancer, reproductive and developmental issues, can damage DNA.
• Methylisothazolinone is a known neurotoxin, skin irritant and allergen.
• Quaternary ammonium compounds, or “quats” are associated with asthma, and reduced fertility & birth defects in animals.
• Triclosan, an antimicrobial, has been linked to increased allergen sensitivity and disruption of thyroid function even at low levels.
• “Fragrance,” a blanket term that represents all kinds of different ingredients, can contain chemicals that trigger simple allergies, or may even contain suspected endocrine disruptors like phthalates and synthetic musks.
None of this is meant to scare or shame anyone for what they are currently doing. I only wish to increase awareness around the everyday products we are using so that we may all lead healthier lives.
But even if you know all the chemicals to look for, reading through lables can be overwhelming. It’s nice to have a few brands you can trust. One of the reasons I now use Young Living for cleaner products is because I have grown to trust this company. It’s nice to have a one-stop-shop that you can trust to make clean products and deliver them right to your doorstep.
If you are a Young Living member and have not tried Thieves Household Cleaner, login and order a bottle today! If you’re not a member, please let me help you get clean products into your home by clicking the link below: