8 Rock-Solid Reasons Why Frequent Cleaning Can Be Bad for You
Recent studies show that using household chemicals regularly has a negative effect on the health of your lungs. The effect is comparable to smoking a pack of cigarettes every day. The chemicals irritate the fragile mucous membranes that cover the lungs which leads to the damage and deformation of the respiratory tract.
Bright Side learned more about this issue and did some research about the dangers of detergents that we have to deal with every day. And most importantly, we found out what to replace them with.
1. Dishwashing liquids
According to studies, an adult person eats about 1 mg of dishwashing liquid every day. Experiments showed that eating such chemicals causes irreversible changes in the gastrointestinal tract. And it takes a long time for the body to get rid of these chemicals.
- They can be replaced with a safer alternative — baking soda. In order to make the soda solution good for doing dishes, all you have to do is mix 1 tbsp of soda with 1 liter of water and boil the solution.
2. Window cleaners
Most window cleaners contain ammonia in them due to its disinfecting effect and the fact that it helps get rid of stains much easier. Ammonia itself is very irritating for the eyes, skin, throat, and lungs. It damages the mucous membranes and respiratory tract. Another component of window cleaner is phthalate. It is responsible for the smell of the liquid. It has a negative influence on male reproductive health.
- Regular alcohol and household vinegar are great at battling dirty windows. And they are completely safe.
3. Chemicals for unclogging pipes
There are a lot of different chemicals that remove clogs in pipes. Most of them have a base of sodium hydroxide. Such products are very convenient since they allow us to clean the pipes without getting inside of them. However, this alkali is very dangerous because the evaporation can cause an irritation of the mucous membranes of the lungs. Additionally, this chemical can cause a serious burn if it comes into contact with the skin.
- In order to reduce the damage to your health, it is recommended to wear thick rubber gloves when using these chemicals.
4. Laundry detergents
According to studies, massive advertising campaigns for laundry detergent has led to an overuse of these products — the rate of use has grown by 40% compared to 1985. This is the reason why fabrics become worn out sooner. The chemicals also have a bad influence on people’s health. Typically, people have allergic reactions on their skin and in the mucous membranes of their respiratory tracts. But not long ago, the CEO of Levi’s, Chip Bergh, said that he hadn’t washed his jeans in 10 years.
- Experts recommend washing bed linens once every 2 weeks. Sweaters and shirts can be worn several days in a row. The rate of washing clothes depends on the fabric: 3-4 times worn for woolen clothes and 4-5 times for synthetic materials.
5. Air fresheners
According to American doctors, air fresheners have a negative effect on people’s health. Surveys showed that they are especially dangerous for people who have asthma. But even completely healthy people have the risk of developing a migraine, respiratory difficulties, mucous membrane irritation, and dermatitis. Children often develop earaches and neurological deviations from them.
- In order to make your place smell nice, all you need to do is put oranges around the room and stick some needles in them. Automatic air fresheners should only be used in big rooms with good ventilation.
6. Chemicals containing chlorine
Chlorine is one of the most popular ingredients of household chemicals. If it gets in the body when we breathe, swallow, or come into contact with via skin, it reacts with water and turns into an acid. The acid damages the cells. The influence on one’s health can be noticed almost right away. The most frequent symptoms are difficulties breathing, a sore throat, or eye and skin irritation.
- Medical experts recommend giving up using products containing chlorine if possible.
7. Furniture polish
Even the evaporation of polish for furniture causes a negative effect on the body, and if a chemical gets on the skin or the mucous membrane, the consequences can be very serious, such as fever or suffocation. Pain in the mouth, throat, or stomach are the most frequent results of coming into contact with furniture polish.
- It’s worth noting that 1 glass of olive oil mixed with 1/4 glass of lemon juice removes stains from glossy surfaces very well.
8. Vacuum cleaners
An Australian study shows that most vacuum cleaners blow the dust and bacteria back into the air. This leads to spreading infection and inducing an allergic reaction. It is almost impossible not to use this device at home but if you can, you should buy a high-quality vacuum cleaner.
- According to experts, the models with HEPA-filters should be used (they are the safest option).
We’re not trying to encourage you to give up on using household chemicals completely, but we recommend you use safe alternatives whenever you can. If there is just no way to do something without detergent, then make sure you are safe when using it: don’t touch the chemical with your bare hands, and ventilate the room after using it.
Do you know about any other alternatives for household chemicals? Share your tips in the comment section below.
Preview photo credit James Heilman, MD / wikimedia