Toxic Chemicals in Household Cleaners
Household cleaners, on average, contain over 60 toxic chemicals. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), these ingredients DO NOT need to meet any type of safety standard and are not tested for safety prior to being brought to market.
The argument as to why these toxic ingredients aren’t tested is that they exist in small amounts and shouldn’t be an issue to the average consumer. This, however, does not take into account that toxic overload may be caused by being exposed to toxins regularly. Toxins accumulate in our system, particularly if we cannot readily detox them. Chronic illness, age, toxic overload, genetic mutations such as MTHFR can hinder your body’s natural ability to detoxify.
Ingredients in common household products have been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, infertility, respiratory issues and neurotoxicity.
Because toxins are everywhere in our world and it’s impossible to avoid them completely, it’s important to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, utilize natural and safer cleaning solutions and help support your body’s ability to detoxify.
Here is a list of the most noxious and common chemicals lurking in your cleaning products:
Think fragrance. This chemical is all about pretty scents in your soaps, beauty products, air fresheners and even toilet paper. But here’s what stinks—phthalates are endocrine disruptors, meaning that they alter your hormone balance. Phthalates have been found to lower sperm count, according to a 2003 study by the CDC and Harvard School of Public Health. Phthalates may be inhaled as well as absorbed through the skin (sunscreens, scented soaps, floor cleaners, fragrance sprays, perfumes, etc.)
Avoid “anti-bacterial” soap, detergents and hand sanitizers. Triclosan also kills your good bacteria and can promote the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This overuse of Triclosan and creation of an excessively sterile environment puts us in potential danger. Annihilating good bacteria places you in a vulnerable position, in that our microbiome serves to protect us from pathogens. Triclosan is now being investigated for its endocrine-disrupting properties, as well. Animal studies have shown it to be a carcinogen.
Found in dry cleaner sheets and carpet cleaners, this chemical is similar to triclosan in that it is also an endocrine disruptor and carcinogen. Perc is a neurotoxin, as well. Exposure is generally through inhalation, although our skin can absorb it, as well, such as through our clothes if you use drier sheets or dry-cleaning chemicals.
2-Butoxyethanol is commonly found in window and other multi-purpose surface cleaners and is linked to lung, liver and kidney damage. The toxins are inhaled, so be careful when using them in a bathroom, for example, where air is not properly ventilated. 2-Butoxyethanol can also be absorbed through skin.
QUATS/Quarternary Ammonium Compounds
Found in fabric softeners and drier sheets, Quats, like triclosan, can breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They are also responsible for contact dermatitis and other skin conditions, according to a 10-year study. Quats are also linked to respiratory disorders, such as asthma.
Laundry detergent, soaps, furniture, hair straightening products, even pet supplies may contain formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is linked to neurological diseases, such as ALS. A Harvard study showed that men exposed to high levels of formaldehyde may have triple the death risk from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Formaldehyde can also cause mood swings, headaches, insomnia, attention deficit disorder, depression and irritability. Formaldehyde is also linked to leukemia and cancers of the nose, throat, and sinuses.
Used as a jewelry polisher and cleaning agent, ammonia can cause respiratory issues, particularly in those lung problems. When inhaled, it may elicit chronic bronchitis and asthma. Prolonged exposure may lead to more complicated issues, such as damage to the cardiovascular system.
Chlorine is used to clean bathrooms, scour pots, whiten laundry, remove mildew and is even found in your tap water. It is toxic from every direction, whether ingested, inhaled or absorbed through skin. Chlorine can cause respiratory issues, chemical burns and thyroid disruption.
This heavy-duty toxin in found in drain and oven cleaners and can cause severe burns. It can be absorbed by your skin as well as inhaled. When inhaled, sodium hydroxide may affect your mucosal membranes, particularly your throat and digestive tract.
Other Cleaning Options
Looking for safe, nontoxic cleaning products? It’s easy and inexpensive to make at home. A great multi-purpose cleaning agent includes combining white vinegar, baking soda and few drops of your favorite essential oil (I love using peppermint or eucalyptus—smells so much better than bleach and Pine Sol, and it won’t make you sick!)
1/2 cup vinegar, ½ cup water, 1/2 cup baking soda makes a great multipurpose cleaner for bathrooms and kitchen counter tops. A bit more baking soda adds that extra scrub for scouring pots and pans and bathtub grime. It only takes a few drops of essential oils to bring it all together, adding anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties naturally as well as a pleasant and high-vibrational scent to your home.
Because we are exposed to so many toxins daily, it’s important to support your detoxification organs and pathways to ensure they are working properly. Along with wise lifestyle choices that reduce your toxic load, look for supplements that support your liver, are high in antioxidants, reduce oxidative stress and systemic inflammation and promote natural detoxification processes.
Glutathione is the master antioxidant and helps the body to detoxify. Our Glutathione GOLD consists of a patent-pending, acetylated form of glutathione. As a result, it is well-absorbed and more stable throughout the digestive tract than other available types of glutathione.
Your liver is your most important detox organ. Supporting it is crucial to optimal detoxification. In addition, those with MTHFR, autoimmune disease, toxic overload and chronic illness may need help with glutathione upregulation. Co-factors, such as molybdenum, riboflavin and selenium promote proper upregulation of glutathione.
Our Liposomal Liver Detox + contains both liver-supporting herbs and co-factors to support glutathione upregulation and optimal detoxification. It can be used with our Glutathione GOLD or on its own.
Detox pathways can get "clogged" and not work properly, particularly in the case of toxic overload. Natural remedies, such as glucoraphanin from broccoli seed extract and myrosinase from radish seeds coupled with powerful antioxidants like turmeric and resveratrol help unblock detox pathways and allow the body to eliminate toxins--hence reducing inflammation and oxidative stress on the system.
Our Nrf2 Boost contains well researched and highly bioavailable ingredients which activate the Nrf2 genetic pathway, promoting optimal cellular health. This pathway regulates the production of the body’s crucial antioxidant enzymes such as catalase, Glutathione and Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) in addition to down-regulating inflammatory factors such as NF-ϰB.