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Safer Household Cleansers?


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Safer Household Cleansers?

(from Dr. Weil's Weekly Wellness Bulletin)

Almost all household cleaning products contain some toxic ingredients, and many contain carcinogens or suspected carcinogens. However, the danger the chemicals pose really depends on how often you use the products and the length of time you're exposed to the fumes.

Here's a list of several of the common chemicals found in household products and the symptoms they can cause. Check DrWeil.com for more information.

Petroleum distillates. Found in metal polishes, these chemicals can irritate the eyes and lungs; longer-term exposure can damage the nervous system, kidneys, eyes, and skin.

Phenol and cresol. Found in disinfectants, and if ingested can cause diarrhea, fainting, dizziness, and kidney and liver damage.

Nitrobenzene. Found in furniture and floor polishes; if inhaled can cause shallow breathing, or if ingested can cause poisoning and death. The substance has also been linked to cancer and birth defects.

Hydrochloric acid or sodium acid sulfate. Found in toilet-bowl cleaners, these chemicals can burn the skin and cause blindness if splashed in the eyes, or can burn the stomach if ingested.

The Environmental Protection Agency (www.epa.gov) advises buying only nontoxic, unscented cleaning products such as those that can be found from mail-order sources or in health-food stores. Another possibility is to substitute gentler products such as baking soda, vinegar, salt, and vegetable oil-based liquid soap for most household cleaning.

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Thanks, Hebbie--

As you know this is a topic that I am particularly interested in, as Geoff and I have a hunch that unsafe cleaners may have played a role in his mom's development of LC.

Recently I have been pondering buying a "steam cleaner" (I think gerbil runner has one and loves it). I have my eye on a "Shark Steam blaster" that does everything from sinks to floors to toilets bowls to windows (without ANY chemicals).

Does anyone else out there use steam cleaners? I would love to hear more...


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Hi Hebbie

This is the first I have heard about cleaners. Very interesting. I know, well 99 percent sure my moms cancer came from smoking, but this certainly makes sense for those who never smoked.


I do have a steam cleaner and I also love mine. It does use a carpet type cleaner in it. I am curious as to one that does not use chemicals in how iy works?? I have a hoover machine now and have owned 2 different type Bissell cleaners in the past. If you have pets and or kids cant beat a steam cleaner for those accidents. Very quick and easy to use. My 12 opps 13 now yr old daughter also uses it herself for her bedroom. Although after reading about the cleaners I may have to reevualuate her using it.

Have a good day


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Now that I'm the one that can't sleep these days... I saw the same informercial (which prompted me to look into the product further--and post a query about it).

I haven't yet talked to Geoff about it. (He's a tad overwhelmed about everything going on...)

But, NO CHEMICALS!!!! :):):)

You and I are on the same bandwagon... :lol:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm switching to vinegar, too, Hebbie. Spray products of all kinds irritate my lungs and upper airway. (I have asthma.) It's cheaper. And, lo and behold, I've found that our grandmothers' cleaning products work! Methinks we've been sold a big fat bag of goods with respect to scented, disposable, new and improved, fancy-packaged cleaning products.

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