I'm on a journey to find health and happiness through a more holistic and green lifestyle.

I find the world to be abrasive. =) That is to say, I feel the need to armor myself, physically and emotionally, in order to face life. Don't we all? Maybe. For whatever reason, it has become a priority in my life to rid my immediate environment of irritating things. And I'm sensitive! So there is much work to be done. But. I have thought for a long time that the things I come in contact with every day, and the stuff used to clean and maintain these things, need to be gentle and non-toxic. I have had eczema my entire life. For a long time I just dealt with it, and accepted that sometimes it's bad, and sometimes it's not, and that it will fluctuate a lot. Gradually over time I have come to find that certain things, fabrics, cleansers, materials, are more irritating to my skin than others. Stress can exacerbate it. In more recent times, I have realized that every aspect of my life improves when I improve conditions for my skin. Hah! What a concept! Thus my (long time) interest in going green, and my more recent desire to live a more holistic lifestyle. (I think I've felt a desire for a long time to live in a harmonious way with myself, my surroundings, and nature, but didn't have a name for it.) Anyhow, this blog is a journal of my trials and errors, and basic crooked path to find a balanced and peaceful existence for myself and my family. Thanks for your interest! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Dangers of Lysol and Other "Cleaning" Products

AKA The Dirt on Clean!

So often, since becoming a mom, I've heard people comment that after an illness sweeps through their home, they "Lysoled" or "Bleached" everywhere. And my reaction (in my head only until now) is to wonder if, by cleaning with these products, are we doing more harm than good. Yes, bleach will kill a cold germ, and Lysol will make the house smell as if it's been cleaned. But at what price? I was curious, so I started to do a little research. Here is some info. I found on my first search, first article:

This website claims:


"Warning

  • Keep Lysol spray out of the reach of children and do not expose your children or pets to the spray. Do not spray on or near food because of the risk of ethanol poisoning."
    Yuk. Sounds discouraging. What else? 

    Ethanol

    • Shingleberrysigns.com
      "Ethanol is the primary ingredient in Lysol spray and is highly flammable, especially under pressure. Prolonged inhalation in a closed environment will create headaches, cough, fatigue and drowsiness. Skin exposure might result in severe redness and burning. Lysol spray uses denatured ethanol, which can cause ethanol poisoning when ingested."


    Ok, so what's good about it?


    From the same website:

    "It is (also) recommended as a disinfectant for classroom use rather than bleach because Lysol (which is a phenol) will not damage clothing. When used on non-porous surfaces, Lysol will kill most bacteria including: staph MRSA and strep; E.coli; salmonella; and campylobacter."

    So it's a balance, right? You risk something to get something. Let's look at bleach.

    From this website:
    "...household bleach, without having been mixed with other products, can cause pulmonary edema, vomiting or coma if ingested."
    Delightful. What else?
    "The dangers of bleach are significant to your health and the health of your family. Accidents have happened where one person adds toilet bowl cleaner and another, following behind, will inadvertently add bleach. The noxious gasses have been found to cause fatal injuries."


    So the question is, why would anyone have these things in their homes? Especially with kids and pets around? Because we think we are doing more good than harm, right? We've been conditioned to believe we need these things to keep ourselves and our families safe from illness. 


    So what are the alternatives? Well, let's see what an internet search on "safe household cleaners" results in.


    My first search landed me on the website of the Shaklee company, one I have come across before. While I am having some trouble finding a source of what exactly is in there cleaning products, I came across an interesting bit on what makes other chemical household cleaners dangerous. Read that HERE


    And they claim: "...we were the first company in the world to obtain Climate Neutral™ certification and totally offset our CO2 emissions, resulting in a net zero impact on the environment."


    That's nice. But I still can't find the ingredients of their products. Think I'll send them a message. In the meantime, some hold music....doododooddoododooodtumdedeeelalateedaaa....


    Well, I did hear back from Shaklee, and they sent me a pdf of every product and every ingredient. Hm. That's a company who has nothing to hide! Rather impressive. I haven't yet figured out how to share some of that info. here, but when I do, I will. I guess the bottom line is that if you can use something safe to do the same job as something unsafe...... USE IT. And there is nothing wrong with the old stand-bys, too. Vinegar, baking soda... hot water! I also use castile soap, which I like a lot. 

3 comments:

  1. Dais, I've been collecting information about safe household cleaners for a while, and funny thing, but I *just* looked up how to bleach my wash without bleach. Here's what I found:

    http://www.ehow.com/print/how_4506713_whiten-laundry-chlorine-bleach.html

    And I also ran across this:

    http://www.ehow.com/print/how_4882861_remove-mildew-bleach.html

    There's a ton of info out there, and making your own is WAY cheaper than buying. Also, essential oils can be helpful in disinfecting, I think. I don't know much about that, but I'm learning.

    Hope those help! :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm learning a lot about EOs. There's a ton of info. online. Thanks for the info. K!

    ReplyDelete
  3. do you know what ethanol (in lysol as you mentioned) is? Ethanol is the alcohol in alcoholic beverages like beer and wine. If you ingest (or inhale if vaporized) too much of it, of course you will get the symptoms stated above. Have you ever had a drink of beer or wine?

    ReplyDelete