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Helpful tips and advice for overall nutrition and health.
Do you remember “the good old days” when your grandmom would go outside with a bucket of bleach water and clean the front steps? Then she’d come back inside, rinse the bucket, re-fill it with fresh bleach water and start scrubbing the floors, countertops and bathrooms until the house was so germ-free even Howard Hughes would be comfortable living there? The problem with your granny’s dirt solution was that, after her thorough cleansing, no one could breathe in or around your house for 24 hours without feeling as though his lungs had been crushed under 10,000-pound weights! Honestly, I learned that bleach trick from my mother and thought that dousing every surface with Clorox was the only way to rid my home of “germs.” Once, after a particularly vigorous cleaning of my condo, I actually had to miss 2 days of work because I became horribly ill from the toxic fumes. I learned a lesson that day, but it took me years to discover a safer alternative to clean my home effectively.
Most commercial cleaning products contain toxic chemicals that, when inhaled or absorbed through the skin, can cause physical responses that often are disguised as other illnesses. Although we frequently suffer upper respiratory problems after exposure to cleaning products, we generally overlook chemicals as the culprits behind our discomfort and think, instead, that we’re merely experiencing yet another sinus infection, or cold or asthma attack. It’s time to examine the products we use around the house so that we can understand how dangerous they are. Cleansers containing chlorine, ammonia, formaldehyde, petrochemicals, benzene, etc, are not safe for us to use around children, pets, foods, plants…or ourselves. If the labels on the liquids and powders you’re using to clean your home are frightening to read, perhaps there’s good reason. Take some time to re-consider your cleaning products so that you can investigate alternatives that will clean your home effectively without causing harm to your health or your environment.
What sorts of ingredients should you be seeking to do the job of heavy cleaning without the toxicity of conventional products? Check the labels. Look for products that contain antiseptic/antibacterial/antimicrobial essential oils and plant-based surfactants (compounds that enable liquids to become more liquid) instead of the chemicals that you’ve been using. These ingredients are safe to use around your family, pets, plants, lawns and local waterways. One caution here is tea tree oil. Although a powerful and safe oil appropriate for many applications, tea tree oil can be harmful to cats. If you consider using a product containing tea tree oil, please consult your veterinarian prior to its use.
Many local supermarkets and retail chains now are offering “green” cleaning products. Check the availability of these items in your stores and take the time to learn which contain safe ingredients that can keep your home…and your lungs…spic and span. Nature’s Sunshine Products now offers a line of safe and impressive cleaning products that do a job worthy of your grandmother’s seal of approval, while helping to keep surfaces kid-friendly, pet-safe…clean and green!