Originally published February 3 2009
Toxic Household Chemicals: Part I
by Jo Hartley
(NaturalNews) The vast array of toxins and chemicals that are common to many households is cause for concern - both for the environment and for human health. These toxic chemicals can be reduced and even eliminated by first learning about the different chemicals and then learning about the many choices that are available for safe and effective alternatives. The first step is to determine where the toxic chemicals are; the next step is to replace them with safe products.
All-purpose cleaners, ammonia-based cleaners, bleach, metal polishes, dishwater detergents, dishwashing detergents, disinfectants, drain cleaners, floor waxes, floor polishes, glass cleaners, oven cleaners, and scouring powders all contain toxic chemicals.
*Sodium Hypochlorite: Contained in chlorine bleach. When mixed with ammonia the result is toxic chloramine gas being released. Short-term exposure may cause mild asthmatic symptoms. Long term exposure may result in more serious respiratory problems.
*Ammonia: Contained in glass cleaners. Ammonia is an eye irritant that may cause headaches and lung irritation.
*Phenol and Cresol: Contained in disinfectants. These are corrosive chemicals that may cause diarrhea, fainting, dizziness, kidney damage and liver damage.
*Nitrobenzene: Contained in floor and furniture polishes. This may cause skin discoloration, shallow breathing, vomiting, and even death. This chemical is associated with both cancer and birth defects.
*Formaldehyde: A common preservative. Formaldehyde is a chemical that is a suspected carcinogen. This is also a strong irritant to eyes, throat, skin, and lungs.
*Petroleum Distillates: Contained in metal polishes. Short-term exposure may result in temporary eye clouding; long term exposure may result in damage to the nervous system, skin, kidneys, and eyes.
Utility Room Chemicals
Many products typically contain toxic ingredients. This includes carpet cleaners, room deodorizers, laundry softeners, laundry detergents, dryer sheets, mold and mildew cleaners, mothballs, and spot removers.
*Perchloroethylene or 1-1-1 Trichloroethane Solvents: Common ingredients in spot removers and carpet cleaners that may cause liver and kidney damage if ingested. Perchloroethylene is a known carcinogen.
*Naphthalene or Paradichlorobenzene: Common ingredients in mothballs. Naphthalene is a suspected carcinogen that may harm eyes, blood, liver, kidneys, skin, as well as the central nervous system.
*Paradichlorobenzene: May harm the central nervous system, liver, and kidneys.
*Hydrochloric Acid or Sodium Acid Sulfate: Common ingredients in toilet bowl cleaners. Burns the skin on contact or will cause vomiting diarrhea and stomach burns if swallowed. May also cause blindness if contacts the eyes.
*Formaldehyde, Phenol, and Pentachlorophenol: Common ingredients in spray starch that often irritates the lungs.
Living Room and Bedroom Chemicals
Surprisingly, even the furnishings in many American homes may be harmful. Home decor fabrics that are labeled "wrinkle-resistant" are often treated with formaldehyde. This includes no-iron sheets and bedding, curtains, and especially polyester/cotton blends that are labeled as "permanent press" or "easy care."
Newer furniture is typically made of pressed wood products that contain formaldehyde and other chemicals that enter into the air. Carpeting is typically made of synthetic fibers that are treated with pesticides and fungicides. Often office carpets contain a chemical called 4-phenylcyclohexene. This is an additive to the latex backing that is present in commercial and home carpets.
There are many cosmetics and personal care products that contain hazardous chemicals.
*Cresol, Formaldehyde, Glycols, Nitrates/Nitrosamines and Sulfur Compounds: Common ingredients in shampoos.
*Butane Propellants: Common ingredient in hair sprays.
*Aerosol Propellants, Ammonia, Formaldehyde, Triclosan, Aluminum Chlorhydrate: Common ingredients in antiperspirants and deodorants.
*Glycols and Phenol: Common chemicals giving fragrances and colors to lotions, creams, and moisturizers.
Hobby Room Chemicals
There has been legislation passed that has reduced many of the dangerous chemicals in hobby products; however, there are still materials that are harmful to human health.
*Lead is present in many ceramic glazes, stained-glass materials, and pigments.
*Cobalt is present in some blue oil and acrylic paint pigments.
*Cadmium is present in silver solders, pigments, and ceramic glazes.
*Chromium is present in many paint pigments and ceramic colors.
*Manganese Dioxide is present in ceramic colors and acrylic paint pigments.
*Formaldehyde is present as a preservative in many acrylic paints and photographic products.
*Aromatic Hydrocarbons are present in paint and varnish removers, aerosol sprays, and permanent markers.
*Chlorinated Hydrocarbons are present in ink, varnish, paint removers, rubber cement, and aerosol sprays.
*Petroleum Distillates are present in paint and rubber cement thinners, spray adhesives, and silk-screen inks.
*Glycol Ethers and Acetates are present in photography products, lacquer thinners, paints, and aerosol sprays.
Paints, paint thinners, benzene, kerosene, mineral spirits, turpentine, motor oils, and gasoline are common in many garages.
*Chlorinated Aliphatic and Aromatic Hydrocarbons: Contained in paint thinners and may cause liver and kidney damage.
*Petroleum Hydrocarbons: Contained in gasoline, motor oils, and benzene and may be associated with skin and lung cancers.
*Mineral Spirits: Present in oil-based paints. Spirits are a strong skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritant. High air concentrations can cause nervous system damage, unconsciousness, and even death.
*Ketones: Present in paint thinners and may cause respiratory ailments.
*Toluene: Present in wood putty. This is highly toxic and may cause skin, kidney, liver, and central nervous system damage. In addition, may damage the reproductive system.
Pesticides are one of the most hazardous chemicals used around the home. There are approximately 1,400 pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides that are common ingredients in household products. Often, these chemicals are combined with other toxic substances like solvents and these combinations create over 34,000 different product formulations.
Lighter fluid for charcoal grills contains petroleum distillates. Some petroleum distillates contain benzene, which is a known human carcinogen.
Charcoal briquettes contain starch, nitrate and borax. When these chemicals are exposed to high temperatures they release chemicals that can cause respiratory problems and illnesses. In addition, burning charcoal can be harmful because this results in the release of hydrocarbons, free radicals and small soot particles that may result in heart and lung problems.
Another reason to avoid burning charcoal is that it creates the formation of two potentially carcinogenic compounds. These are Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Heterocyclic Amines. These compounds are formed when meat is grilled over charcoal and are considered very harmful. In addition, these compounds have been connected to elevated risks for pancreatic, colorectal and breast cancers.
About the authorJo Hartley
Wife, Mother of 8, and Grandmother of 2
Jo is a 41 year old home educator who has always gravitated toward a natural approach to life. She enjoys learning as much as possible about just about anything!
http://loftymatters.com - Current Events
http://winemaiden.com - Simply Abundant Living
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