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Common Household Cleaners Pose Health Hazards

Posted by John on July 29th, 2008

HealthDay reporter Serena Williams recently exposed the health hazards in common household cleaners. A recent study concluded that many air fresheners and cleaners contain a volatile organic compound (VOC) called 1,4 dicholorobenzene (1,4 DCB) that can reduce lung function by 4 percent. (1,4 DCB is the chemical that gives mothballs their distinctive odor.)

Another study found that regular use of household cleaners in spray cans may increase the risk of developing asthma by up to 50 percent!

Earlier this month, University of Washington researchers found that the fumes from air fresheners and fragrances contain hazardous toxins – but none of these chemicals are listed on the label because the federal government does not require such listing.

Dr. David Rosenstreich of Montefiore Medical Center in NYC says that most asthmatic patients instinctively avoid these chemicals, but in light of new studies, he thinks that “other people should probably avoid them, espeically considering the way we live in our homes today, tightly wrapped inside, so that if there are any chemicals present, we’re constantly breathing them in.”

“I assume people with asthma and nasal symptoms are probably already avoiding these products,” continues Dr. Rosenstreich, “but even for people without these conditions, it would be wise to avoid them. You can’t control pollution or pollen, but you can control your exposure to cleaning products, and it’s a good idea to control anything you can, because these changes occur slowly over time.”

Here’s the best way to avoid the dangerous chemicals in cleaning products: Don’t buy chemical-based cleaning products! (And don’t be fooled by “green” marketing claims on products that still contain hazardous chemicals.)

Vapor Steam CleanersVapor steam cleaners provide a wonderful alternative to chemical cleaners. These green cleaning machines boil regular tap water to create a hot, dry steam that destroys allergens, bacteria, viruses, and other germs. They’re more effective than chemical cleaners because the steam penetrates deeply into pores and cracks for thorough sterilization – and they’re completely non-toxic and safe for people and pets. The best part of owning a vapor steam cleaner is that you’ll never again have to spend money on a container full of toxic chemicals.

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