If you ever felt headachy, nauseous, or irritated after cleaning your house, chances are it’s not just from doing the work. A report just released by the nonprofit group Womens Voices for the Earth suggests that certain chemicals in some household cleaning products may be hazardous to women’s health. Kids are at risk, too.
A review of 75 studies and research papers points to “a link between certain chemicals in some cleaning products and asthma and reproductive harm,” says report author and WVE scientist Alexandra Gorman. “That means that children, pregnant women, women trying to get pregnant, and persons with asthma are especially vulnerable to these chemicals.”
Air fresheners deserve special attention, says Gorman, because they may contain carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals as well as chemicals associated with respiratory and reproductive harm.
The report’s findings are particularly worrisome for women, who still do over 70% of the housework in the average home, and who comprise nearly 90% of maids and housekeepers in the U.S. Children are vulnerable because their organs and immune systems are not yet fully developed. Certain chemicals may interfere with the development of kids’ neurological, endocrine and immune systems.
You can read the full report on the WVE website.
You can also take immediate precautions by abandoning whatever commercial cleaning products you use in favor of the safer alternatives and make your own recipes listed at Big Green Purse.