This is a record of the port of Durban, South Africa
Ok – it’s far away…
Chemicals in our home
We spend a large part of our lives within our own four walls, exposed to a multitude of chemical substances, without being aware of them. Chemicals are used in various ways: as detergents and cleaners, or in crafts and home improvement. In addition, they are components of toys, plastic dishes, wall paints, furniture, flooring and more.
Some of us do so little for our environment that one could assume they have an allergy from relief of pollution…
These products and objects enrich our everyday lives – for us, their use has become a matter of course, without being fully aware of their possible harm and side effects. However, to preserve our health and protect the environment it is necessary to act responsibly and avoiding major hazards that chemical things pose. This article outlines the importance of household chemicals as a potential source of danger and provides tips for their use or alternatives to particularly hazardous substances.
Exposure to chemicals
can largely avoid acute and chronic exposure to chemicals for ourselves and our family by releasing less harmful substances. A household with less exposure to chemicals increases quality of life, increases well-being and protects the environment.
In our home, why should we use chemical cleaners to cause particulate matter?
Indoors, invisible hazards to health are known to lurk.
The apartment on a busy street, the house fire which provides thick air, the nearby industrial area: Particulate matter is currently one of the major health hazards and the polluters are well known. Aren’t they?
Scientists at the US National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration have identified particulate matter sources that have barely been on the radar so far. In a controversial study, they show chemical products, which are part of the standard repertoire in most households, contributing just as much to air pollution as road traffic does.
The reason therefore lies in the VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). These carbon compounds are constituents of many petroleum-based products. These stimulants and odors occur in numerous consumer items which can be found in almost every bathroom, dressing cabinets or washrooms – the list ranges from aftershaves to soaps – from cleaning agents to adhesives.
Tiny fine dust particles
VOCs evaporate even at low temperatures. They can combine with other particles in the air, turning them into tiny particulate matter with an unhealthy cocktail effect, very often. This “thick air” becomes a burden on the body. How can we avoid fine dust indoors and allergic skin reactions caused by so many cleaning products?
From the spray cleaners in the cleaning cabinet – from chemical all-purpose cleaner, oven cleaner, window cleaner, mildew spray to wood care – we could dispense a lot. In addition to the tiny fine dust particles, the list of the respective ingredients usually results in a chemical cocktail that you would not like to know in your living room.
Health hazards lurk not only in primary ingredients of cleaning products, but in a high degree in degradation products. Detergents, which, of course, smell of oranges or lemons, get this fragrance through the contained terpenes. Even those cleaning agents that leave a breath of fresh forest air in the room.
Beware of allergies
Resins and terpenes are generally not considered toxic. However, they have a high allergenic potential as well as the ability to react chemically with ozone. The biochemical reaction on contact of terpenes and resins with ozone leads to a number of toxic compounds such as formaldehyde.
The number of people suffering from allergy in industrialized countries has been increasing rapidly for a few decades. Major contributors are pollen allergies, followed by dust mite and animal hair allergies. Many people react on fragrances with itching and rashes. With men, the fragrance allergy is now the most common cause of allergic contact dermatitis, with women after nickel allergy the second most common. Fragrances are the main cause of allergies to cosmetics even before preservatives.
Fragrances that get under your skin – like disinfectants – can boost the development of allergies and disrupt the natural skin flora. In addition to the classic “chlorine cleaners”, other “antibacterial” household products and disinfectants have increasingly been offered in recent years.
Routine use of antibacterial household detergents and cleaners should be avoided. “Likewise, biocidal wood preservatives, pesticides and pesticides should only be used to the extent necessary.” Specialists say.
Biocides (killing agents) can be harmful to humans and destroy the environment. For example, some chemicals may cause allergies or, if not excluded from the market by a pre-market test, cancer.
Let’s use organic cleaners
However, the goal of a clean, hygienic, comfortable home gets some people to stretch things a bit. Too many and too aggressive cleaning agents can cause damage as well. More and more people suffer from allergies. The causes are also attributed to contact with cleaning chemicals.
Considering that people in industrial societies spend around 80-90% of their time indoors, it’s important not to unnecessarily burden them with chemicals. Excessive fear of bacteria and germs, often supported by advertising, can result in unnecessary high or frequent use of detergents and cleaners and unnecessary use of disinfectant liquids.
Possibly dangerous substances against molds and pests can push allergic reactions. Disinfectants in detergents and cleansers also reduce bacteria that are beneficial to us humans and may weaken our immune system.
In private households, disinfection is rarely needed (e.g., home care for infectious disease patients). Cleanliness and hygiene can also be achieved with normal household cleaners without disinfectants. In our household, we only should use disinfectants on the express instructions of the package. If even, we should take cleaning products saying: disinfecting, bactericidal, biocidal, anti-bacterial, with active chlorine, hygienically cleans for these exceptional cases only.
You can find a review of an organic cleaner HERE.
Allergen-causing ingredients in cleaning agents in principle, humans can develop allergy to every substance. According to WHO estimates, between 2010 and 2010,
forty to fifty percent of the world’s population could suffer from an allergy.
Allergies are already in fourth place on the list of most common diseases.
If you do have any questions or suggestions (maybe about some tricks you know) please don’t hesitate to write a comment about! Let me know it!
I love to hear about “special tricks” how to fix something or so… sometimes they are really helpful but in any case mostly funny!