There are many reasons that I transitioned to an (almost, still phasing stuff out) chemical free lifestyle. The main, biggest reason is my daughter.
When she was a newborn, it really bothered me that I couldn’t clean my house while she was awake due to the fumes. She really enjoyed being in the baby backpack and it usually put her to sleep when I cleaned with her in it, so the fact that I couldn’t do that during most of my cleaning routine was a minor annoyance. So I changed things up.
I dumped out the chemical cleaners, and have been making some fantastic and equally, if not more effective cleaning supplies that I am really happy with.
(You can find my personal recipes for DIY cleaning supplies HERE)
At the time I didn’t realize all of the reasons that doing this was a good idea, I was simply focused on making my cleaning routine and her nap routine more fluid. But after doing some research on the subject, I came across information that I couldn’t ignore.
“A 1985 EPA report concluded that the toxic chemicals in household cleaners are three times more likely to cause cancer than outdoor air pollution. Also, a report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission on chemicals commonly found in homes identified 150 that have been linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological abnormalities,” says an article titled “Dangers of Chemical Cleaners” published by Aromatherapy Naturals.
The article continues on to say, “Household cleaning products are among the most toxic substances we encounter daily. In one study conducted over a 15-year period, women who cleaned their own homes had a 54% higher death rate from cancer than women who did not. The study concluded that the increased death rate was due to daily exposure to hazardous chemicals found in ordinary household products.”
Do you see that number?
54% MORE LIKELY to die from cancer.
The arrival of this new knowledge prompted me to do even more research.
There are many chemicals that, aside from being carcinogenic poison, act as hormone disruptors. Our hormones are in charge of every single function that happens inside our bodies. We only consume a small number of nutrients, and those nutrients are applied via our endocrine system in over a thousand different ways throughout our bodies. Our endocrine system is so complicated that many believe that we humans barely even have an idea of how it actually works.
Dr. Mercola published an article titled “12 Worst Hormone Disrupting Chemicals” (information provided by the Environmental Working Group), and he quotes the EWG saying, “There is no end to the tricks that endocrine disruptors can play on our bodies: increasing production of certain hormones; decreasing production of others; imitating hormones; turning one hormone into another; interfering with hormone signaling; telling cells to die prematurely; competing with essential nutrients; binding to essential hormones; accumulating in organs that produce hormones.”
So as you can imagine hormone disruption is very serious, and most of the chemicals that we are exposing ourselves to on a daily basis are the guilty suspects of invading our bodies and posing as these essential change-makers, which causes a plethora of detrimental symptoms.
Dr. Mercola says, “Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a new report co-produced with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), titled: “State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals.” The report suggests that outright banning endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) may actually be needed to protect the health of future generations…”
Can you imagine how hormone disruption affects children, whose bodies are growing and changing every second of every day?
What is even more terrifying about the issue of chemicals in our cleaners, personal hygiene, and beauty products is that there is virtually no regulation of which chemicals can be used and how much.
“Rebecca Sutton, PhD, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), explains, “In terms of household cleaners, neither ingredients nor products must meet any sort of safety standard, nor is any testing data or notification required before bringing a product to market,”” says an article titled “8 Hidden Toxins: What’s Lurking in Your Cleaning Products?” published by Experience Life.
There are many people who tell me that not all chemicals are bad, and sometimes even I doubt my conviction on the subject. After all, we have all been programmed into a society that fully accepts thousands of chemicals into their bodies on a daily basis.
Of course it seems odd to change things up so extremely with no medical emergency, or other urgent reason prompting me to do so.
Regardless, it’s a decision that I do not regret making, and it’s actually empowering making my own cleaners and saving money along the way.