Research has convincingly linked the compounds used in many common household cleaners to increased risk of cancer, especially breast cancer. There are many who believe that environmental toxins contribute to behavioral and developmental challenges in children, including autism. Simply do a Google search on either of these topics and you will find dozens of information sources.
So what is a parent to do?? Is it possible to maintain a clean home without the conventional cleaners most of us grew up with? YES. Resources abound online, with a ton of information about how to make your own household cleaners using many of the same ingredients used to bake a cake.
You can make a wide variety of your own cleaning products cheaply and easily with a few basic ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar, washing soda, liquid soap and essential oils such as tea tree and lavender. For the basics on building your own cleaning kit, click here.
A great book on the topic is Better Basics for the Home, by Annie Berthold-Bond. This is a great resource detailing toxins to avoid, with buyer’s guides to products such as all-purpose cleaners - did you know that many contain ammonia, butyl cellusolve (a neuro-toxic solvent) and bleach? Household bleach in the wastewater stream can bond with other chemicals to form organochlorines, which are know carcinogens and cause endocrine disruption.
Here is one of my favorite recipes from Better Basics for the Home (page 96):
Basic Soft Scrubber Formula – Antibacterial
- ¼ cup baking soda
- ¼ cup Borax
- Enough liquid soap or detergent to make a frostinglike consistency
15 drops antibacterial essential oil (lavender, thyme, tee tree, sweet orange, rosemary, clove, or cinnamon)
Place the baking soda and Borax in a bowl; slowly pour in the liquid soap, stirring all the while, until the consistency reaches that of frosting. Add essential oil. Scoop the creamy mixture onto a sponge, wash the surface, and rinse.
Simple, smells good, and leaves your home CLEAN and toxin-free.
If you want to learn more, please visit the website for Healthy Child Healthy World. This is a great starting place to learn more about a wide variety of topics all centered on raising a healthy family in a less toxic environment. You can even make a donation and receive a kit to host your own Healthy Home party, sharing products and information with more families.
Hopefully this is enough info to get you started - happy greening!