I decided to highlight and put to profit what I learned during my years as Chemical Engineer and Naturopath. My intention is to draw your attention to the dangers that are hidden in the cleaning products we buy.
Any kind of product: from cosmetics to personal use products, cleaning and maintenance products, additives, taste enhancers, not to mention genetically modified foods – that’s a whole other discussion. Why do you think that during the last decades there have been so many health problems – allergies, eczema, problems with concentration and attention, major dysfunctions of vital organs to name just a few?
What to do? Education and self-education are important and are one of the solutions I see at everyone’s fingertips. There is so much information on the internet, but we need time and the desire to complete our knowledge, but also the judgement power so that we can choose the real / truthful information from the multitude of online information.
The golden rule, without joking for a second, is READ THE LABEL !!! Very pertinent guide – online – edited by Environmental Working Group, nonprofit corporation This is where you will find which are the safest products to use in your household https://www.ewg.org/guides/
I will use Tide laundry detergent as an example – I do NOT advertise – the information is public! What I intend to do is sound the alarm and raise awareness! I am 100% sure that there are many mothers whom are considering buying a product based on the price, effectiveness and less effect on health. That saying, “not everything that flies is eaten!” This product is rated “F” = IT CAUSES BIG HEALTH PROBLEMS: Potentially significant health or environmental hazards
Would you use the products if you had the information ?! There are a lot of other solutions, without danger to human health! Let’s use them!
All the products we use in our daily lives are represented by chemical formulas, but not all “chemicals” are dangerous. For example, water also has the chemical formula, H2O, and is not dangerous – but it becomes potentially dangerous if contains dissolved other harmful substances to health. Chemicals are part of modern human life. Some of them contribute to quality of life improvement, others can affect our health or can damage the environment. Some ingredients / chemicals fully comply with internationally accepted standards, but if we consume more products that contain the same ingredient (chemical) then the addition effect occurs. At this time the body is exposed to a combined action of all the same ingredients that contribute to increased toxicity in the human body.
Chemicals of concern: – causes cancer or mutations, affects the reproductive and endocrine system – does not degrade in the natural environment, but accumulates in the bodies of humans and animals – affects the hormonal system of humans and animals. Some substances accumulate in the hair, skin, nails, tissues, breast milk, etc., which generate toxicity in the human body, and in a fairly long period of time they accumulate and cause inflammation in the body, then degenerative, chronic diseases. Chemicals in laundry detergents / bleaches / odor enhancers.
The origin of the word Detergent comes from Latin (detergere – to clean), taken from French (detergent), meaning a product that has the property of degreasing, cleaning, washing certain materials / products. Any cleaning product contains detergent = cleaning product, as a basic ingredient. We use the word detergent as a generic term which defines and includes a large class of cleaning products intended especially for cleaning textiles, household items, floors.
Household chemicals, as cleaning products, are useful, but contain hazardous chemicals such as diethanolamine (DEA), amines (THA / DTHA / EDTA), artificial colors, phosphates, phthalates, parabens, triclosan, bisphenol A, perfumes, ether glycol, ketones, organic sulfates, ethers, esters and other substances that over time cause increased toxicity in the body and lead to chronic diseases, degenerative diseases, endocrine disorders. I will review some of the most common and also toxic ingredients to avoid, as manufacturers tend to indicate categories of substances and not their specific name, which makes it even more difficult for the average consumer to understand the label. These are: surfactants (carcinogenic, can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, liver problems, lungs), stabilizers (can cause skin irritation, eyes, respiratory problems), optical brighteners (which do nothing but fool the eyes as products are whiter), phosphates and EDTA (acid) (improve the results of detergents in hard water, are toxic to animals).
Diethanolamine & Amines (DEA / EDTA / TDHA / TEA), as chemical family, are the detergent ingredients used to make foam and increase detergent efficiency in harden waters. Diethanolamine can cause skin and eye irritation, but when it comes in contact with nitrites it gets carcinogenic. This ingredient that we find in commercial detergents quickly penetrates the skin, then the blood and the organs of our body.
Artificial dyes are used strictly for aesthetic reasons and to differentiate by color different qualities of detergent Most detergents contain artificial dyes, which cause allergies and skin irritations, hormonal imbalances, etc.
Flavors – it is not mandatory for manufacturers to mention on the label all the ingredients used to produce a detergent, we often find on the product label the notion of “flavors”, without mentioning the type. Most of the time, these flavors are made from oil precursors (example – liquid hand soap that smells of oil / found in large restaurant & fast food chains).
Optical bleach has no role in the cleaning process, but are used to reflect and enhance blue tones, which means that clothes look whiter than they actually are. These optical brighteners have a medium degree of toxicity, but become dangerous for the skin in the presence of UV rays, when we wear clothes.
For years, I am using some very easy recipes and sharing with you:
- Recipe for Laundry Soap => If you want you can add 15-20 drops of essential oil for nice after odor. You mix carefully all the ingredients – ATTENTION to manipulate and prepare the mix into a plastic recipient, using a wooden stick. Use silicon gloves for safety as you manipulate washing soda – DO NOT use water! When ready leave 1-2 days to settle and add to your laundry loads – 2 usual detergent measures.
- – 250 gr natural grated laundry soap
- – 250 g of baking soda
- – 250 gr washing soda or calcined soda
- – 250 gr of sodium percarbonate or ecological bleach