Cleaning Products & Allergies
Why Your Cleaning Products May Be Responsible for Your Allergies this Spring
It's time for spring cleaning, and like many of us who suffer from allergies, you are probably dreading it. All that dust and dirt wreaks havoc on people with allergies. But are you aware that many of the products used for cleaning also contribute to allergies? If you notice allergy symptoms after light cleaning or that your dish detergent or floor cleaner causes your nose to twitch, you may be allergic to the chemicals in your cleaner.
Most people assume that artificial scents are the culprit when the problem is more likely to be hidden in the harsh chemical ingredients. Several of these harsh chemicals have been found to cause symptoms that range from allergy flare-ups to asthma. So, before you put your gloves on and get to work, check your products for these ingredients and ditch them for the less harmful alternatives.
Triclosan is a harmful compound called PHC. Like the more potent PHCs, Agent Orange and DDT, triclosan can build up to toxic levels in humans. Triclosan is also an allergen which is linked to hay fever and skin irritations.
Type of Products that Contain Triclosan:
· hand soaps
· antibacterial cleaners
· body washes
· laundry detergents
Ammonia is an organic chemical compound. It is made up of hydrogen and nitrogen and is harmless in small amounts, but in more concentrated amounts, it can produce strong fumes. It has an unpleasant odour and can cause eye irritation, breathing problems, and headaches. Yet, it remains a favourite cleaner for glass and appliances. So, it is important that if you must use ammonia-based cleaners, you do so while in a well-ventilated area.
3. Hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid (HCA) is also an organic or naturally occurring compound, most commonly found in toilet bowl cleaners. HCA is also found in lime-deposit removers, other bathroom cleaners, and disinfectants. Because it is one of the strongest acids, this chemical can have serious side effects. Breathing in fumes results in symptoms that go from a mild runny nose and to severe respiratory problems. According to theNational Institutes of Health, if you inhale a lot of the fumes it can lead to haemoptysis or the coughing up blood.
Formaldehyde is best known as “embalming fluid.” But what you may not know is that formaldehyde is also an ingredient in many household products. Everything from baby wipes and cleaners to makeup and toothpaste can contain some formaldehyde. Other names of formaldehyde to look for are:
· methylene oxide
Allergic reactions to formaldehyde can lead to asthma and has also been linked to cancer.
Bisphenol A is the controversial component used in both plastic bottles and can linings. Studies have proven that the chemical leaches from the bottle. However, since our bodies excrete BPA rapidly, adults are not at risk for some of the symptoms. In children, the chemical does appear to contribute to allergic reactions to food and other substances.
While you can't avoid all harmful chemicals, you should choose less toxic substances to work with when you can. Be sure to take precautions when you have to work with any of these materials. Wear gloves, masks, and use in a well-ventilated area. In the case of BPA, it is best to choose bottles that are made from the BPA-free material. All items containing BPA are marked as such.
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