Saturday, October 6, 2012

Are Your Green Cleaning Products Making You Sicker? What about your skin lotions?

I’ve been in a lot of homes where people are dealing with chronic conditions. Some appear to be so clean you could eat off the floor, while others, well “not so much.” It  goes without saying that eliminating clutter can be healing, and definitely something to be encouraged. However, it’s the cleaning products that some people obsessively use that’s the purpose of today’s post.

 If you have a diseases like asthma or COPD air fresheners and cleaning products with scents can cause your condition to flare. In fact, about half of the products tested recently by the Environmental Working Group (EWG)  proved to harmful to human lungs. Learn more about cleaning supplies and your health, including topics such as asthma, cancer, reproductive and developmental toxicity, allergies and irritation and burns and poisonings. 

Recently the EWG released their 2012 Guide to Healthy Cleaning. They studied over 2,000 products and the results weren’t anything to make you smile at the fresh scent in your home.

EWG judges their products on the following criteria:
• Hazardous ingredients that pose threats to human health
• Little or no specific ingredient information on the label
• Contains ingredients restricted in some states and the European Union
• Products that release volatile chemicals.

Sadly, a number of those advertised “green” products did not stack up so well. So start by checking how your cleaning products are rated on the EWG Guide to Healthy Cleaning.

Not surprising, the cheapest and highest rated general cleaner was white vinegar. I gave up using “green cleaners” years ago as I found white vinegar, baking soda and liquid soap, along with good cleaning clothes, not only did a great job, but saved money in the process and didn’t contribute to indoor air pollution. 

For non toxic home cleaning ideas, check out Eartheasy: Solutions for Sustainable Living.

So now that you have your household cleaning under control, have you thought about what you are putting on your skin? EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database includes more than 75,000 products.  Body lotion, as well as make-up can impact your health. A woman I worked with was using a moisturizer that included vitamin A. Her liver enzyme test (ALT) was coming back with elevated levels. A particular concern for those with hepatitis C (HCV), she discontinued the product and her ALTs returned to normal. Her liver specialist made sure he knew the name of the lotion to put on the list of products people with HCV should avoid. 


  1. I have stumbled upon your blog and found it to be very useful! Keep sharing nice stuff!!
    Green Cleaners

  2. Thanks for letting me know. Glad you find it usely and be sure to let me know if there are topics you'd like to see covered.

  3. Important blog of green cleaning products that useful for us...thanks for sharing.
    Best Green Cleaning Products

  4. Great post,thanks for sharing this useful information!

    Floor Cleaning

  5. Yes you are right we need to be careful with what products we use. I have recently started using bio-oil and it's fabulous.
    Green Cleaning