Given poor government regulation, many of the cleaning products available on the market contain “everyday” carcinogens such as formaldehyde, nitrobenzene, methylene chloride, and napthelene, as well as reproductive toxins and hormone disruptors. Not to mention other ingredients that cause liver, kidney and brain damage, allergies and asthma. I really am a happy person–not your basic Eeyore type, but toxic cleaning products seriously get my goat. One of the best things you can do to detox your home is to create one of Annie’s simple non-toxic cleaning kits to use–most of the ingredients you probably already have on hand.
But there are a host of products, other than those used for basic cleaning, that often contain carcinogenics. This list, from Cancer: 101 Solutions to a Preventable Epidemic (New Society Publishers, 2007) by Liz Armstrong et al, cautions against 10 household products, in addition to cleaners, that you should avoid having in your house.
1. Air fresheners: Often contain napthelene and formaldehyde. Try zeolite or natural fragrances from essential oils.
2. Art supplies: Epoxy and rubber cement glues, acrylic paints and solvents, and permanent markers often contain carcinogens.
4. Candles: Avoid artificially scented paraffin candles that produce combustion by-products, including soot. Beeswax only, with cotton wicks.
5. Carpet and upholstery shampoos: Use only wet-clean, natural ingredients.
8. Paints and varnishes: Always chose low- or no-VOC finishes.
9. Household pesticides: Go natural.
10. Microwaves: Never microwave or heat food in a plastic container.