There are a number of chemicals that are found in most household cleaning products which pose health risks. These health risks are especially dangerous for women in particular. Here are three common chemicals you want to steer clear of, as well as natural alternatives you can use instead.
LAUNDRY: Avoid Phthalates
Most conventional laundry detergents contain phthalates, which have been linked to an increase in breast cancer for women. Take a look at what you’re currently using – are phthalates listed in the ingredients? If so, you will want to explore alternatives, such as phthalate-free laundry detergents. If you’re looking to be more eco-conscious, try using laundry strips like these ones from female-founded Canadian company Hello Good Juju. To really take it a step further, you can make your own laundry detergent: purchase some washing soda from your local bulk store, add finely grated soap, and a few drops of your favourite pure essential oil.
DISINFECTANTS: Avoid Quats
In the age of COVID, disinfectants are unfortunately not all made equal. Quats – quaternary ammonium compounds – are a group of chemicals linked to birth defects, and commonly found in disinfecting wipes. To make your own disinfectant instead, fill a 16 oz spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and add half a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide.
ALL PURPOSE CLEANERS: Avoid APEs and NPEs
APEs (alkylphenol ethoxylate surfactants) and NPEs (nonylphenol ethoxylate surfactants) are found in most conventional all-purpose cleaners, and have been linked to harming women’s reproductive health. For a natural alternative, blend half a cup of white vinegar with 2 cups of distilled water and 15-20 drops of your favourite pure essential oil.
Keeping a home clean is challenging enough; using safe and natural cleaning options can only bring you benefits in the long run.
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