According to the CDC the rise of calls into the poison control center exponentially increased in the last few years. Between accidentally creating toxic fumes to accidental ingestion by minors the number of accidents has been on the rise. Makes sense since everyone stocked up and started using way more cleaners and disinfectants. However, being disinfected is great but at what cost?
The University of Bergen in Norway conducted a study that spanned 20 years on the use of cleaning products. What they concluded was that the continued use of chemicals can be just as bad as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for the same amount of time.
Some cleaners and disinfectants can cause respiratory issues, burns, irritate skin eyes, etc. They can also be poisonous if ingested, especially worrisome if you have children and pets.
What you can do.
Read the labels and warnings that are on the product. This seems simple but is very important. The label contains so much information that you should be aware of – How to use the product, where you can use the product, what to do if you accidentally get some in your eyes or mouth.
Put a sticker or some sort of easily notifiable label that lets little ones to not touch. Think circa 1990’s Mr. Yuk stickers.
PPE can minimize some of these concerns: gloves, masks, face shields.
Long-term exposure still is a risk when using harsh detergents, all-purpose cleaners, disinfectants. So, our #1 thing on what you can do is to:
USE PRODUCTS THAT ARE NON-TOXIC. These types of products have become more easily sourced these days. Just make sure to read the ingredients list and labeling to make sure it’s non-toxic. You can even make your own. We make HOCl in tiny batches with a countertop machine. It’s super handy because we can make what we need for the day and then store the machine. No cleaning or disinfecting supplies to store. (Side note, we do store the salt and vinegar needed to make the HOCl. You can also store the excess if you made too much).
Now that we are finally transitioning to back to ‘normal-ish’ people are disinfecting less than they have the last couple of years. This doesn’t mean they are stopping all disinfecting; we are just not panic buying or passing out hand sanitizer like it’s Tic-Tacs. So, the next time you are buying disinfectant take the time to read the labels or make your own and choose something that is better for your overall health in the long run.