Have you ever walked down the "cleaning" aisle in the grocery store and wondered why within a few minutes your head began to hurt, your eyes watered and perhaps or you felt a tickle in your throat?
If so, you are not alone! It turns that that many of the active ingredients in those cleaners cause respiratory issues, lead to increased risks of cancer, infertility, harm our environment and in 2000 accounted for 206,636 reports to the U.S centers for Poison Control! Sadly more than half of these reports involved children under the age of six years-old!
As you take a look at your own cleaning products one big thing you can look out for is FRAGRANCES!
~Fragrances... Oh!!! but they make our laundry smell like a "mountain breeze" and our lotions and shampoos like "minty clean" and give our newborn babies that iconic "fresh baby smell". The concern with fragrances is that they have been linked to cancer, reproductive concerns, developmental toxicity, sensitizations and allergies. Manufacturers are also not required to list the individual ingredients in their "fragrance blend" which often ends up being the perfect loophole for a toxic blend of chemical soup.
When you think of fragrances your first thought may be perfume. Growing up, one of my friend's Mom's said she would get migraines from smelling perfume. As I teen I thought this was kinda crazy, like really, a migraine??? However, the more I researched fragrances the more this made so much sense! Fragrances aren't just a simple scent or one of those "scratch and sniff" markers from grade school. Fragrances have the ability to cross the blood brain barrier meaning they interact with receptors in the central nervous system. Physically, this can look effect changes in blood pressure, heart rate, pupil dilation, skin temperature and brain activity! Uhh Yikes!
---Look for fragrance in your Shampoo, Cosmetics, Essential oils, Candles, Air fresheners, Wax plugins, Baby care items, Deodorant and Sunscreen, just to name a few--
Alternatives to Fragrance. So I get it, we still want that clean laundry small, or that "summer breeze candle" A really great alternative to fragrance is, yep you guessed it, essential oils. Unlike fragrances, pure, therapeutic grade essential oils do not contain synthetic endocrine disrupting chemicals and actually work to benefit us emotionally and physically. A win-win in my book! Smell good and benefit me and my family??? Sorry "lemon" scented commercial laundry detergent but I can't say the same for you.
Stinky Bathroom- Ditch the Glade and fill a spray bottle with vodka or distilled water and add a few drops of Purification, Thieves or a blend of Bergamot & Lemon.
Wax Warmers and Scented Plug-ins- Diffuse essential oils, there are sooo many different combos but a great place to start is with this set!
Cleaning Cupboard- Pick up a couple of good quality microfiber cloths and a bottle of pure plant based Thieves Cleaner. No joke, my cleaning cupboard (think 409, Windex, Tile cleaner, Toilet bowl cleaner, Surface Spray, the whole nine yards) have all been replaced with a bottle of Thieves Cleaner and a couple of cleaning cloths. No more worrying that my kids are going to get into the chemicals and accidently harm themselves and no more having to spend $$$ on 10 different cleaning products! Frugal Momma win!
Dryer Sheets-Wool dryer balls help keep fabrics soft and reduce our dying times! Another win-win for my wallet and the environment. Add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil to each ball before drying, if desired.
Are You Up for a Challenge?
Pick one room in your house this WEEK that your going to to ditch and switch out the fragrance laden chemicals with healthy alternatives. Feeling overwhelmed or need ideas? Join the conversation on Facebook at Daybreak Oils.
Autumn Alyssa, CHD is a Birth and Postpartum Doula serving women and families from Bountiful to Provo in Davis, Salt Lake & Utah Counties