Hazards of Cleaning Products
The presence of a baby in the house means that you have to frantically ensure the environment is clean even if it means sanitizing every inch of your living space so your baby is safe. This also entails the use of household cleaners which inopportunely contain harmful chemicals exposing children and everyone in the house to dangerous toxins.
- Why Use Cleaners?
Household cleaners are necessary not only for the aesthetic effects they bring such as removing unsightly dust and dirt, but also for making indoor environments clean. Unfortunately, the use of these products especially on toys poses a hazard for your babies and everyone in the house exposed to them.
Babies, in particular, are vulnerable groups. They have an immature body, undeveloped organs and immune system as well as sensitive skin. Exposure to the fumes of chemicals found in cleaning agents can have disastrous health results.
- What’s in Your Cleaning Products?
Many household cleaners are made from organic chemicals with fuel as a main component. They release pollutants while you are using them and even when stored. These toxins at concentrated levels remain in the air even after the activity has long been completed.
- Risks to your Baby
These chemicals are absorbed by children in different ways. For example, a toddler (1-3 years) will absorb from 40-70% of ingested lead while an adult will only process about 5-20%. Distribution of substances ingested by kids also varies with age. Different organs are not fully developed in children such that toxins can readily spread to the central nervous system because the blood-brain barrier is not mature. Filtration and elimination of toxic substances is less than 40% to that of an adult and premature babies at even lower rates, 5%.
In the immediate term, some of the effects your babies and children might endure include skin irritation (itchy or flaky skin, redness and inflammation), eye soreness, coughing and difficulty breathing due to partially blocked airways.
- Safe Alternatives
Knowing how dangerous these chemical-based products can become for children should make you rethink what you use to clean the home and your baby’s things. Consider using natural ingredients such as lemon and white vinegar which have wonderful anti-bacterial properties. Baking soda is also a safe way to clean baby toys and great at removing foul odors. Using homemade cleaners does not only save you money (the average American family spends $42/month on cleaning products), but also make your indoor air clean and safe for your baby.