November 11, 2009

disinfectant overkill

I'm a fan of cleaning green since I started my whole green-thing. Now there is more evidence that using safer methods of cleaning is important to your health. Women's Voices for the Earth has released a report about the overuse and dangers of disinfectants. Disinfectant chemicals have a purpose and place, but should be used sparingly.

Scientific studies have shown that disinfectant chemicals have been linked to chronic health impacts like asthma, hormone imbalance, potential reduced fertility, and immune system problems. This new report by Women’s Voices for the Earth looks at the potential health hazards of five classes of antimicrobial chemicals, raises concern about the prevalent overuse of products containing these chemicals by consumers. These chemicals include chlorine bleach, ammonia, Triclosan and Triclocarban, ammonium quarternary compounds and nano-silver.

WVE executive director Erin Switalski sums it up well: “Just as you wouldn’t use a sledgehammer to kill a fly, we’re advocating for people to use disinfecting products only when the situation calls for them. Consumers need to know that the harsh chemicals found in disinfectants are simply too strong for everyday use all over the house.”

The report includes a product index with lists of products that contain these chemicals, as well as tips for non-toxic cleaning alternatives. In fact, their website is full of excellent resources including an upcoming webinar, a video on you tube, quizzes and reports to help spread the awareness. Bravo!


Lisa said...

Wonderful post! In the kitchen I use a natural spray to kill germs (since we do eat meat) but it kills germs with D-Limonene (from citrus) so very safe and smells wonderful.

Other than that Dr. Bonners and hot water cleans my house. :)

Kathy said...

Dear Mom Go Green,

Thanks so much for blogging about the dangers of triclosan! Just like WVE, we are working to ban the use of triclosan in personal care products like toothpaste & hand soap. Please take the anti-triclosan pledge and make a small change that will make a BIG diffrence!