We’ve been to the moon and back, but we’re still cleaning the way we did 100 years ago, and those habits are hard to change. We think it’s not clean unless we get that chemical smell, but what no one told us is that there are no regulations for cleaning products. Good mothers use Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo, we thought. They just came out with this concession, to remove all toxins by 2015.
The famous ’10 Americans’ study in 2004 of 10 umbilical cords, tested for 413 toxins and environmental pollutants. The chilling test results showed that the 10 cord blood samples contained 287 toxins and chemical pollutants, 200 on average per baby, including 212 industrial chemicals that were banned 30 years ago! The chemicals included waste products coming out of incinerators and smokestacks, and ingredients from pesticides, like flame retardants, teflon chemicals and pesticides.
Of these chemicals
Leading researchers believe industrial chemicals have brought a silent pandemic in children.
In November 2012, a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics outlines the harmful effects on children and makes recommendations on how to reduce exposure. A new report this week stated that ADHD is on the rise. One in five children have autism, ADHD, ADD, or allergies, 7.3 million American couples have trouble getting pregnant or carrying to term, up 20% in the past 10 years. Cancer is on the rise.
Chemicals are taken in via inhalation, ingestion and absorption. Cleaning sprays can be inhaled, a crib or high chair cleaned with lysol can be ingested or absorbed through the skin. Safe levels of chemicals over a long period of time equals a level that is too high. Nearly all traditional cleaning products have chemicals that are bad for humans and for the earth. Find your favorite cleaning product in this list.
What can we do?
We can’t avoid all exposure. Some people just love their cleaning products. This is a challenge for many. I shared this with my 93 year old mother who still cleans her own windows, and she just laughed, “I’ve been using amonia and window cleaner all my life and I’m not dead yet!”
The average home has 62 toxic chemicals. Eighty-five percent of housekeepers die within one year of retirement. And when these toxins are used, it’s putting more chemicals into the environment.
Make your own green cleaning recipes. Work with your nanny or domestic staff to mix up simple green cleaning recipies using vinegar, lemon, borax, liquid soap, olive oil.
Don’t use aerosols
They are easier to inhale and the particles are smaller. The particles go deeper into your lungs. Some aerosol particles stay in the air for up to two days and a baby can ingest it. A trigger spray is better.
Your skin is one big absorbing sponge.
Beware of flame retardants
Hidden hazards tested 20 popular new foam baby products for toxic flame retardants linked to serious health problems
No one is using disinfectants properly.
Beth Bittenbender of Pure Strategies spoke to the DEMA Domestic Estate managers Convention last September, explaining that, “For a disinfectant like lysol to work properly, the surface needs to be cleaned first, then sprayed with the Lysol and allowed to sit for 10 minutes, then wipped off. But who takes the time to do this? This procedure can kill 99.9% of germs. However that .1% may adapt and become a superbug.”
Great tools to use:
These products can be used with pets, animals, in pools and hot tubs.
Do what you can and don’t worry about the rest.
My daughter-in-law showed me all the toxins in toothpaste, so I quit using it. My two year old granddaughter looked at me a couple weeks later and said, “Grandma, your teeth look yucky!” so now I’m back to poisoning myself at least once a day.
Knowledge is power
Here are some other programs we found:
Charles MacPherson, who specializes in training staff for private residences, met with Jenny Riojas and Beth Weise at the DEMA Inaugural Convention in Los Angeles this weekend. DEMA, the Domestic Estate Managers Association, has been operating for the past 5 years, and their first national convention was a great showcase of what this top notch group of organizers can accomplish!
Beth and Jenny learned and networked with top estate managers, personal assistants, premier vendors and national agencies from across the country. Caring Nannies is not just a nanny agency. We also place home managers, personal assistants, business assistants, housekeepers, housemen, couples, estate managers, chefs, and butlers.