Ever walked into a house and you breathe in a smell a scent that smells like clean sheets or summer citrus. Well, we are conditioned to think that a fresh smelling house equates to a clean house. However, what researchers are cautioning parents is that what you are smelling is just pollutants in the air, temporarily masking the odour only.
New research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal fount that children ages 3 to 4 months, suggests frequent exposure to common household cleaning products can increase a child's risk of developing asthma. They examined their daily, weekly and monthly exposure to 26 types of household cleaners -- including dishwashing and laundry detergents, cleaners, disinfectants, polishes, and air fresheners.
Given their hand to mouth behaviours, floor play and their developing immune, respiratory and reproductive systems, babies are most vulnerable. It is imperative for parents to be vigilant of the types of cleaning products that are being used due to the potential toxic effects it has on babies' health.
As parents, we need to think about cleaning differently. If using plug-in air freshners - stop using them. If using aerosols - spray into a cloth, open the window to allow for air ventilation. Be mindful that manufacturers of household cleaning products are not required to list all ingredients.
The exact sentiments are echoed by the American Lung Association that recommends using only cleaning products that don’t have volatile compounds, fragrances, irritants or flammable ingredients, and that air fresheners should be avoided entirely.
Try switching to greener products, such as Nellies or Bunch Farmers, look for ingredients that use easy to read and recognizable terms, avoiding products that contain ammonia, dyes, fragrances or parfum, all while feeling good that you are reducing your family's exposure to harmful chemicals.
Source: Global News Household cleaner asthma study