Asthma : Cleaning Chemicals to Avoid
Did you know that you are more likely to develop asthma if you are exposed to fumes from some common household cleaning products?
Cleaning products can be a nightmare in a bottle for asthma and allergy sufferers. Those incredible products that clean quickly and easy, tend to be created by mixing strong chemicals, particles of which are absorbed in to the air, then inhaled by humans when the product is used. This is not a problem if you’re healthy, but these chemical particles can be extremely irritating for asthma sufferers – they can even trigger an attack.
It’s well documented that household cleaners may increase the risk of asthma in young children as well as trigger existing asthma. Those exposed to fumes from common household cleaning products are more likely to develop asthma than those who were not.
Occupational Asthma is also on the increase. It is now the most common occupational lung disease in the developed world with at least 9% of cases of adults with asthma either caused or aggravated by occupational factors.
Doctors can treat asthma with medicine, but to prevent asthma it’s best to use safer products. So, if something at home or work is causing your asthma, it’s time for a change.
We believe that consumers, not only have the right to know what’s inside products, they have a right to understand those ingredients and the impact they have on health. Did you know there are over 4000 substances (known as sensitisers) that may cause asthma? Here’s a few of them:
They are used in many in cleaning compounds. According to research children exposed to glycol ethers are two to four times more likely to suffer allergies or asthma.
None of the go-clean go-green products contain Glycol Ethers
Chlorine / Bleach
Household cleaning products that contain chlorine/bleach can severely affect our indoor air quality. There are countless studies that show that fumes from Chlorine/Bleach significantly increased asthma symptoms in children. It is also known that routine breathing of chlorine may increase sensitivity to other types of irritants such as fungi and bacteria.
None of the go-clean go-green products contain Chlorine/Bleach
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In large quantities, such as those found in household cleaners, ammonia fumes can pose an immediate hazard to the lungs and skin. Without adequate ventilation, ammonia fumes can be dangerous as they can linger in the home in dust, carpets, curtains and upholstery. Children are most likely to be exposed to ammonia in household cleaners and children with asthma are far more sensitive to these fumes.
Ammonia can cause even greater damage if it is mixed with cleaners containing bleach. This mixture forms highly poisonous chloramine gas that cause coughing, choking and lung damage.
None of the go-clean go-green products contain Ammonia.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
VOCs are chemicals used to manufacture cleaners. “Volatile” means that these chemicals get into the air easily at room temperature. “Organic” means that these types of chemicals contain carbon. VOC’s are an indoor air concern. Recent studies found that these compounds severely affect our indoor air quality and our children are at risk. The number of cases of asthma in children has increased dramatically over the past 30 years as a result of VOCs found in cleaning products, room fresheners, polishes and paints.
None of the go-clean go-green products contain VOCs
Synthetic perfumes are increasingly used in an ever wider variety of fields, including household products. These perfumes may produce toxic and more often allergic respiratory disorders such as asthma.
None of the go-clean go-green products contain Synthetic Fragrances
This is a citrus-based solvent used in all citrus aroma cleaners. It’s commonly known as Orange Oil. It can be toxic to aquatic life, but what about our health? According to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, D-Limonene can cause serious respiratory distress for asthmatics and may also be a skin irritant for many people. In fact Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) classes D-Limonene is a “sensitising fragrance”. So Orange is NOT green!
None of the go-clean go-greenproducts contain D-Limonene solvent.
Cleaing Hints and Tips
It is vitally important to remove known allergens such as dust mites, moulds, pollens and pet hair from the home in order to minimise the affect of asthma and allergy triggers. If you have allergies or asthma, here are some important tips when it comes to cleaning:
- Read and follow label directions on cleaning products.
- Break your cleaning into small tasks. Spread it out over several days instead of doing it all at once.
- Clean in a “well-ventilated” area – open a door and a window or turn on an exhaust fan. Leave the room when you are done cleaning and allow the room to air out.
- If your asthma is severe, have someone else do the cleaning. Try to leave home before when the cleaning is being done. If you must do the cleaning yourself, wear a mask. Have asthmatic children leave the room when cleaning is being done. Don’t ask children with asthma to dust or vacuum. Have them do other chores like washing dishes, taking out the rubbish, etc.
- Use cleaning products that are “green”. Ones without hazardous ingredients including VOC’s (volatile organic compounds).