Times are changing. The days when lead paint and microwave dinners were not just acceptable, but the standard, have long passed, and we are entering a new world of chemical paranoia.
New plastic products and strong cleaners that surely get the job done have been discovered to cause a number of health problems, from stunted growth to asthma, and even death.
But, we don’t want to encourage the hysteria.
We know your family and your health are the most important things to you, but endless anxiety about household chemicals won’t do you any good. Instead of panicking, our response should be to educate ourselves about the toxins in our homes and the proper safety procedures to take when we inevitably have to use them.
Fight the chemical fear frenzy by using these simple safety tips that will take you from crisis mode to “calm and comfortable” in seconds.
- Don Those Yellow Gloves
Okay, they don’t have to be yellow. But you should wear gloves anytime you use cleaning products. Chemicals like bleach and furniture polish can cause skin irritation, even after a short, simple use. Anytime you handle chemicals, especially if you’ve never used that product before, you should protect your hands. You don’t want to find out you have a negative reaction to a cleaning product after the job is already done.
- Dress for Success
And by success, we mean overall protection. When using chemicals like lawncare products or chlorine, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect your whole body from toxic particles floating in the air. You can also use clothes to defend against UV rays. While some vitamin D is good for us, try to cover up when you know you’re going to be in the sun for a long time, like when gardening or going on a hike.
- A Sight for Sore Eyes
Putting on a pair of safety goggles isn’t always necessary when cleaning, but certain chemicals in carpet cleaners or ammonia in bleach can be very dangerous for your eyes. When you’re doing a deep clean, throw on a pair of goggles to keep sore eyes at bay.
- Knowledge is Power
The best way to protect yourself from toxins is to keep dangerous chemicals out of your home in the first place. Before you buy any cleaning products, do your research. Know what chemicals you shouldn’t bring into your home, and check the label to make sure your favorite cleaning products aren’t secret killers. When possible, shop for organic and fragrance-free products, they are much safer to have in your home. And when using any cleaning or chemical product, even body soap and cosmetics, read usage instructions before inserting the product into your everyday routine.
- Breathe Easy
Carpet cleaners, paints, anything with a strong smell, should only be used in rooms with good ventilation. Inhaling cleaning and maintenance products can be very dangerous, causing respiratory diseases or harming your skin cells. Open windows and use fans with strong smelling products, and get rid of fragrant air fresheners and laundry detergents all together. They’ve been known to cause a number of illnesses and there are plenty of natural alternatives, like using essential oils, to keep your home’s aroma fresh and clean.
- Take Out the Trash
If you’re cleansing your home of toxins or getting rid of empty bottles, the dumpster might not be the right place to dispose of those containers. Read the label and check your city’s government website to find out how to properly get rid of chemical bottles, paint cans and batteries. Improper disposal can result in those toxins polluting the air and water supply in your town, so protect yourself by learning the rules, and share what you learn with your neighbors.
- Lock It Up
Make sure you store household chemicals away from where children and pets can reach them. Use a high closet shelf or locked cabinets to ensure that your loved ones don’t get into cleaning products when you’re not around.
Pests, bacteria and viruses are concerns every homeowner has, but don’t let your anxiety about these invaders cloud your judgement. Read product instructions and use common sense when pulling out those heavy-duty cleaners. And remember you can always look for natural alternatives to everyday chemicals for cleaner living.
If you ever need help finding safe products that won’t harm you or your family, Modere is here to help!