Replace toxins in your home with these essential oils
(NaturalHealth365) Most people are aware of the dangers of outdoor toxins and pollutants from sources like car exhausts, heavy manufacturing, industrial chemicals and agricultural run-off, to name a few. But, how much do you know about the toxins that could be lurking in the cabinet right under your kitchen sink?
The fact is, the very products you may be using on a regular basis to keep bacteria and viruses at bay could be introducing harmful, toxic chemicals into your home environment, putting your health at risk. Rather than using chemical-based cleaning products, many of which aren’t effective and pose a danger to your family’s health, take a natural approach to cleaning with the use of effective essential oils.
Chemical cleaners introduce harmful, deadly toxins into your home
In an attempt to reduce disease-causing microbes and toxins, people often turn to cleaning products containing a laundry list of toxic chemicals, misguided into thinking their cleaning efforts will be more effective. Instead, they could be putting themselves at much greater health risk than exposure to the harmful bacteria and viruses they are trying to kill.
There is no federal safety regulation of chemicals going into cleaning supplies, and neither ingredients nor the cleaners themselves are required to meet any sort of safety standard. One of the biggest risks is frequent exposure of skin to toxic cleaning chemicals. Skin absorption quickly exposes many organs of the body to dangerous substances.
The average household cleaner contains roughly 62 toxic chemicals, according to environmental experts, including phthalates, sodium hydroxide, perchloroethylene, triclosan, quarternary ammonium compounds, ammonia, chlorine and 2-butoxyethanol. According to the Environmental Working Group, many cleaning products are also laced with the carcinogenic impurity 1,4-dioxane. Some also release low levels of the carcinogen formaldehyde.
Ingredients in common household products are associated with causing cancer, reproductive disorders, neurotoxicity, asthma and hormone disruption, among other ills. While manufacturers will argue that small amounts of these highly toxic chemicals can do no harm, such safety testing is not required prior to bringing a product onto the market and there is no way to predict the degree of harm brought about by frequent exposure.
According to a New York State Department of Health study conducted in 2010, babies born to women who worked at cleaning jobs while pregnant had an elevated risk of birth defects. In addition, there is a mountain of scientific evidence linking common household cleaners to asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
Choosing the most effective essential oils for household cleaning
Numerous studies have found essential oils to have antimicrobial qualities. In one such investigation, researchers at The University of Western Australia found that a hand wash made with a 5 percent tea tree oil content was notably more effective for hand washing than regular soap. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy suggests using eucalyptus, lemon, lemongrass and tea tree essential oils as natural anti-viral agents, as well as the use of tea tree oil in fighting bacteria.
Essential oils are effective at destroying disease-causing microbes primarily because they contain organic compounds known as phenylpropanoids and terpenes, which also contribute to the scent of the oils. Some of the most popular essential oils to use in cleaning products – due to both their effectiveness and economical availability – include lavender, lemon, peppermint, tea tree oil and sweet orange.
The only precautions when handling essential oils are that some can be potentially harmful if ingested and others may cause allergic reactions when in contact with the skin of some sensitive individuals. You should also avoid eye contact.
Diluting the oils with water prior to using them as cleaning agents will greatly reduce all of these risks. For example, you can simply add a few drops of essential oils to a spray bottle filled with water. The resulting solution can be used throughout the house, including bathrooms and kitchen.