Wednesday, May 8, 2013

'Healthing' With Toxic Chemicals?

I just saw a Lysol commercial on YouTube. My jaw dropped. Not because it was so good but because I'm appalled that a company that makes highly toxic cleaning chemicals would stoop so low to market their toxic products to unsuspecting parents who are trying to make healthy choices. How peculiar that it looks awfully similar to a Seventh Generation commercial from several years ago, going for the same feel of 'natural' and 'good for families'. Number one brand recommended by pediatricians? It certainly shows that they don't have much of a clue either.

"Banish those germs and viruses!" seems to be the horn to toot. But at what cost? Replacing colds and flu with chronic, debilitating, life-altering diseases that result from toxic chemicals is hardly justifiable. 

Do they really think we are that gullible? For starters, let's look at the ingredients in many Lysol products, just in case some of you aren't aware (every Lysol product contains at least one of these in same or similar form):

Benzalkonium Chloride: biocide, preservative and surfactant associated with severe skin, eye, and respiratory irritation and allergies, especially dangerous for people with asthma or skin conditions such as eczema... Regular use of products containing antimicrobials such as bezalkonium chloride could lead to the development of resistant bacteria in homes and food processing facilities.

Fragrance: Evidence of skin irritation/allergies/damage; acute aquatic toxicity, nervous system effects.

Quarternary Ammonium Compounds, Benzyl-C8-18-Alkyldimethyl, Chlorides: Asthmagen, very toxic to aquatic life, causes severe skin burns and eye damage.

Ethylene oxide: Known to cause reproductive toxicity in females, asthmagen, may cause genetic defects, central nervous system impairment, known to be a human carcinogen.

Those are just a few of the many, many ingredients in Lysol products - and most conventional brand name cleaning products as well.

Of course that's a problem, but the bigger problem is that the use of these toxic products is advertised as 'healthy'!

Not only are we filling our homes with ingredients that cause cancer, asthma, nervous system issues, and skin problems - we are also killing all the beneficial bacteria that is necessary for life and for creating immunity to diseases.

We are creating bubble, 'manicured green lawn' environments for our children where they grow in a sterilized environment and in turn become sick from every little germ they encounter. Is it any wonder that autoimmune diseases are skyrocketing?

Kids need dirt and germs to prevent the development of allergies. We need to let our kids be kids. There are plenty of toxin free alternatives to disinfecting in 'germ breeding' spaces like schools and hospitals. Plus the alternatives are much, much cheaper than brand name cleaning chemicals (think vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, lemons, etc.). These will not promote the breeding of super bugs in our homes, schools, and hospitals.

So what's it going to be Lysol? Will you continue pushing your deceptive marketing on unsuspecting moms? Are you going to be part of the problem or the solution? Why not overhaul your toxic ingredients list instead of pouring money into deceptive marketing?

What about us? As consumers we can vote with our wallet. You know what? Your wallet will thank you because homemade cleaners can be just as effective and much cheaper - not to mention they will not cause cancer or other severe health problems.

Solutions: Homemade Cleaners

Check out your cleaning products on EWG's database

How do you keep your home clean without the use of toxic chemicals? 

What do you think of Lysol's deceiving marketing? Did you know what their products contain?


  1. This is why I don't agree with using chlorine bleach in a child's bath to alleviate eczema. Bathing a child in chemicals cannot be particularly healthy. But, to each her own. Essential oils, baking soda, lemons, vinegar, all wonderful things I use to clean my home!

    1. [Gasp] I didn't actually know that is recommended! Bathing a child in chlorine?!?! I can only imagine what that would do with a child, besides drying out the eczema. I'll be posting a review soon of a product that really helped my daughter's eczema, though it isn't chronic for her and it was just one odd episode - nothing would make it go away except for this miracle cream (will be posted next week most likely).

      Anyone reading may want to read this, and this is just from chlorine in tap WITHOUT anything added: http://www.foodrenegade.com/chlorinated-showers-baths-kill-gut-flora/

  2. Agree...i make everyone myself at home lol...even my room sprays and vapor rubs...i seriously don't think I buy anything besides the dish washing soap. I tried making it several times and just not happy with the result at all so I gave up on that...but everything else works great!

    1. That's great! I don't have the cleanest house on the block, but when I clean I choose homemade or buy plant/food based cleaners that don't give me headaches and are safe enough for my kids to help with cleaning when they beg. :)

  3. I mainly try to stay away from cleaners like lysol because of the price. Like you said, less complex home cleaners are pretty cheap to make. In the bathrooms I still use advertised brand, but mainly because I haven't thought of anything otherwise. I will have to do some research.

    1. You could probably just make one with tea tree oil if you want something with disinfecting properties. There are a ton here (though not all use natural ingredients), plenty of option: http://pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=diy%20bathroom%20cleaner&rs=ac&len=15

  4. I used to use all the "scary" products, but after I started to cloth diaper my daughter, my eyes were opened to a whole world of greener/healthier options. (And I'm so very thankful for that!) It still makes me cringe to think about the chemicals I used to have all over my house. In fact, I wonder if some of my family members' health problems stem from the use of said chemicals and being "overly clean." (Clorox was used ALL the time!) Thanks for spreading the word. :)

    1. That's awesome! I'm sure that most moms' stories are just like yours, it's not something most people 'always knew'. I've changed to natural/homemade products shortly before my daughter was born, I've had so much toxic stuff under my sink before kids! :)

      Thank you for your comment!

  5. I don't use any toxic chemicals to clean my house. But I am having an issue cleaning mold/mildew in my shower. I've tried baking soda, vinegar, lemon...Nothing is working. And its getting worse. Any suggestions?

    1. Hm, have you tried tea tree oil? That would kill the mold, not sure how well it would clean.Hydrogen peroxide may work too, and then last thing I thought of is a citrus based mold killer available on Amazon (http://amzn.to/1a6csD1), I'm actually thinking of getting some myself, I've got mold issues in the bathroom!


We LOVE your comments, please share your thoughts!

Blogging tips