The air we breathe is one of the most important aspects of health that you can imagine. Without breath, there is no life. But what about toxic air from the chemicals we use to "clean?" Certainly, those cannot be any good for the air we breathe.
In fact, Discover Magazine online states the fumes from these "cleaning agents" stick around. The article—aptly titled, "Cleaning fumes linger a long time in your home—and cracking a window doesn't help," goes over some of the common chemicals in a typical household from benign to toxic.
These chemicals can linger on your household surfaces and cause serious issues.
Scientists Confirm the Worst
According to the article, "scientists recently tried the same air-freshening tactic [cracking open a window] for 19 common chemicals found in homes — and found that it didn’t actually do anything." 1
The article went on to say that even after opening all of the windows in the test house seven different times for half an hour each, the "chemicals reappeared at pre-air-out levels within minutes."
The scientist's conclusion? That all of the surfaces in a home from the curtains to the counters and more were acting as "big chemical reservoirs."
How can it be that we are still using certain "cleaning chemicals?" Are they causing us to have health problems?
Scientists believe that they may cause problems if we interact with them too much. How much is too much, however?
Chen Wang, a chemist at the University of Toronto, and her colleagues focused on the household chemicals that might cause health problems like ammonia which is found in some cleaning products.
What they found through their "cracking open a window" experiment was that when the windows were open, the chemical concentrations went down. But when they closed the windows again, "it took a maximum of about 55 minutes for the chemicals to reappear at basically the same levels. In some cases, it took little more than eight minutes. 'It was a little bit surprising,' Wang says. 'We thought it wouldn’t be so fast.'”
"Though some of these chemicals might come with health risks if someone is exposed to them for a long time, this study doesn’t investigate whether the concentrations they recorded are harmful. However, the finding does mean that chemists need to better understand how these byproducts of our daily lives attach to and interact with our surroundings," according to the article.
Another thing to keep in mind if you do decide to open your windows is that some chemicals might also make their way into your house. The article specifically pointed to "ozone, which reacts with all kinds of things. “The open window might decrease some chemicals, but might increase others,” Wang says.
More worrisome news...
The American Lung Association points out that, "Cleaning is essential to protecting our health in our homes, schools, and workplaces. However, household and cleaning products—including soaps, polishes, and grooming supplies—often include harmful chemicals. Even products advertised as "green" or "natural" may contain ingredients that can cause health problems. Some cleaning supplies can even be flammable or corrosive. Fortunately, you can limit your exposure to those risks. Read all labels and follow instructions when using cleaning products. It could save your life." 2
Cleaning is a reality and a necessary one. But could toxic cleaning—coupled with improper ventilation—be part of our indoor air quality problems?
Indoor air problems can be subtle and do not always produce easily recognized impacts on health, well-being, or the physical plant. Symptoms include headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, sinus congestion, coughing, sneezing, dizziness, nausea, and irritation of the eye, nose, throat, and skin. 3
Women’s Voices for the Earth, whose tagline is: “Our Health, Our Future, Toxic Free” recently released an article on the hidden toxins in the everyday cleaners we buy: “Cleaning product companies tell you that to keep your home clean and smelling fresh, you need to rely on an army of cleaning and air care products. Sprays, wipes, powders, liquids, and more are sold with the promise of improving your home and your health by removing dirt and germs. More often than not, these products are also infused with fragrance to add a pleasant sensory experience to your everyday chores and to give your home that “clean” and “fresh “smell of lemon or pine forests. What companies are not telling you is that cleaning products can contain toxic chemicals that may harm your health. Manufacturers often recommend frequent and repeated use of their products, but this also translates to frequent and repeated exposures to potentially harmful chemicals. You may inhale these chemicals by breathing indoor air and some of them can be absorbed through the skin. Long-term exposures to certain chemicals found in household cleaners have been linked to serious health problems like pregnancy complications, breast cancer, birth defects, asthma, and allergic reactions.” 4
This article also points to the fact that superbugs can be created through the use of household cleaning products. In fact, according to the World Health Organization #3 & #4 cause of death worldwide is respiratory and pulmonary infections!
A study by the National University of Ireland discovered that introducing disinfectants to laboratory cultures of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, caused the bacteria to adapt to survive not only the disinfectant but also to common antibiotics without having ever been exposed to them. The bacteria cell had adapted to rid itself of disinfectants and antibiotics and created a mutation in its DNA to resist certain strains of antibiotics altogether.
Superbugs can easily get out of control. Certain resistant bacteria are known for causing pneumonia, urinary tract infections, skin infections, and more which can all become very dangerous if they can’t be treated and the patient’s health is compromised. 5
But there is hope. Read on!
So what can we do to protect ourselves and clean our homes, schools, churches, workplaces, and more?
If you want your spaces to be truly clean and much safer, you can check out the line of microbe-killing/destroying products from Last Germ.
With Vital Oxide and the 2-step process employed by Last Germ, germs are killed physically, no harsh or toxic chemicals are required.
In Step 2 of our Last Germ system, this Antimicrobial Protectant is effective at killing 99.99% of the dangers we cannot see and goes on protecting against new microbes that come in contact with a protected surface for up to 90 days. And, just recently, we have new testing that shows elimination of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, for up to 46 days!
Our 2-step process begins with completely killing any existing bacteria, viruses, and germs that are on a surface. Vital Oxide is a hospital-grade disinfectant that is EPA Registered and can be found on the N list as a product that successfully eliminates SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). This product is applied with an electrostatic sprayer, allowing every surface point to be sanitized. After 5 minutes, 99.999% of microbes are eliminated. 6
If you want to learn more about how Vital Oxide and/or how the 2-step process can help you or if you have any questions about how it all works, you can contact an agent near you. They will be happy to assist you.
American Lung Association: https://www.lung.org/clean-air/at-home/indoor-air-pollutants/cleaning-supplies-household-chem
Last Germ: https://www.lastgerm.com/the-air-you-breathe
Last Germ: https://www.lastgerm.com/how-it-works