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Is Cleaning Your Home Polluting Your Air?

Colorful unlabeleled cleaning productsIt’s probably safe to say that most people prefer the crisp, fresh scent of a just-cleaned home over the musty, dank odour of a living environment in desperate need of tidying. This is why we tend to purchase so many scented cleaning products. We not only want our homes to be clean, but we want them to smell that way too. But is this necessity causing harm to our health? Just how important is it for our cleaning products to contain these pleasant smells?

According to David Suzuki, we apparently place too much emphasis on the need for cleaning products. “Canadians spend more than $275 million on household cleaning products in a year,” he reveals on his website, “We buy these products to fight germs, streaks, stains and odours to keep our homes sparkling clean. Cleaning is supposed to be about maintaining a healthy home, yet some common household cleaning products contain chemicals that can harm human health and the environment.”

But just how damaging to our health are the chemicals in cleaning products? Apparently, the answer to this question lies firstly in ventilation. The more ventilated our homes are, the less the fumes from cleaning products will affect us. But, as we all know, the Canadian winters don’t exactly allow for an open window policy. And, as a result, we’re often forced to lock in a lot of pollutants and irritants to our respiratory systems for months on end.

It’s important to be mindful of this. Gary Fuller of The Guardian writes that “the World Health Organization estimates that we spend around 90% of our time indoors but relatively little attention is paid to indoor air quality.” He echoes Suzuki’s sentiments by noting that, in developed countries, our cleaning products can sometimes do more harm than good. Proper ventilation is important when making use of such chemical-containing products.

“The lemon and pine scents that we use to make our homes smell fresh can also react chemically to generate air pollutants and ozone based air fresheners can cause serious indoor air pollution problems,” Fuller writes, “The US Environmental Protection Agency underlines that the best way to clean indoor air is ventilation with clean outdoor air, but this can be difficult due to weather conditions and outdoor air pollution.”

While our cleaning products almost always smell really nice, it can be pretty scary to know exactly what agents they are composed of. Suzuki reveals that many of them can be quite harmful, hence the warning labels attached to many cleaners. “Researchers in the U.S. identified 133 unique volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from a small sample of consumer products, including six cleaning products,” he reports, “Each product tested emitted between one and eight chemicals classified as toxic or hazardous under U.S. federal laws.”

Surely, it’s not advisable to leave your home in a mess. Cleaning up is an essential part of healthy living. Especially when you consider how many dirt-riddled irritants exist when your home goes without cleaning for too long, it’s important to maintain a steady cleaning routine. However, it’s important to find products that aren’t chemical-heavy. Not only can these chemicals linger in our air and affect our breathing, but they can harm us in other ways.

“Chemicals in cleaning products can also enter our bodies by absorption through the skin or through ingestion of household dust and chemical residues left on dishes and cutlery,” informs Suzuki. So how can we ensure that our air is always as clean as possible? How can we maximize our chances for healthy living? At DF Technical & Consulting Serviced Ltd., we suggest you contact the experts!

For more information on our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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