Go Green While You Clean!

It is officially one of my favorite times of year…SPRING!  Spring is a time for renewal, fresh starts, and of course spring cleaning!  This year, as we approach spring cleaning, I want to share with you some green cleaning tips on keeping your family and the environment healthy.  Switching from traditional, harsh cleaning supplies is a great health move for you and your family.  At CentreSpringMD we take an integrative approach to your health, which includes everything you are exposing yourself to in your environment.  I reached out to a local green cleaning and pest control company, The Green Queen, to get some expert advice on ways to stay green this year.

Why go green?

According to the EPA, indoor air is one of the top 5 environmental risks to our health. The Environmental Working Group has studies showing that cleaning with traditional cleaners releases over 30 questionable or harmful chemicals in the air and on surfaces.  In fact, some chemicals in cleaning products may cause asthma in otherwise healthy people.  These cleaning supply companies are also not required to list ingredients on their labels making it a difficult area to navigate as a consumer.  I want to make sure something I am spraying on all of my house surfaces is not going to cause any health risk to my family and pets!

As a healthcare provider I continue to see alarming increases in asthma and allergies than ever before.  Kids today are sicker than they were when we were growing up. They can’t often handle chemicals that we may have been able to tolerate. Today 13% of children now have asthma, 54% have a chronic health condition and childhood cancers and autoimmune issues are on the rise

A 2015 study published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology links the active ingredients in Clorox wipes and many other disinfecting cleaners to infertility (look out for a family of chemicals known as quaternary ammonium compounds). Also many toxins and chemicals in traditional cleaners and fragrances are often loaded with carcinogens and endocrine disruptors linked to premature puberty, breast cancer, obesity and more.

 

Making the switch is easier than you think

So what can you do? The good news is it is so easy to switch to safer cleaners. Green cleaners have come a long way over the last decade and many work just as well as their toxic counterparts.

1. Consider making your own

Do not worry, this is actually super easy!  Believe it or not, household cleaning supplies can be made with just a few ingredients.  The Green Queen suggests using a mix of organic vinegar (to avoid Roundup since vinegar is made from GMO corn), borax, hydrogen peroxide and essential oils in a multitude of products that can clean your whole house. There are many recipes online so search for what you think is the easiest. She also suggested that vodka can be used in lieu of bleach and Clorox wipes.

2. Avoid fragrances

So many of the “green” cleaners don’t disclose where their fragrances are sourced. Look for only those from essential oils to avoid toxic chemicals like phthalates. The Green Queen warns that there is a lot of “cheating” in the green cleaning fragrance world! Opt out of any fragrance products like plug-ins, fragrance sprays, etc.

3. Buy organic
They actually make organic cleaning supplies now! Companies like Greenshield are actually USDA organic, so all the guesswork for the safety is done for you already.

So this spring consider your spring cleaning a time to clean out those toxic cleaning supplies and make the switch to a cleaner and greener household for you and your family.  And the good news is – it is not complicated!

 

To Optimal Health,

Christina Grace FNP-C

 

Additional resources:

https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/content/cleaners_and_health#.Wp1tg2aZOfU

www.TheGreenQueen.com

Christina Connors Grace is a certified family nurse practitioner and registered nurse. She brings a passionate, caring approach to patient care with a wealth of experience in women’s and family medicine.

Email appointments@centrespringmd.com to schedule a visit with Christina Connors Grace.

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Categories: Environmental Health