Keeping our homes clean, disinfected, and somewhat tidy is just a natural part of day-to-day life right? And “cleaning” our homes often comes with using cleaning products like disinfectants, detergents, aerosol sprays, and sanitizers to name a few. While these products may certainly clean, disinfect, and banish all kinds of grime and germs, when it comes to conventional cleaning supplies, you may be getting more than you bargained for.
You see, many conventional cleaning products contain a cocktail of chemicals and toxins that can be harmful and downright dangerous for your health. As we inhale and touch these cleaning products within our home environment, that conglomeration of toxic chemicals inevitably makes its way into our bodies and slowly chips away at our health.
Today we’re going to explore the impact these toxins within our environment have on our health, how you may be exposed to them, which ones are likely lurking in your conventional cleaning products, and most importantly – how you can tackle these toxins and choose the best non-toxic cleaners instead. Let’s dive in!
What Are Environmental Toxins?
Environmental toxins are any chemicals or substances that can harm your health. Some of these toxins are entirely natural, while others are produced by humans, and others still might be a mix of both. While we’ve just begun to scratch the surface of how detrimental these health-disrupting compounds truly are to human health, research has linked environmental toxins to a wide range of negative health effects including:1,2,3,4
- Birth defects
- Developmental disorders
- Hormonal imbalances
- Obesity and metabolic issues
- Skin conditions
- And much more
What makes these environmental toxins particularly troublesome, is just how pervasive they are in our everyday lives – meaning we are unknowingly exposed to these toxic compounds at unprecedented levels each and every day. Let’s explore some of the most common ways you’re likely encountering these calamitous chemicals.
How Am I Exposed to Environmental Toxins?
It’s no exaggeration to say that environmental toxins are literally everywhere. Some of the most significant sources of exposure typically come from:
- Tap water: Water is great at dissolving and dispersing substances – environmental toxins included. Unfiltered tap water can contain copious amounts of toxins ranging from poisonous chemicals to heavy metals. Click here to read more about the toxins that are likely tainting your tap water.
- Food products: Thanks to the rampant use of chemical-laden fertilizers and pesticides, paired with many modern food processing operations, much of our food is laced with some level of environmental toxins. And to make matters worse, food storage containers (like plastic) and toxic cookware (like teflon and aluminum) can introduce even more toxins into the food you eat.
- Polluted air: Both indoor and outdoor air can be polluted with countless toxic particles – ranging from ash and smoke from wildfires to chemical emissions from vehicles and industrial plants.
- Personal care and beauty products: Personal care and beauty products – like lotions, make-up, fragrances, toothpaste, etc – can be chock-full of toxins that infiltrate their way directly into your body each time you use them.
While these are all significant and serious sources of exposure to environmental toxins, there’s another sneaky place that dozens of particularly hazardous toxins are lurking – within your household cleaning products.
Environmental Toxins In the Home: The Trouble With Toxic Cleaning Products
For most of us, keeping our homes clean and disinfected is a no-brainer when it comes to simple straightforward ways to protect our health and well-being. We rely on our cleaning products to help us kill harmful pathogens, to banish irritating and allergen-containing dust and dirt, and to discourage parasite and germ-laden pests from making themselves at home within our homes. But these cleaning products designed to help us keep our homes spic and span often come with a dark side.
You see, many conventional cleaning products that you’ll find on the shelves of most department or hardware stores contain a laundry list of dangerous toxins. And when you use these products to disinfect surfaces, clean your dishes and clothes, freshen your indoor air, and so on and so forth – that can add up to a whole lot of nasty chemicals floating around within your home.
And as you spend time in your home, this cocktail of toxins inevitably make their way directly into your body. Let’s zoom in on some of the most concerning chemicals commonly found in conventional cleaning products.
What Are Some Toxic Chemicals In Cleaning Products?
There are hundreds of different chemicals found within conventional cleaning products that have been proven to have a detrimental impact on human health. But thanks to lax regulations and loopholes in the policies designed to oversee the chemicals used in cleaning and household products, the industry itself is largely self-regulated. Meaning manufacturers are able to freely add in a concoction of cleaning chemicals that have been proven to be harmful to your health.
Some of the most potent health-disrupting compounds typically found in conventional cleaning products include:5,6,7
- Any chemical name ending in “-eth” (eg: myreth, ceteareth, oleth)
- Chlorine bleach
- Cocamide DEA
- Diazolidinyl urea
- Diethanolamine (DEA)
- DMDM hydantoin
- Fragrance or Perfume/Parfum
- Imidazolidinyl urea
- Monoethanolamine (MEA)
- Phenoxyethanol (mostly if you have sensitive skin)
- Polyoxymethylene urea
- Retinyl palmitate
- Sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
- Synthetic fragrances:
- Triethanolamine (TEA)
- Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs
But considering the fact that a cocktail of calamitous compounds can be found in just about every single conventional cleaning product out there, what on earth is the solution? How do we avoid these health-harming compounds and keep these toxins out of our homes? The answer is to choose safer cleaning products that ditch the use of toxins.
How Do I Choose Safer, Less Toxic Cleaning Products?
So how do you go about finding and choosing safer, less toxic cleaning products? The first step is being aware and informed. Simply taking the time to flip over a bottle and browse the ingredient list before purchasing a product can go a long way.
By avoiding cleaning products that contain the ingredients listed above, you can drastically reduce the amount of toxins making their way into your home. While being informed and educated and having the ability to decipher which products are full of toxins, which ones are middle-of-the-road, and which ones are downright toxic can certainly be useful, it can also feel a little overwhelming to say the least, right?
Throwing out all your toxin-filled cleaning products and having to sift through countless cleaning products to determine which to use and which to avoid can feel like a daunting task. But the good news is, there are some fabulous companies out there crafting clean, safe, toxin-free cleaning products – taking all the guesswork out of choosing the right non-toxic cleaning products.
So, What Are the Best Non-Toxic Cleaning Products Then?
When it comes to clean, safe, toxin-free cleaning products, you simply can’t go wrong with Branch Basics. Some of the reasons I love and trust Branch Basic’s products and why they are the industry-leaders when it comes to clean, pure living includes:
- Made Safe certified: Branch Basics products carry the MADE SAFE® seal – the most comprehensive safety standard available, which certifies their products are made without 5,000+ toxic chemicals known to harm human and environmental health.
- Plant and mineral based ingredients: All of Branch Basics products are made with gentle yet powerful plant and mineral-based ingredients like sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda), chamomile, and coco-glucoside (a gentle cleanser derived from corn, coconut and/or palm).
- Biodegradable: Many toxic chemicals used in conventional cleaning products don’t break down for extended periods of time – meaning they continue to harm our health and pollute our environment. But Branch Basics products are all-natural and 100% biodegradable – making them good for you and good for the environment.
- Never tested on animals: These powerful products are never tested on animals.
- Powerfully effective: Some natural and non-toxic products can leave much to be desired when it comes to their ability to clean – especially if you’re accustomed to the cleaning power of conventional products. But Branch Basics products offer the best of both worlds – providing powerful cleaning properties without the hidden toxins.
- Non-toxic products for the whole home: Branch Basics has just about every nook and cranny of your home covered when it comes to “clean” cleaning. They’ve got an all-purpose cleaner, laundry detergent, dish soap, foaming hand wash, and more.
- Dedicated to education: If you’re at all familiar with me and my work, you know I’m passionate about education and spreading quality, science-backed information to help you make informed and empowered decisions about your health. I love that Branch Basics has tons of resources available to help you understand the importance of using toxin-free products and to help you make educated choices about what’s right for your home and your family.
Branch Basics and their incredible line-up of superior and safe products are truly at the cutting edge of what it means to create a healthy, low-tox home. Click here to learn more about their products and their mission and to get your hands on your own non-toxic cleaning products today.
Ready to Toss the Toxins and Create A Low-Tox Home?
Tossing the toxins and creating a low-tox home is hands down one of the most potent ways to support, enhance, and supercharge your health and well-being. As a Functional Medicine Doctor, I cannot overemphasize the importance of minimizing your exposure to health-disrupting environmental toxins. And simply swapping out conventional cleaning products for high-quality, safe, and non-toxic cleaning products is a straightforward yet powerful way to drastically reduce your exposure to these pernicious poisons floating around in our day-to-day environments.
Making the switch to Branch Basic’s non-toxic products makes creating a low-tox home nearly effortless. You can simply swap out your conventional products for Branch Basics’ non-toxic cleaners and voila – you’ve created a significantly healthier home with minimal effort. If you’re curious to learn more about the impact toxins can really have on your health and why being mindful of environmental toxins is so important, be sure to head over and browse through my blog and my YouTube channel – I regularly cover this important and often overlooked topic of health.
And if you’re ready to take the next step in tackling the toxins in your life, I just know you’ll love Branch Basics’ entire lineup of all-natural, non-toxic cleaning products. You can even get 15% off your first order with my exclusive code: DRJILLCARNAHAN.
- Family Cancer Syndromes
- (PDF) Environmental Toxicants and Developmental Disabilities: A Challenge for Psychologists. | published in American Psychologist (researchgate.net)
- Toxic environment and obesity pandemia: Is there a relationship? – PMC (nih.gov)
- Endocrine Disruptors (nih.gov)
- EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning | Cleaning Supplies and Your Health
- Hazardous substances in frequently used professional cleaning products (nih.gov)
- Household Chemical Products & Health Risks (clevelandclinic.org)
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is not intended to replace any recommendations or relationship with your physician. Please review references sited at end of article for scientific support of any claims made.