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Are we disinfecting our houses now more regularly to the detriment of our health?

We clean our houses — some of us regularly. In the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, most of us now more than ever.

But are we doing it to the detriment of our health?

It is vital to practice safe cleaning!

On a positive note, this pandemic is giving many people the opportunity to experience more stillness and go within to consider their health and wellness – Both physically and mentally! Our team here at Namaste Home completely supports this mission of personal transformation and greater awareness, and would like to take this opportunity to bring awareness, illuminating our major issues with standard commercial cleaning products, that led to our inspired mission of creating our own products in the first place! We want to lower people’s exposure to harmful chemicals. Our team has more than 25 years combined professional cleaning experience, and educating ourselves in taking care of our own health and the health of our clients has always been a top priority for us.

Seeing as the stores have been rushed for bleach and disinfectants, we would like to remind you of some of the respiratory impacts using these materials on a regular basis can have. In the midst of a virus pandemic that is attacking the respiratory system, we feel it’s important to be aware of the impact that many of these disinfectants, bleach and chemical products have on the respiratory system itself, weakening the fragile mucous membranes of the lungs.

Bleach, ammonia, degreasers containing 2-butoxyethanol, also known as butyl cellosolve or ethylene glycol butyl ether (EGBE), and disinfectants release especially toxic fumes.

We don’t recommend eliminating use of bleach all together as it’s certainly effective in combating bacteria, viruses, fungus etc. What we do recommend is to properly ventilate the space where you’re working with these hazardous products, by opening windows and circulating out air, and to always wear long sleeves and gloves. If you’re working in a space you can’t properly ventilate, then you should even consider wearing a mask, and goggles. In between deep cleanings with bleach and other harsh chemicals, our plant derived and essential oil based cleaning blends offer antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties to maintain the cleanliness of surfaces in your home without dangerous fumes.

According to new research published in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, women showed greater declines in lung function if they’ve worked as cleaners or use certain products — notably cleaning sprays — over time.

The researchers released a number of statistics comparing women who clean against women who don’t do housecleaning.

The numbers

  • The amount of air a person can forcibly exhale in one second declined 3.6 milliliters a year (ml/year) faster in women who cleaned at home and 3.9 ml/year faster in women who worked as cleaners.
  • The total amount of air a person can forcibly exhale declined 4.3 ml/year faster in women who cleaned at home and 7.1 ml/year faster in women who worked as cleaners.

Among the findings:

The researchers added that the accelerated lung function decline in the women working as cleaners was comparable to smoking the equivalent of 20 cigarettes everyday.

Women who didn’t clean didn’t experience the same rate of lung disease, the researchers said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have reported that EGBE can affect the blood. Officials say the chemicals can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled, potentially exposing persons handling the product to levels above the exposure limit set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of 50 parts per million (ppm).

While the results appear dramatic, the researchers speculated chemicals in cleaning products irritate the fragile mucous membranes lining the lungs, which over time leads to lasting damage and “remodelling” of the airways.

Cleaning is essential to protecting our health in our homes, schools and workplaces. However, household and cleaning products—including sprays, 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. Namaste Home is committed to providing effective and safe cleaners for you, your family and the place you call home. 🙏