Back in 2009, the Environmental Working Group commissioned lab test results identifying for the first time the hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA), a plastics chemical widely used in food and drink storage containers, in?umbilical blood cord samples taken from U.S. newborns. The plastics chemical was found in 9 of 10 of the cord blood samples taken. Additional tests later found 232 toxic?chemicals?in the same?cord blood samples.

I first learned this information at an environmental conference hosted here locally in Pittsburgh. As a single parent who was working three jobs at the time to keep a happy and healthy home, I felt completely betrayed by society’s leaders for letting this kind of thing happen.?I quickly became a single, angry parent and drastically began eliminating all chemicals in the house that I could think of; cleaning supplies, body lotions, soaps, etc. This may have been an extreme approach, especially since unnatural and unhealthy use of chemical products is so ingrained in our everyday lives. At first eliminating all unhealthy chemical products was nearly an impossible task — so I had to “slow my roll” (as my kids like to say) and focus on attacking one thing at a time. Cleaning products were my first victim. After years of experience running CleanGreen, I now truly believe there are really only four products that you need to keep in your home for everyday house cleaning.

Number 1, diluted white vinegar instead of your Windex.
Every home should have a spray bottle handy with diluted white vinegar for cleaning almost all surfaces. It is fabulous for getting rid of bathroom soap scum.?Vinegar effectively removes microbial contamination, therefore it can easily replace all those Clorox wipes that seem to find their way into most people’s homes. A negative side to vinegar is that it cannot be used on natural stone elements, as it can dry-out and dull the surfaces — so never use it on your granite or marble countertops, you will need something more gentle there. As a side note, you can dilute the white vinegar as much as you want to accommodate any strength you are looking for. No need to rinse it off either, I spray it on my kitchen counter, stove top, and stainless steel sink daily.

Number 2, baking soda instead of your all-purpose cleanser.
It’s gentle yet abrasive nature makes the perfect replacement for anywhere you would traditionally use a cleanser.?I have found baking soda can get stains out of almost everything in the home including those coffee stains or rings in the kitchen or on your dining room tables. No need to add water at first, just sprinkle some onto whatever you are cleaning and scrub it with a wet rag or sponge (not a paper towel if you want to be really green!). You can even combine the baking soda with a little vinegar to easily clean out that slow drain in your kitchen or bathroom.

Number 3, lemon juice instead of Febreze.
Lemon juice is another natural cleaning wonder.?The antibacterial properties of the citric acid combined with its wonderful smell, can give you a little extra kick to your clean. I love to use it on my cutting board as it leaves that fresh wonderful scent – plus I don’t have to worry about rinsing it off there since it is already eatable. Again, you can add it to baking soda to tackle those difficult stains. I’ve even been known to throw a few lemon peels in my vinegar cleaning solution to cut that vinegar scent, as it is my favorite deodorizer.

Number 4, hydrogen peroxide instead of Clorox (bleach).
Hydrogen peroxide is antibacterial and antiviral.?Again, no need to mix with water or anything. It’s great for cleaning those super-white surfaces, pretty much any time you’d use Clorox. Remember, however, that it is a whitener and will take?the?color out of your surface if it is not white.? It is also great for cleaning the grout in your shower.

Cleaning with these items can be your first steps to living a greener and healthier life. Start with the easiest unhealthy chemicals to identify in the home, your cleaning products. Also, here’s a CNN article which does an excellent job teaching people how to simplify their homes and understand what you should avoid.?Enjoy!

Seek Balance Find Peace,

Jackie


For more information:

According to the articles below, animal tests have shown that “BPA induces abnormal reproductive system development, diminishes intellectual capacity, causes behavioral problems and has induced reproductive system cancer, obesity, diabetes, early puberty, resistance to chemotherapy, asthma, cardiovascular system problems and other chronic ailments”. For more information on the 2009 study, visit either of the articles below.

http://www.ewg.org/news/news-releases/2009/12/02/toxic-chemicals-found-minority-cord-blood

http://www.ewg.org/research/minority-cord-blood-report/bpa-and-other-cord-blood-pollutants