17/08/2014 at 5:58 pm #2868
If you or your family suffer from allergies you’re probably already ‘allergy smart’ around the home but here’s a few hot spots you may not have thought of …
New carpets – Remember formaldehyde, the stuff they preserved dissected lab animals in at school? It’s a poison that is highly irritating to the respiratory system – and it’s also used in carpet manufacture. Some carpets can ‘outgas’ or give off formaldehyde fumes for years, so look out for a brand that’s formaldehyde-free, or at least air out your carpet for a couple of days before it’s installed.
Wood products – Particle board and plywood can also contain high levels of formaldehyde.
New clothes – wash all new clothes, to rid them of chemicals used to starch and press. Remove plastic and air recently dry-cleaned clothing outside, as formaldehyde is also used in the dry-cleaning process.
Cleaners – This is a big one. Spot removers, furniture polish, paint thinners, car polish and mothballs all contain petroleum distillates, which can be irritating and are suspected carcinogens. Toilet cleaners and soap scum removers contain acids which can damage eyes and skin. Undiluted ammonia and bleach are strongly corrosive and should definitely be avoided. The worst of the lot? Oven cleaners. Steer clear. Metholated spirits is a great anti mould treatment. Vinegar is a useful shower cleaner.
Air fresheners – A list of chemicals as long as your arm are used to create that “Sea Breeze” or “Frangipani” fragrance, and they can literally get up your nose. Artificial air fresheners can also contain phenol, which can cause skin to break out in hives. In stall a fan with a timed switch in the toilet. That’s much safer than an air freshener.
Carpet shampoos – These shampoos use highly toxic chemicals to wipe out stains, some including perchlorethylene, a known carcinogen and ammonium hydroxide, a corrosive agent that irritates eyes, skin and airways.
Laundry products – Go clean and green in the laundry wherever possible as the list of potentially hazardous chemicals in laundry products – particularly fragranced fabric softeners – is enormous.
Antibacterial cleaners – Supermarket shelves overflow with new antibacterial cleaners. Some contain triclosan, which, when absorbed through the skin, can be a liver toxin. Again vinegar does the trick.
Bug sprays – It may feel good to zap those pesky flies or mozzies with fast-action powerful insect sprays, but remember those nasty chemicals linger.
Garden pest repellents – Be especially careful with garden pesticides left at ground level where pets or children may touch, inhale or ingest them as they contain particularly noxious chemicals.
17/08/2014 at 9:32 pm #2879
- This topic was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by Caddymag.
Some years ago when the children were small I was quite sick and doctor couldn’t find a cause. I had 3 littlies and was dragging myself around. Decided to clean a kitchen window and took down the curtain. There on the window ledge was a bottle of jasmine ‘oil’ someone had given me for a gift. Just left it out of sight for a while and forgot about it but one of the children had found it and uncapped it. By the time I found it I was quite sick. Removed it outside and started to get better straight away. Didn’t know quite what to do with it so put it high up on a wooden ledge in the garage. Six months later it had come through the bottle and eaten a hole in the wood. Went to the next council dangerous liquids collection and all was well again. Had another time when I bought one of those ‘Glade’ plug ins and forgot it was even there. By the time I re-discovered it I was sick again. Nowdays I am much more careful and aware of allergens.20/08/2014 at 11:42 pm #3275
didi – VICParticipant
thanks caddymag for your list of ‘nasties’ – one can never be too careful 🙂
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