Chemicals can impact women differently than men, and in some cases may pose a larger threat.
Despite the fact that there are more women in paid employment today, they still do most of the household chores. While it has been observed that men are getting more involved in cleaning at home, the number is still few and the hazards affect more women than men.
According to the Deep Clean Report by womenvoices.org , ‘many chemicals accumulate in fat, and women have a higher percentage of fat tissue than men.Women are also the first environment for the next generation; the chemicals stored in a woman’s body are passed onto her child during pregnancy and later through breast feeding’.
Some Harmful Chemicals women should avoid
The report gave a list of the following ingredients that can be harmful to women’s health when used in the manufacture of household cleaning products:
- Monoethanolamine (occupational asthma)
- 2-butoxyethanol (reduced fertility and low birth weight)
- Ammonium quaternary compounds (reduced fertility, developmental harm, and occupational asthma)
- Alkyl phenol ethoxylates (reproductive harm)
- Phthalates (allergens, reproductive malformations in baby boys)
- Triclosan and triclocarban (hormone disruption, increased risk of breast cancer, persistent in environment)
- Synthetic musks (hormone disruption, bioaccumulative in humans, persistent in environment)
Unfortunately there is no known legal requirement for ingredient labeling on household cleaning products. As a result, consumers have limited access to information about which products contain chemicals ingredients they may wish to avoid.
Organic consumers Association recommends that when buying household cleaning supplies, you should look out for the safe ingredients. It suggests that you ensure you buy only products that have all active ingredients disclosed on the label and for those that claim to be eco-friendly, make sure they are backed up with specific ingredient information such as “no petroleum-based ingredients,” “no phosphates,” etc since it is not necessarily true that a product is safe when it is simply made to appear as “eco-friendly”.
It is also recommended by womensvoices.org that you make your own “effective, non-toxic cleaning products using simple and inexpensive ingredients like vinegar and baking soda”.
[I.D – Easycleantips]