Green cleaners get a big thumbs up here at MNN, because the harsh chemicals in conventional cleaners can mean allergies and skin rashes now and long-term health problems like asthma later. What we often don’t talk about, however, are the more immediately devastating concerns chemical cleaners can cause: Poisonings of children.
A new study published by Pediatrics found that almost 12,000 children were injured from household cleaning products in 2006. While that figure’s almost halved from the more than 22,000 children injured in 1990, 12,000 is still quite a high number. Plus, as NPR’s Shots blog points out, that 12,000 figure only counts cases that made it into the emergency room.
The biggest problem product was bleach, which caused more than a third of the injuries. This fact really saddens me, because bleach is completely unnecessary in most households. Now I don’t have kids, and don’t have to worry about any little humans getting into my cleaning supplies. However, I still don’t have bleach in my apartment — and my apartment’s quite clean (though I should vacuum again soon)!
If you still haven’t kicked the bleach habit, read MNN contributor Chanie Kirschner’s article on natural cleaners that really work and learn how you can do your home and its residents a healthy, green favor without sacrificing cleanliness. Not sure what to do with all the toxic cleaners you now need to get rid of? Find out where to take them for safe disposal.
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