For anyone who doesn’t warm to the demands of housework, here’s a headline that might look like a Get Out of Jail Free card: “Housework Could Pose Health Hazards.”
You can hear it now: “Mom, I can’t clean the bathroom every week – it’s hazardous to my health, according to the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona.”
And it’s true. The Spanish team spent nine years collecting asthma data from 10 European countries. More than 3,500 subjects were followed. Results showed that the risk of developing asthma was as much as 50 percent higher for people who cleaned at least once each week using cleaning sprays, glass-cleaners, furniture-cleaners, and air fresheners.
The study didn’t reveal the biological mechanism that prompted the spike in asthma risk, but there’s no doubt that toxic elements (such as chlorine) in cleaning products can produce harsh health effects – and you can be sure that asthma is only one of the problems.
So how can you protect yourself and keep your home clean? For several years I’ve used a number of Seventh Generation cleaning products that go easy on the environment. And I don’t think it’s too much of a leap to assume they also go easier on the person who swings the mops and scrub brushes. I don’t have any data to back up that claim, but given the choice between green and chlorine
You can find more information at seventhgen.com
“Housework Could Pose Health Hazards, Study Says” Reuters, 10/12/07, reuters.com