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Vunerability of Children Related to Typical Household Cleaners


Most people go through the day exposed to thousands of chemicals and are rarely phased by it or even notice until they have adverse health symptoms like asthma, constant allergies, a cough or runny nose that won’t go away… the list goes on and on. Chemicals get stored in our bodies and can cause long term damage and sadly these effects may surface as cancer, birth defects during pregnancy, reproductive health problems and other health problems.


For the last four years I have been eliminating toxic chemicals in my home environment and I notice almost instantly when I go into an environment where chemical cleaners are being used. I truly believe my body has detoxed many of the chemicals that I was so used to exposing myself to from cleaners, fragrances, candles and laundry products. There are times when I have an instant reaction, sometimes with watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, or an itchy throat. It’s clear that my body is no longer tolerant of the chemicals that I used to expose it to.


Although I would like to, I cannot completely eliminate our chemical exposure. But I can make easy decisions to choose safe, non-toxic and organic options whenever possible and try to avoid environments that have just used chemical cleaners or other toxic chemicals.


If you haven’t decided to make the change to non-toxic cleaners and remove all chemical cleaners from your home, I hope these statistics will help you make the change to a healthier home! It’s a much simpler task than most moms expect! If you want help transforming your home, contact me!


Why are children so vulnerable to chemicals?

Children exposed in the womb are at greatest risk of all. Because cellular structures change so rapidly during embryonic and fetal growth, a toxic exposure at the wrong moment can permanently alter further development… Government and university scientists are currently investigating the possibility of a connection between fetal exposures to toxins and developmental disabilities such as ADHD.


Children are highly vulnerable to chemical toxicants. Pound for pound of body weight, children drink more water, eat more food, and breathe more air than adults. The implication of this is that children will have substantially heavier exposures than adults to any toxicants that are present in water, food, or air.

Asthma is the most common serious chronic disease of childhood.


Children’s metabolic pathways, especially in the first months after birth, are immature. Their ability to metabolize, detoxify and excrete many chemicals differs from adults.


Carcinorgenic and toxic exposures sustained early in life, including prenatal exposures, appear more likely to lead to disease than similar exposure encountered later.


There are over 80,000 chemicals registered with the EPA and fewer than 20% of them have been tested for toxicity.


Organic pollutants are 2 to 5 times higher inside homes than outside. According to the EPA, sources of organic pollutants from household cleaners include: solvents, wood preservatives, aerosol sprays, cleansers and disinfectants, and air freshners. Health effects from organic pollutants include: eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; and damage to liver, kidney, and cental nervous system. Many organic compounds are known to cause cancer in animals; some are suspected of causing, or are known to cause, cancer in humans.



Source: U.S. EPA
Source of data: Data Related to Typical Household Cleaners. Compiled by Shaklee Corporation. For all sources, see Shaklee Article.
Sources: U.S. EPA, New Chemicals Program, Landrigan, P.J. & Weiss; Natuional Research Council

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