4. Questions & Answers
After reading this lesson, I'm too scared to use any type of cleaner! Aren't you exaggerating about the dangers of these chemicals? We never hear anything bad about them on television.
Certainly the risks of household cleansers and other chemicals in the home are much less than many other unhealthy practices. Yet prolonged use of these common chemicals do indeed lead to serious health problems, especially in the respiratory tract. Unintentional poisonings from such chemicals are very high, particularly among young children. You should not be afraid to clean, but you should rely more and more on simple mechanical cleaning—that is, use some armwork and physically remove the dirt. Don't depend upon chemical compounds to do your cleaning for you. Many years ago, about the only household cleanser available was soap and water. Homes have stayed remarkably clean by just using such simple and relatively natural ingredients. The simple truth is that most household chemicals are "convenience" items, just like there is now "convenience" (or "fast") food. What you gain in convenience is more than offset by dangers to your health in these products. By all means, clean your home, but don't chemicalize it!
Here's another source of chemicals in the home you didn't cover: cosmetics and toiletries.
While attention was given to hair sprays and deodorants, perhaps not enough mention was made about these other chemicals that so many people put on their
faces and bodies. Almost all cosmetics are either made from animal products or they are tested on animals in cruel ways (such as blinding rabbits to test eye shadow, etc.). Not only that, but almost all cosmetics contain chemicals which can harm the skin after years of use. Men, too, are guilty of using such things as aftershave lotion, cologne, and so forth. All of these substances contain irritating ingredients that are harmful when breathed or applied to the skin. The best makeup is a clear, smiling face. Reduce or eliminate these "personal" chemicals that so many people put on their bodies.
So many new houses are unsafe to live in because of their internal pollution. Could you comment on that?
The new home owner must be very careful nowadays about the building and insulation materials used in a home. Much insulation has asbestos fibers and other particulants which can cause lung cancer in those that breathe it day in and day out. Many plywood sidings are impregnated with formaldehyde, and these fumes are slowly released into the new house over a period of months. Recently, thousands of people have been forced out of their new homes because of toxic fumes that emit from the building materials used in construction of the house. These problems can be avoided by always having an open source of ventilation (a heat pump works well in the winter for this purpose) and carefully investigating the types of material used in the insulation and siding.
> Lesson 51 - Chemicals In The Household Environment
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