Lourdes Salvador's Column
...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.
Consumer Products Shown to Affect Health
by Lourdes Salvador
Exposure to biocides from common household products may contribute to sensitization in the population say researchers.
A biocide is a chemical agent, such as a disinfectant, preservative, antiseptic, pesticide, or herbicide, which is intended to destroy harmful organisms.
Products containing biocides are used for a variety of purposes in the home environment, such as cleaning, disinfecting, controlling pests, and bathing.
Biocides have now been shown to cause human heath problems. Simple use and exposure to these products, including living in buildings in which they are used, may lead to overexposure to the chemical ingredients they contain.
Sensitization may cause skin problems, allergies and asthma, or even disabling symptoms of toxicity such as neurological problems or chemical sensitivity.
Of 20 biocides tested, researchers found that half of them lead to sensitization.
People think they are doing a good thing by cleaning and disinfecting, but in reality their zeal for cleanliness may be responsible for the epidemic increase of allergies and asthma.
Cleaning removes of dirt and odors. This can generally be accomplished with a damp cloth and water. Tough jobs are easily accomplished with safe and natural cleansers such as baking soda, white vinegar, and peroxide.
Disinfectants are generally not needed and scented consumer products are totally unnecessary. In fact, scented cleaners are hazardous and often contain toxic ingredients hidden in the ingredient fragrance.
Once sensitization occurs, there is generally no turning back. Anyone can become sensitized with enough exposure. Some people who are more susceptible may become sensitized more easily.
MCS America has printed several brochures with safer cleaning tips.
Grandma's Cupboard: Kitchen Cleaning
Grandma's Cupboard: Personal Care
Grandma's Cupboard: Laundry
Stephen Tvedten has printed an excellent resource for natural pest control.
The Best Control
Hahn S, Schneider K, Gartiser S, Heger W, Mangelsdorf I. Consumer exposure to biocides - identification of relevant sources and evaluation of possible health effects. Environ Health. 2010 Feb 3;9(1):7. [Epub ahead of print]
For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
Copyrighted 2010 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America
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