Wednesday, May 10, 2006

How healthy is our home?

Each year, over 1 milion children are accidentally poisoned in their homes. More than 250,000 of these victims are hospitalised. Three thousand children will end up in intensive care. Dozens more will die. Thousands of children and adults are permanently disfigured or injured through contact with chemicals in the home each year. Incredibly, the most common substance to poison children is a household cleaner. Many of these products are considered safe! Think of your own home. You probably have dozens of bottles of cleaners, containing hundreds of chemicals. Could an accident happen in your home?

Did you know that the labels on products only have to warn of the acute (immediate) harm from ingesting a product, breathing the fumes, or contact wih the eyes and skin. They don't reveal the harms presented by chronic (long-term) exposure to the chemicals in these products.

Cancer in smokers is the result of daily exposure to the trace amounts of carcinogens in cigarettes. In the same way, people who are exposed daily to low levels of carcinogens in their cleaning products face similar risks. Chemicals in household products also put the user at risk for nervous system damage, kidney damage, liver damage, and asthma. Children are especially vulnerable to the chemical fumes released by these products. Fortunately, switching brands is easy. There are companies that manufacture safer products for your home which are free from ammonia, phenol, chlorine, petroleum distillates, synthetic solvents, and other dangerous ingredients.

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