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Norwalk Daily Voice serves Norwalk & Rowayton

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Toxins Lurk in Cleaning Supplies

You do your best to keep your house clean and safe for your family, but while you're cleaning your home you could be harming your health and that of your children.

Inhaling even small amounts of bleach can damage your nervous system, and children are particularly at risk. Did you know that bleach often hides in products such as Drano, Tilex and Cascade, which don't say "bleach" on the label?

Bleach isn't the only chemical that is hazardous to our health. The kitchen harbors several toxic substances. Ammonia (in window and all-purpose cleaners) is an eye irritant that can also cause headaches and lung irritation. Petroleum distillates (metal cleaners and polishes) can damage the nervous system, skin, kidneys and eyes, and there is bleach in dishwasher detergent.

In the laundry room there are petroleum distillates in spot removers, the ingredients in mothballs (naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene) are suspected carcinogens, and residues from fabric softeners can cause allergic reactions.

Toilet bowl cleaners contain hydrochloric acid, which can burn the skin or cause blindness if splashed in the eyes. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website has more scary information.

Luckily, we now have eco-friendly choices when it comes to buying cleaning supplies. Check your local store for "green" products. Or save money and make your own cleaners. Follow this link for easy, inexpensive recipes.

Are you worried about toxic chemicals in cleaning supplies?

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