Traditional household cleaners with harsh ingredients can affect your children and baby’s health in a number of ways.
Allergies. Chemical cleaning products can trigger allergies. More than 150 million Europeans suffer from chronic allergic diseases according to Allergy UK. By 2025 the numbers of people suffering from allergies are set to increase and will affect half of the entire EU population (EAACI, 2016). In the UK, 44% of British people suffer from at least one allergy according to Allergy UK.
When your cleaners clean your properties, they spray traditional cleaning products on different surfaces. Curious children who crawl around and touch things come into contact with these contaminated surfaces. They are exposed to artificial fragrances and sometimes even lick chemicals and put toys in their mouths. As a result, the likelihood of developing allergies can significantly increase.
Poisoning. Ingestion of household cleaners might lead to death. At around 6 months of age, babies start to put things in their mouths. This brings with it the very real risk of ingesting poisons, like household cleaners. If a child swallows, for example, bleach it can be deadly. A study published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine suggests that even just “passive exposure” to bleach when you clean your home can cause respiratory illnesses and other infections for children.
Eye irritation. Red and watering eyes. This could be the result of exposure to volatile organic compounds which are the main component of household cleaning products. Babies come into contact with dangerous substances on surfaces like furniture or carpets. They stick their fingers into the mouth and touch their eyes, transferring chemical residue as a result of our cleaning habits.
Eczema. A baby’s skin is sensitive, and studies have found that irritants and allergens in household cleaners and detergents can cause skin irritation.
Tips from the cleaning experts:
To sum up, exposure to chemicals beginning at a young age can potentially lead to longer-term cumulative exposure over a lifetime which can then result in consequences. Some childhood exposure can affect health in adulthood.
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Allergy Prevalence: Useful facts and Figures. Available at https://www.allergyuk.org/assets/000/001/369/Stats_for_Website_original.pdf?1505209830, accessed 03 May 2019
EAACI. (2016). Tackling the allergy crisis in Europe – Concerted policy action needed.
Casas, L; Espinosa A., et al (2016). Domestic Use of Bleach and Infections in Children: a Multicentre Cross-Sectional Study. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 73.