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As a continuation of our ongoing series through the AirMD blog, we will briefly examine the common household cleaning products we keep in our homes and the ingredients found in these products, as well as discuss their potential effects and why we do not need these products in our homes.
When I was young, a part of my families cleaning routine was the dusting of our family home. It was one chore both my brother and I would try to pass off to one another. The use of a cloth and furniture polish to remove dust was not our idea of enjoying the weekend.
This basic cleaning procedure using furniture polish actually allows for many harmful chemicals to be expressed into the air. Furniture polish commonly contains PETROLEUM DISTILLATES and MINERAL SPIRITS though the contents are never listed on the bottle. These contents categorize furniture polish as highly flammable, moderately toxic, associated with skin and lung cancer, irritant to skin, eyes, nose, throat and the lungs.
The spraying action of the furniture polish in an aerosol container emits the polish as a fine spray. An aerosol spray will often consist of very small droplets some of which will be ideally suited for breathing deep into the lungs. Larger droplets will be trapped in the nose, throat and upper part of the lungs.
With the concern over the furniture polish contents and the aerosol spray, we must ask ourselves why do we need to use chemicals to remove dust and why do we need aerosol sprays?
The chemicals in the polish have no role to play. A damp cloth with a natural cleaning product is as effective at trapping dust. Dusting primarily results in agitating the dust and re-suspending it into the air, while non aerosol based sprays are as effective as aerosolized at delivering liquid products.
Traditional furniture polish smells good and we think it is doing a good job reducing dust in our homes but in fact it is the opposite. The reality is we don’t need a powerful chemical to clean or remove dust from our homes; there are many natural based cleaners available to us that do as good a job at cleaning and in my opinion smell a whole lot better.