Guest post by Norwex Independent Sales Consultant, Elesa Marie Labanz.
Safer Choices for Your Home and Family
It seems like almost daily we are greeted with new information about toxins in our food supply, waterways, beauty products, the air we breathe and even the products we use to clean our homes. I’m sure at times it seems easier to give up. There is so much exposure we have no control over. But when you have people that you love and a planet that you enjoy exploring, you can’t stop being aware of what is happening in our world.
I first heard about the concept of Safe Havens when I was introduced to Norwex at a typical facebook party. You create a Safe Haven in your home by becoming aware of what ingredients are in your body care products as well as your cleaning products and begin to make better choices for your home and family. Once you start doing some elementary research, it is pretty shocking that we have so carelessly made these ingredients a part of our regular regimens.
Here are 8 common ingredients found in our cleaning products. They are important to become aware of, but note that not all are even required to be listed on labels at this point:
Phthalates are usually listed as “fragrance.” They create the smells that we have been conditioned to believe mean CLEAN. On the contrary, clean does not have a smell. It is the absence of anything that would have a smell! There are many safer alternatives to fragrance including many, many essential oils that will make your home smell lovely. The danger of phthalates is an endocrine disruption. Certainly not worth it to have your house smell like artificial lemons!
Perchloroethylene or “PERC” This neurotoxin is amazingly found in products we use to clean our carpets and upholstery.
Triclosan is found in detergents and soaps that are labeled as antibacterial. These products have given rise to the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. What a horrible result for a practice that was supposed to make us healthier!
Quarternary Ammonium Compounds
Quarternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS” not only have the same issue as antibacterials in #3, but also are being studied for their effects on respiratory and asthmatic issues.
Butoxyethanol is found in multipurpose cleaners as well as those labeled for kitchens and windows. It is not required to be listed on labels but the EPA says that it can cause sore throats when inhaled and at high levels has a whole list of horrible consequences: narcosis, pulmonary edema and severe liver and kidney damage.
Ammonia is often included in products used to give a shine to bathroom fixtures, glass, jewelry and other objects. It has a lot of effect on breathing issues and long-term use can often lead to chronic breathing issues such as asthma and bronchitis
Chlorine is found in many products that we are trying to use to whiten – scouring powders, mildew removers, toilet bowl cleaners and such. There are a lot of ways that chlorine can affect you and the danger to your health can be both acute and chronic
Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye and is found in oven cleaners and drain openers. It is very corrosive and dangerous to your skin and eyes. You also do not want to breathe this in.
That must seem so overwhelming. Especially when you’re not even sure that the ingredients on your labels accurately reflect the contents. The Environmental Working Group is an excellent resource for the most up-to-date information regarding toxic chemicals and labeling laws. You can learn a lot here.
Although I have focused on household cleaners above, the same issues exist with regard to our beauty and body care products. A wonderful resource for information is an app called Think Dirty.
In the meantime…you still want a clean house, I’m guessing! Pinterest and Google are both wonderful resources for finding natural cleaning hacks. However, you probably noticed me mention Norwex at the beginning and I would love to tell you why I believe it is the best solution.
Effectiveness – Norwex’s special microfiber, in particular, the EnviroCloth, can remove up to 99% of bacteria off a surface when used and cared for correctly. It’s not just Norwex saying that – they have independent laboratory testing as well as an investigative news piece that back them up.
Non-Toxic – Norwex Microfiber is used with just water. That’s it. It mechanically cleans a surface, then you wash everything down the drain with hot water. There is nothing left behind that needs to be disinfected.
BacLock – Norwex’s patented anti-microbial silver agent is embedded into the entire length of the fiber and self-sanitizes the cloth as it dries.
Norwex is on a mission to improve lives while radically reducing chemicals in your home. As part of this mission, they have opened their new research & manufacturing facility in Texas. They have brought the entire process in-house to achieve greater quality control. They are constantly experimenting to improve their products while decreasing their environmental impact.
Whether you fall in love with Norwex, like I have, or seek out other natural cleaning products and methods, I hope you will become committed to reducing the toxic chemicals in your home and the residue they leave behind on all the surfaces that your family lives and plays on.
If you’d like to learn more about Norwex, please visit my group at www.lifeatnomadmanor.com/greener. If you’d like to start off your Norwex adventure and try some of their basic products, please head here www.lifeatnomadmanor.com/shop.
I look forward to hearing about your experiences and anything you’ve learned about living cleaner and greener.
Elesa Marie Labanz
Are you all about a natural lifestyle and you have something you’d like to share? Email me for a guest blogger application or come find me on our Facebook Page! While you’re at it, don’t forget to sign up for our amazing monthly newsletter below!