Are Your Cleaning Products Hazardous to Your Family?
Some hardworking homemakers have been caught dramatically unawares exposing young and vulnerable family members to enough household chemicals to make them sick. This was the case of new mother Amilya Antonetti and her baby David, whose story was told in the June 12, 2000, edition of People Magazine. Antonetti discovered that her newborn son became so ill on the days she cleaned the home that he had to be taken to the emergency room. David turned out to be sensitive to the powerful cleaning chemicals used by Antonetti, especially ammonia. Antonetti replaced those cleaning products with non-toxic alternatives, and went on to develop her own line of safer products called Soapworks.
So, what exactly are the chemical culprits present in homes today? The average American home contains 63 regularly purchased hazardous chemical products. (The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines hazardous chemicals as flammable, toxic, corrosive, or reactive.) These chemicals fall into four main groups: cleaners and polishes, paints and solvents, auto products, and pesticides. By volume, these chemicals may total 3 to 10 gallons per household.