Cleaning your home seems innocent enough, right?
Sadly, not so much.
Keeping your home all spic and span has the potential to be one of the most toxic things you do in your day to day life. Crazy, right?
More and more studies are showing the nasty chemicals companies are using in these everyday, household products are linked to different cancers, endocrine disruption (causing issues with sex hormone and fertility, birth defects and developmental delays, etc.), allergies, respiratory issues and so much more.
And these aren't uncommon issues. In fact, they're all too familiar to far too many of us.
Yah, that scared me too. Enough to make some serious changes in the products I purchase, the companies I stand behind and the way I protect my family.
These are simple, yet powerful choices we are able to make for ourselves. For our families. For our health.
Especially if you are a woman (or man for that matter) who is looking to bring littles into the world–or are pregnant, nursing or raising little humans. The damage these powerful chemicals have on our delicate systems, both male and female, can play a major role in our ability to conceive with ease, get and stay pregnant and as you'll read below, provide a safe and nurturing environment for our growing babe.
In a study spearheaded by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in collaboration with Commonweal, researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood from 10 babies born in August and September of 2004 in U.S. hospitals. Tests revealed a total of 287 chemicals in the group. The umbilical cord blood of these 10 children, collected by Red Cross after the cord was cut, harbored pesticides, consumer product ingredients, and wastes from burning coal, gasoline, and garbage.
"Of the 287 chemicals we detected in umbilical cord blood, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests. The dangers of pre- or post-natal exposure to this complex mixture of carcinogens, developmental toxins and neurotoxins have never been studied." –EWG.org
ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME.
That's a hard pill to swallow.
This information makes me cringe, well up with tears and push harder to educate the women and couples around me to make some serious changes in the way we do life.
The amazing thing is that we have the power to change the way we live our lives and the choices we make day to day to change that reality for ourselves.
Ridding your home of harsh cleaning products can be a big step forward on your health journey and can have a huge impact on your fertility, pregnancy and your littles one's wellbeing.
And it's easier than you may think my friend!
I know there are always a lot of questions when it comes to this topic so I'm always looking for ways to simplify the process of cleaning up your environment. Today I want to share a few simple steps that have really helped our family and I know can help you as well!
1. Take a look at what you’ve got.
Pull out all your cleaning products and take a good look. Literally, put them all out on your countertop. What have you got? Common products like Windex, Clorox, Mr. Clean and the like are rich in chemicals linked to different health issues and should be thrown out. Like, STAT.
I used to say, “Why don’t you just finish up what you’ve got and work toward a less toxic option when you run out,” but the more I learn the easier it is to say to clients, “Just toss it and start fresh. Your bod will thank you!” If you don’t want to waste, I’m sure you can donate your cleaners to someone in need.
2. Look up your current product's safety rank.
The Environmental Working Group has a huge database of information on the ingredients used in common cleaning and beauty products and how they rank in terms of physical and environmental safety. You can look up just about any product you’ve got under your kitchen or bathroom sink and learn how the ingredients within can affect your family’s health and even the health of your future offspring! (Keep in mind that companies are not required to send the EWG their data or even disclose all ingredients used so you may not be able to find data on some of your products. Honestly, that makes me trust them even less.)
I plugged in a couple of common products I’ve seen used in friend’s homes and what I found was absolutely astonishing. Pledge Wipes, in Lemon scent, commonly used to disinfect surfaces, is rated an “F” on EWG’s A-F rating scale. The product was given such a poor review because of ingredients linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity as well as skin and respiratory irritation, but the scariest part was what was ranked as “High Concern”- cancer risk. That is serious my friend.
Now some of you may have already made an attempt to try out some “greener” products like Green Works or Mrs. Meyer’s. Unfortunately, many of the common “green” products available on most supermarket shelves aren’t so good for you either. Green Works All-Purpose Cleaner received a “D” rating because it contains potentially harmful ingredients. Most of the Mrs. Meyer’s products are rated a “C” with a handful of “D’s” and F’s”!
Their marketing efforts are good, but it sure makes me question their intentions with keeping us healthy and our environment safe!
3. Fill your home with clean, green, non-toxic goodness.
Stock up on a non-toxic all-purpose cleaner. I recommend one simple cleaning formula, making it pretty darn easy to put into action! My very favorite cleaning product is Branch Basics multi-purpose Concentrate which can be used for cleaning just about anything you can think of, from toilets and countertops to floors, hands and even laundry! The Concentrate is used to fill Branch Basics pre-marked spray bottles (All-Purpose, Bathroom, Streak-Free and Foaming Wash for hands) that come with their Starter Kit, each with a recommended amount of water and concentrate. I have a lot of glass spray bottles from my homemade cleaning product days so I've also used the Concentrate in those to place them in more areas around the house.
Use promo code "alo10" to get 10% off your first Branch Basics purchase! Because you have to get this goodness in your house friend!
The formula is incredible, 100% non-toxic and super safe. What I love is that I am using the same safe concentrate throughout the house, just in different water to concentrate ratios. I don’t have to worry about looking into the safety of new products or different products for different cleaning jobs. Perfect for a busy mama and takes the stress and guess work out of non-toxic cleaning! You can learn more here or purchase Branch Basics Concentrate.
Branch Basics is in the process of getting their product on the EWG website, just in case you try searching!
Another option is a simple mix of ¼ cup organic white vinegar, water and a few drops of pure essential oils in a glass spray bottle. When Branch Basics was reformulating their concentrate and had taken their product off the market, this was all I used.
Don't forget to use promo code "alo10" to get 10% off your first Branch Basics order!
I hope these steps help you take your non-toxic living journey a giant step forward and make your preconception journey that much healthier! I'd love to hear what you think about Branch Basics, let me know if the comments below!