Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the U.S., currently affecting 1 in 68 children and 1 in every 42 boys. The specific cause of autism remains a mystery but recent studies have shown that human exposure to toxic chemicals and metals in the environment seems to be an important factor along with genetics.
While there is no direct link to the cause of autism, research suggests that a pregnant woman’s exposure to toxic chemicals increases this risk in those children who are genetically predisposed to autism. The developing brain is highly sensitive during the first three months of growth in utero and can be affected when exposed to toxic chemicals.
The toxic chemicals listed below can be found in just about every non-green, conventional cleaner on the market. These chemicals can be harmful humans, our pets and the environment and should be avoided in general, especially if you are pregnant.
- Ammonia: this common chemical found in window cleaners can irritate the lungs, eyes, and mucus membranes. Ammonia is also harmful to the environment, resulting in toxic effects to plants, fish and animals.
- Chlorine: common household bleach is extremely irritating to the lungs, skin, and mucus membranes and is most frequently involved in household poisonings. Bleach leaves behind a residue, known as organochlorides, which have been linked to breast cancer.
- Petrochemicals: these are used to make plastics, pesticides, health care products, and cleaners and have been linked to cancers, neurological illnesses, and environmental devastation.
- Tetrachloroethylene: is used as a degreaser and is found in conventional furniture polishes and can cause skin rashes, headaches, and dizziness.
- Naphthalene: this known carcinogenic causes allergic skin reactions and cataracts can alter kidney function and is extremely toxic to children. It is commonly found in conventional deodorizers, carpet and toilet cleaners.
One way to reduce your risk while cleaning your home is to make your own cleaners. These DIY cleaners are non toxic, are a fraction of the cost of traditional cleaners and are better for you, your children, your pets and the environment!