Do you use bleach at home? If so, read on… but you might never use bleach ever again.
A French study that’s just been released has shown that regularly using disinfectants exposes you to a 22% to 32% higher risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
What is COPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a generic term to describe a variety of progressive lung diseases. This includes asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema, all of which are diseases with a main symptom of increased breathlessness and coughing. While commonly caused by smoking and pollution, this new research shows that use of chemicals such as bleach can be just as dangerous.
What were the outcomes of the study?
Earlier studies have shown links between asthma and use of cleaning products, so the researchers dug a little deeper. Over 27 years, the health of 55,000 female nurses in the United States was analysed. They found that nurses that used disinfectants once a week or more had a 22% higher chance of developing COPD.
This shows that use of these strong chemicals can damage your lungs. While stopping use of the chemicals will alleviate symptoms, there is no cure for COPD once you have it.
So what can you do to avoid COPD?
Stop using disinfectants and bleach in your home. Replace them with products that are non-toxic, aren’t harmful to your health, or the environment.
Natural cleaning products help to avoid illness
To maintain hygiene though, you still need to use some sort of cleaning solution. Products that are based around using extracts from natural antibiotics such as pine, citrus, and lemongrass are an excellent alternative. Using their natural abilities to kill bacteria, the essential oils from these plants also smell fantastic without added chemicals. Some acid-based cleaners that use vinegar as their base are also great, especially for getting rid of mould.
How to get kids to help with chores at home without drama and tears
Kids don’t seem to enjoy washing dishes, cleaning their bedrooms or putting the rubbish out, and sometimes making them do their chores can be more exhausting and take longer than doing it yourself! However unless you want to be their maid (and create adults that no-one wants to live with), they should contribute to the household. But… how?
Find appropriate tasks
Your four year old isn’t equipped to mow the lawns, and your 14 year old doesn’t want to clean out his sister’s rabbit hutch. While everyone should help out, there are some tasks that children will have logical tendencies for. There are some great ideas for age-appropriate tasks here.
If you are worried about your child potentially using toxic cleaners, look into using kid-safe cleaning products like our essential oil based cleaners. Non-toxic and eco-positive, these are ideal for kids to use, they get the job done well and you know they are risk-free.
Make it fun
While cleaning isn’t always a fun task, making it challenging or fun can relieve you of some nagging. Making your children clean each other’s rooms on occasion may give kids an insight into the mess they create, and also will add sibling rivalry to the mix- nothing like a bit of peer pressure to encourage tidiness!
While cleaning the kitchen is a daily task, some tasks can be rotated so there are a variety of jobs each week. Whether it’s washing floors, vacuuming, washing out the fish bowl, or cleaning the bathroom, provide variety to break the monotony.
Punish refusal or reward compliance?
Experts are divided on whether punishment or rewarding a child works. Perhaps their pocket money is dependent on them doing their chores each week. Maybe a sticker chart or system of tokens as rewards works. Maybe changing the WiFi password until chores are done may encourage compliance! Find what works for you- it may not be the same as others as every child is different. However, consistency is key, so good luck and may the (cleaning) force be with you!
As mum to a very active, messy one year old, I clean A LOT of things. My wee girl has had skin problems since she was about 6 months old. Over the last few months I have been trying to keep her allergies and skin reactions to a minimum, and for the first time in my life I have made a conscious decision to go natural. The last thing I want on my daughter’s skin is chemicals. Dream Eco Products are brilliant for cleaning my house top to bottom, and over the next few weeks I’ll be putting more products to the test!
Here’s what our household has been using them for lately:
Fly-Off Surface Cleaner – I spray this all over the show. I mean everywhere. There’s always a bottle of it at arms’ reach. I can’t stand flies, but I can’t stand those nasty chemical fly sprays more. If flies land on my couch or coffee table, I spray Fly-Off Surface Cleaner on these areas, so they stay away. If the flies find their way through an open door or window and can’t get out I spray it around the frames to keep them out. It’s amazing for cleaning the high chair. With my little one making a huge mess at meal times, I know her high chair is not only clean, but free from nasty chemicals that would otherwise be passing onto the food she’s eating, and it keeps the flies off this area too.
Stain & Mould Surface Cleaner – I used this on the paddling pool the other day. The bottom had got a bit slimy since we hadn’t been using the pool for a few days. I gave the bottom of the pool a few sprays, left it for a few minutes and hosed it out. It came out like new! I love how my wee girl can enjoy the water, and I don’t need to use harsh chemicals to clean her pool. Worked awesome on the pool toys too! Update: Bath Mats. Since the weather has been warmer I’ve noticed a bit of mould appearing around the bath, in particular the bath mat my toddler (who has been gaining a bit of an attitude lately, I might add) sits on each night at bathtime. I spray the mat with Stain & Mould Surface Cleaner, leave for 20 mins or so and wipe the mould right off. Her sensitive skin is absolutely fine after sitting on the mat which I would have otherwise had to scrub with toxic mould removing chemicals, or even thrown out. Perfect!
Five steps to being cool, calm, and collected this Christmas
It’s December. You are exhausted, you’ve got a million things to do before Christmas, and you just have to make it through these next few weeks… Here’s a December survival guide so you can make it through until the holiday begins!
Take some time out for you
Now the most important step- remember that bottle of wine you put in the fridge when you cleaned it? Go have a glass and remember to take some time out for yourself. Christmas can be a crazy time, so enjoy a quick moment to yourself when you can