During the last 18 months there has been a huge hype around “cleaning” with influencers like Mrs Hinch attracting millions of followers. But, to my horror most cleaning products being used and discussed are all chemically driven; these not only have huge adverse effects on our environment (poisoning water and aquatic life), but furthermore have direct, toxic effects to our indoor air quality which is up to five times more polluted than the air directly outside.
Outdoor pollution is a topic which most can relate to, the “invisible” indoor pollution on the other hand is a topic most people still do not quite understand and how it effects our health and wellbeing. There are many studies which show how detrimental the use of chemical based household products are to our respiratory and endocrine systems. Exposure to these products has been compared with smoking 20 cigarettes a day! A 30-year study found that using bleach-based products increased the risk of chronic pulmonary respiratory (COPD) by nearly a third. COPD is a common, preventable respiratory disease, but the World Health Organisation predicts it will be the third leading cause of death by 2030.
Do we really need to create a sterile environment and fill our environment with chemicals? I don’t believe we do. Of-course sanitation is fundamental. Tragically, poor hygiene is still one of the leading causes of child mortality in many parts of the world.
What we should seek is not to aim to live in a sterile world (as a consequence our immune system has been become less resilient) and try to embrace the wisdom of nature, both in terms of recognising that good bacteria are part of a balanced environment and use as much as possible the powerful substances that nature has to offer us. As we know, bacteria can adapt and can become resistant against chemicals, which has triggered in the past the development of superbugs, especially in hospitals. Personally, I believe we should use products derived from real plants, namely botanical extracts and powerful essential oils. It is well known that essential oils protect plants from infection, temperature variations, damage and pests; so why not harness these powers in cleaning products for natural cleaning to create a healthy home and to protect the health of our planet. Nothing is more powerful and resourceful than nature itself!
A recent study conducted by an independent cleaning influencer showed how high and effective natural cleaning products can actually be: she did a swab test with a recognised hygiene device (used in hospitals for spot checks) where some natural cleaning products scored as low as 1. This result, according to the ATP chart of levels of clean (RLU) relates to (0-10) ultra clean sterile surfaces and food preparation areas.
So, in a nutshell, would I want to know that a food preparation area has been disinfected after handling raw meat or poultry? Yes! Would I want this to have been done by chemically based products? NO… the next piece of food which lands on this surface will become contaminated with the chemicals which end up in our bodies and/or washed down the drains into our aquatic systems.
In summary, I think in some areas of the household it is essential to know that they have been properly disinfected, but you do NOT necessarily need chemicals to do this! Let’s return to using the Power of Nature.