As many of you probably know, I have my own line of natural products, some for home cleaning and freshening, some for bath and body. I get asked a lot how I got started making my own products or how I got interested in it. I thought I'd answer that question here. Would you believe a lot of it has to do with John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston??? Sure I like Welcome Back, Kotter as much as the next girl, but it actually has to do with their home life.
Here they are, many years ago when their son Jett was just a little guy. When Jett was a baby, John and Kelly did what many parents do, they made sure their house was as clean as possible for their new baby. They had their carpets professionally cleaned often. Turns out, the chemicals in the cleaning solution actually caused their baby harm and Jett had to be hospitalized. They have even wondered if the use of carpet cleaners led to Jett's development of Kawasaki Disease that reportedly led to his death.
Now, I'm not saying using chemical cleaners leads to any formal disease, but it sure caught my attention that some children, like Jett, are sensitive enough to chemicals to end up hospitalized from exposure, and it stuck with me all the years in between that incident and when I became a mother. I began to ponder all the ways in which we try to keep our children safe, which led to all kinds of discoveries about the dangers of some chemicals, not only to our children, but to adults and of course, the environment.
I began to explore recipes for home made laundry soap and natural cleaners, and guess what? They are inexpensive and easy! Why purchase a bottle of the blue stuff for your windows when you can mix up a batch of vinegar and water for pennies? Sure, it's not dangerous, but pricey? It is when compared to mixing up your own batch of half vinegar, half water.
But we were talking about safety, weren't we. Ok, how about good ol' Formula 409? This is directly from the Material Safety Data Sheet:
Special Hazard Precautions: EYES: IRRITATION. SKIN: ABSORBED. EXPOSURE TO
ETHYLENE GLYCOL MONOBUTYL ETHER WILL CAUSE BLOOD & BONE MARROW DAMAGE.
TARGET ORGANS: SKIN & EYES. CARCINOGEN: ETHYLENE OXIDE. EYES: CORROSIVE,
SEVERE IRRITATION. MAY CAUSE CHEMICAL BURNS W/PERMANENT CORNEAL INJURY &
SENSITIZATION.SKIN: SEVERE IRRITATION, CORROSIVE, CHEMICAL B
Blood and Bone Marrow Damage....Carcinogen....Yikes! Oh, and if it's spilled...
Steps If Matl Released/Spill: ABSORB & CONTAINERIZE. WASH RESIDUE DOWN TO
SANITARY SEWER. CONTACT THE SANITARY TREATMENT FACILITY IN ADVANCE TO
ASSURE ABILITY TO PROCESS WASHED-DOWN MATERIAL.
Those are their caps, btw, not mine. And shall we discuss cleaners that are marketed with a 'fresh scent', and the fine print says to use in a well venthilated area? Huh? Aren't we supposed to take in fresh scents? I have to ask the question....who benefits from these commerically made products? And why were they formulated? Well, you and I certainly don't benefit if there is a health risk. And the environment doesn't benefit if those chemicals end up in our ground water. Oh, the big company benefits. Great. It really makes me see red to have companies only looking out for themselves. But let's give them the benefit of the doubt for a minute and assume they started out just making an 'effective' product, not realizing the danger involved. Why go down the road of synthetic chemicals at all? I believe it all comes down to pride, that we humans could make something bigger and better than God made in nature. But that's another post for another day. I've gone on too long already.
So, in a nutshell, that's where my quest for safe cleaners began. I wanted a clean home, with items that are safe to use, safe for babies, children, adults, and also safe to return to the environment. That quest led to discovery of all kinds of fun recipes for lotions, scrubs, soaps, etc. And again, the discovery that items that are not considered completely safe for your skin and body are out there for public consumption. And again...that's a another blog for another day. :-)
I'd love to hear your thoughts about cleaners and chemicals! What do you use and why? Have you thought about the safety for yourself and the environment? BTW, there's no flaming or judgement for anyone and your choices, just curiosity and discussion ideas.