DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Cleaning > I hate using chemicals

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Old 07-28-2010, 11:24 AM  
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wow. I never knew people could die from the long term effects of cleaning products. Do you think that they will have to start warning people better and start to use labels and such to protect the public?

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Old 07-28-2010, 12:14 PM  
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Originally Posted by MarshaMarshaMarsha View Post
I never knew people could die from the long term effects of cleaning products.
Wow. I didn't know that until now either. But I, on the other hand, don't believe it.

That's because of a number of reasons:

1. That presumes that cleaning products ACCUMULATE in our bodies over the course of our lives, and that's simply not how it works.

When you get bitten by a poisonous snake or eat the wrong kind of mushroom, you COULD die as a result. But, most of the time healthy people just get sick for a while from the encounter and then return to good health because living things have evolved ways of removing those toxins from their bodies.

If we hadn't evolved a way to clean harmful chemicals from our bodies, then we'd keep getting progressively sicker and sicker throughout our lives as we have more and more intimate encounters with bees, wasps and hornets, poisonous spiders and snakes, poison ivy and poison oak, eat harmful mushrooms and berries, swallow alcohol, smoke cigarettes and use cleaning chemicals. The toxins would continue accumulating inside us until we were too sick to get up in the morning and go to work.

But, that isn't what happens, is it? If we get bit by a poisonous snake, we get sick, but most of us gradually return to our normal health. So, is it reasonable to assume that our bodies can remove harmful toxins and venoms, but not cleaning chemicals?

2. It's not reasonable to assume that just because a chemical has a name as long as a shoelace that it's unhealthy for you.

If your digestive track doesn't know what to do with something, it doesn't do anything with it. It just lets it slide on by to eventually get pooped out your tail end into the toilet bowl. Go ahead... swallow a button made of a plastic derived from petrochemicals, and you'll find that it doesn't poison your bloodstream, or cause your brain to explode or do anything for that matter except get pooped into your toilet bowl. Your body doesn't know what to do with it, so it doesn't do anything with it.

That is, in fact, the whole reason why companies can produce and market sugar and fat substitutes like Aspertame and Olestra. They have the right chemical structure to TASTE sweet to our taste buds and fool our brains into thinking we're eating something that's sweet and/or fattening, but because your digestive tract doesn't know what to do with those chemicals, they simply go in one end and out the other. That's supposed to be the scientific gameplan whereby you can eat foods that taste sweet and fattening, but still not get fat.

Now, if your body doesn't know what to do with a detergent, is it going to try to digest it? Probably not. It's going to throw it into the same bag as Aspertame and Olestra and poop it out the tail end.

3. But, notice I said "Probably not." That's cuz I'm not a doctor or lab technician or food guru, so I don't know for sure either. However, neither your government nor mine will allow a new chemical on the market that's intended to be eaten, drank, slathered all over our skin or inject into our veins without it being thoroughly tested on animals first to make sure it doesn't have unexpected side effects. So there's some lab technician somewhere that hoses down some rabbits and monkeys and rats every day with cleaning detergent to see if they get sick from the experience. Those chemicals wouldn't be allowed on the market if they make the rabbits or chimps die prematurely, or a disproportionate number of them get sick for no other apparant reason.

So, why don't we presume that those people in the lab coats are as competent in their work as we are in ours, and that testing chemicals on rats and monkeys can actually tell us whether those chemicals are harmful to people or not.

There's a phobia surrounding chemicals that defies logic. People presume that chemicals are inherantly harmful to us, and that's just stupid when you consider that there's chemicals we swallow that don't do anything at all, like sugar and fat substitutes. It's like our phobia of snakes and insects. The bottom line is that human beings are big animals and we're not easy to kill. Our bodies have ways of getting rid of harmful chemicals so that they DON'T accumulate, and the testing we do on animals isn't just to annoy PETA. There are safeguards in place to ensure we don't have another incident like thalidimide resulted in.

But, we're all adults and can decide on our own what to believe.

I for one would like to see the evidence on which someone has decided that cleaning chemicals can accumulate in our bodies over the course of our lives to eventually kill us. And, that they can somehow do that WITHOUT making us progressively sicker over the course of our lives. That just doesn't seem reasonable to me somehow.

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 07-28-2010 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:48 AM  
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I am a new member today and a bit late coming to this thread, but a premise of this thread equating strong smelling synthetic chemicals to being bad for you caught my eye.

As people strive to bring nature back into our lives, which is good, it is sometimes forgotten that the most poisonous substances known are from natural products -- ricin, anthrax, food poisoning, botulism, tetanus, various venoms, etc. -- are just a few examples. In addition to toxins, most allergies are to products in nature. Natural products have even been shown to cause cancer, and some are quite potent in that regard. Tobacco is a natural product, and its harmful effects can be shown whether it is eaten, chewed, or smoked.

True, purified or synthetic chemicals can also be bad for you, but chemical manufactures try to produce chemicals that retain the good properties and limit adverse effects from their products. Nature has no such motive. Most important, when you get a pure chemical, you know what is in it and what steps must be taken to minimize risk. When you get an extract of some natural product, you do not know everything that is in it. There can easily be hundreds to thousands of chemicals present in potentially toxic amounts that are not listed on the label.

Smell can be useful in avoiding something that you do not like. It can be a warning system, like with skunks. But, it is not very reliable as a sign that something is bad for you. Why would nature want something that is very toxic to also have a bad smell? That is to say, something may smell good or may have no smell at all and be just as toxic or more so than something that smells bad. Some smells have developed a connection with cleanliness, so they are added to many home cleaning products. I don't like them, and they make me sneeze. If the product is so good at cleaning, how come you can't wash off the smell it leaves behind? Compare the pure chemical, acetone, which leaves almost no residual smell, to Dawn, Ajax, Mr. Clean, 409, etc., which all leave odors. Unfortunately, one cannot buy Dawn without the odor, but some products are now being made without odorants. I wish more were.

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Old 08-04-2010, 10:52 AM  
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Appreciate it Nestor
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:37 PM  
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I hate using chemicals to clean my kitchen and my bathroom. Is it really safe to use them where I eat and bathe? Or is the dirt worse?
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:26 PM  
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No one ever died from the long term effects of dirt, Dyson.

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