Sparkle & Smile

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Healthy Body

Household Chemicals That Can Trigger Allergies

When exposed to certain chemicals or compounds, many people experience allergic reactions similar to those that dust-mite allergy sufferers experience. Chemical exposure can aggravate eczema and cause asthma flare-ups.  More and more people today are concerned about the negative health and environmental impact chemicals can have.

Most people know and understand that direct contact or inhalation of such substances is never safe. However, recent studies show that prolonged exposure to a variety of common cleaners can cause problems, particularly in children. A study published in the journal Thorax, studied 7,019 families to discover the effect of household chemicals such as bleach, paint stripper, and carpet cleaners on childhood asthma and wheezing. They discovered that families that frequently used household cleaning products had much higher incidences of asthma and wheezing among their children.

Sodium hypochlorite, found in chlorine bleach, when mixed with ammonia, releases toxic chloramine gas. Short-term exposure may cause mild asthmatic symptoms or more serious respiratory problems.

Petroleum distillates, found in metal polishes, can cause temporary eye clouding in short-term exposure.  Longer exposure can damage the nervous system, skin, kidneys, and eyes.

Ammonia, found in glass cleaner, is an eye irritant that can cause headaches and lung irritation.

Phenol and cresol, found in disinfectants, are corrosives that can cause diarrhea, fainting, dizziness, and kidney and liver damage.

Nitrobenzene, found in furniture and floor polishes, can cause skin discoloration, shallow breathing, vomiting, and death.  They are associated with cancer and birth defects.

Formaldehyde, a preservative in many products, is a suspected human carcinogen that is a strong irritant to eyes, throat, skin, and lungs.

Hydrochloric acid or sodium acid sulfate in toilet bowl cleaners can burn the skin or cause vomiting diarrhea and stomach burns if swallowed.  It can also cause blindness if inadvertently splashed in the eyes.

Maid Brigade House Cleaning Services cares about our environment and the health of you and your family.  For more information on healthy green living and green cleaning, please log on to and

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