Thursday, February 7, 2019

Avoid These Toxins in Common Household Cleaning Products

While it does feel good to scrub down your house until it’s squeaky clean, just the smell of your cleaning products might make you wonder exactly what it is they’re made of… and if those ingredients include anything dangerous. After all, if you've ever accidentally inhaled too soon after spritzing your shower with a tile cleaner, you probably had a good coughing fit before you were able to continue cleaning.
It’s unpleasant to contemplate, but unless your household cleaning products are solely made of ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils, they probably contain chemicals that could be quite hazardous to your health.
The FDA Does Not Regulate Cleaning Products
You might be surprised to learn that unlike drugs, food, and beverages, there is actually no federal regulation of chemicals in household cleaning products. Because they are not meant to be ingested, chemical cleaners don’t fall under the FDA’s regulations. At best, the EPA requires cleaning product makers to list potentially harmful ingredients, but that doesn’t stop those makers from including the ingredients in the first place. Consumers must use the products at their own risk or find alternatives.
Toxins in Household Cleaning Products
A majority of the toxins in household cleaning products fall into three major categories: neurotoxins, carcinogens, and endocrine disruptors. Neurotoxins are responsible for affecting brain activity. What they can do ranges in severity from headaches to actual memory loss. Carcinogens are harmful agents that cause or promote various forms of cancer.
Endocrine disruptors have a wide range of possible bad effects on the body because they mimic hormones. In doing so, they cause false signals inside your body, confusing its inner workings. Endocrine disruptors have been known to cause issues including ADHD, premature puberty, menstrual issues, infertility, miscarriage, and cancer.
Many cleaning supplies also carry volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde, toluene, and benzene. VOCs can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, as well as cancer and damage to internal organs, including the central nervous system.
Avoid These Home Products to Avoid Toxins
  • Air fresheners
  • Products with artificial fragrances
  • Dryer sheets
  • Fabric Softeners
  • Ammonia
  • Bleach
  • Chemical drain cleaners
  • Corrosive kitchen and bathroom cleaners
Alternatives to Conventional Cleaning Products
If you’re ready to say farewell to your current cleaning products in favor of healthier alternatives, begin by making friends with white vinegar, baking soda, olive oil, and essential oils. These are often used in combination with each other or with other all-natural ingredients (like lemon juice and kosher salt) to make homemade cleaning products.

To the professionals at GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration, your health is an integral part of your quality of life. Our HVAC, attic, and crawl space cleaning services use products that are bio-safe, and all of our methods are bio-friendly. We do not use any toxic chemicals, and our cleaning systems produce superior results.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Air Purifying Plants for Your Home

Enjoying “the great indoors” with the windows and doors shut can be a welcome relief on a cold or hot day. However, enclosed spaces can suffer from a lack of airflow, which can cause an accumulation of indoor air pollution. Luckily, NASA made the wonderful discovery back in 1989 that houseplants have the ability to absorb airborne chemicals and toxins, particularly in enclosed spaces with stagnant air, like many rooms in energy-efficient households.
Not only do plants have this miraculous ability, but they also have been known to reduce fatigue and stress while also boosting mood and productivity. Some studies have revealed that indoor plants even enhance concentration and memory. It’s no wonder that houseplants have become a staple in contemporary decor!
To help your hunt for the perfect, air-purifying houseplant (or plants) for your home, we’ve compiled some lovely and diverse options to spruce up any room. Keep in mind, not all of these plants are safe for pets, so if you do have pets, be sure to choose pet-friendly options or to put the plants well out of reach of your animals.
Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
This plant is perfect for those who’ve had trouble keeping plants alive in the past. Your pothos will require very little tending, and in return, it will help eliminate carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and even more toxins from your indoor air. As far as care, it requires watering when its soil gets dry, and because it can grow several feet long, you’ll want to trim it every so often to keep it under control. Just a warning: this plant is toxic for both dogs and cats.
Bamboo Palms (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
This is a great option if you’d like a plant with some height but without a wide girth, which makes it a good alternative to other indoor palms. It will do best in a bright room without direct sunlight and will require consistently moist soil. Not only will a bamboo palm help rid your air of chemicals like chloroform, benzene, xylene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide, but it also has a subtle humidifying effect on the air, which is great for normally dry environments or cold weather. The bamboo palm is non-poisonous for cats and dogs.
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
Once it gets going, the Boston fern drapes beautifully and helps remove xylene and formaldehyde from the air. The catch: it’s going to require a special location with both indirect light and high humidity. A bathroom with a window where the shower or tub is used frequently would be an ideal location. In terms of watering, this fern will require one soak monthly, and you’ll have to check its soil on a daily basis to make sure it's moist.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Like the Boston fern, the spider plant is another great option for hanging containers, and they help eliminate xylene and formaldehyde from indoor air. Unlike the Boston fern, they are quite hardy and can survive with little tending. They’ll need to be watered about a couple times a week, and they are also non-toxic, making them a great choice to have around kids and pets. Just a word of caution: this plant tends to grow rapidly, so keep an eye on it.
This plant is known commonly as the dragon tree, which in and of itself might be enough reason to purchase it. Perfect for contemporary or exotic decor, they come in a variety of colors, including variations with red, cream, or white lines along their leaves. While dracaenas do eliminate trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and toluene, they are toxic to cats and dogs, so pet owners will want to steer clear of this option.

Maintaining your home’s indoor air quality is a vital aspect of keeping you and your family healthy. If you are looking for even more ways to increase your indoor air quality, consider a professional air duct cleaning or an attic and crawl space cleaning to eliminate bacteria, mold spores, dust, and allergens that may be infiltrating your air supply.