How Safe Are Household Cleaners?


Although household cleaners have n

ot been proven to be completely unsafe during pregnancy, very little research has been done to prove that they are safe.

What research has been performed has shown that cleaning products can, in fact, be dangerous.

A British study published in December 2004 showed a link between exposure to household cleaners during pregnancy and asthma in children.

Investigators found that those households that used the most chemical-based based products during pregnancy were two times more likely to have children with asthma. These findings backed up a similar Australian study that was published a few months later, in August of 2004.

While these results are troubling, it is important to remember that no household cleaner has yet to be recognized as a cause of birth defects. However, it doesn't hurt to err on the side of caution and take some precautionary measures when you know you will be exposed to chemicals. You may also want to try using environmentally friendly cleaning products.


Protecting Yourself

Minimize your risk of exposure to toxic chemicals by following these guidelines:


  • Always read the labels of your cleaners and avoid any that are marked as toxic
  • Always clean in a well-ventilated area
  • Since some chemicals can be absorbed through the skin, it is a good idea to wear rubber gloves when cleaning
  • Ammonia or chlorine products can trigger nausea so make sure you use these products in a well-ventilated area. However, never mix the two products together; they can create extremely dangerous fumes regardless of whether or not you're pregnant
  • Consider using alternative cleaning solutions like baking soda or vinegar
  • Use a pump spray instead of an aerosol if you can; a pump spray creates less of a vapor cloud and therefore fewer fumes

Some cleaners that you may want to avoid or at least approach with caution include:

  • Bleach
  • Window Cleaners
  • Carpet Cleaners
  • Disinfectants
  • Dry-Cleaning Fluid
  • Aerosols
  • Air Fresheners
  • Paint Stripper

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Table of Contents
1. Toxins, Pesticides and Pregnancy
2. Household cleaners? Be careful.
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