My friend’s that have kids with asthma know basically what brings on their children’s asthma attacks and of course, try their best to avoid them. The most common ones we hear about are dust mites, pet hair and smoke. I still never get how or why teenagers with asthma smoke (or any for that matter). One friend went with a non-shedding dog because they found that her son reacted to pet hair. Another is very particular about stuffed animals, due to dust mites, limiting them to her daughter’s one favorite and washing it on a regular basis. Most know that smoke is a severe trigger and try to avoid it all of the time. There are some other triggers, though, that everyone may not know about: Cleaning products and pesticides.
Chemicals can be strong irritants to those with asthma and may exacerbate the condition. Any type of chemical can do this, so cleaning products with the least amount of chemicals are better. Look for green or organic brands, but read the labels carefully to check anyway. You may choose to use natural alternatives like baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar mixes. Remember this not only when you are cleaning, but if you are painting or using any type of chemical products. Even when pesticides are odorless, they can still possibly trigger asthma attacks. If you have to use them, try them on the outside of your house only. You can also look for more natural alternatives to the more highly concentrated chemical ones.
With the current move to greener lifestyles in the United States, it’s becoming more and more common to find environmentally safe household cleaners. There is another big benefit to these cleaners, however, and that is that many of them are safe for those affected by asthma and/or allergies. The store shelves are stocked with a plethora of cleaners for everything, from toilets to tables, to wood to windows. Most of these cleaners are produced from powerful chemical components which can be quite harmful, especially to asthma and allergy sufferers. They emit fumes which often exacerbate asthma and allergy symptoms. Cleaning becomes not only a household chore, but something which can lead to dangerous reactions for these people.
Can you buy something that cleans that isn’t filled with chemicals, which are not only bad for the environment, but also bad for our respiratory tracts?
After a little research, here is what I’ve found. I’ve tried some of these, too!
• Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Aromatherapeutic Household Cleaners
I’ve used these; they smell fantastic and don’t have the harsh chemicals. But do be aware of the strong fragrances. Can be bought online at Drugstore.com.
• Organic Choice Cleaner
Organic Choice All Purpose Cleaner/Degreaser is an environmentally safe and economical cleaning product; it’s water based and is considered non-hazardous by OSHA. It is designed to eliminate the allergens that can commonly be found around in the home as well as clean in a multitude of tasks. Can be bought at Allergiesplus.com.
• Seventh Generation
A complete line of non-toxic cleaning products. They come in “free & clear” which have no added fragrance and Seventh Generation confirms these products are hypo-allergenic through independent testing. Seventhgeneration.com.
• Vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda
The most basic of the basics. These alone or in combination can do wonders for all over your house. Vinegar is a great all around cleaner (and can get rid of ants, too). The smell goes away when it dries. Lemons have a great smell and can be mixed with vinegar or baking soda to clean pots and pans. Baking soda is great if you some abrasion. There are no harsh chemicals here to hurt your skin or bother with allergies or asthma.