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Breast Cancer Link to What’s Under Your Sink

Your home should be a safe haven, a place where you can escape and breathe the air without worry.  But more and more homes are morphing into a toxic (and possibly deadly) environment. New research shows a deadly link between everyday household cleaners, air fresheners and breast cancer.

Here’s what researchers found.

The study conducted involved 800 women.  400 had breast cancer and 400 did not.  When researchers asked about their use of household cleaners, they found an ominous connection.

Women who said they frequently use cleaning products and air fresheners had the highest breast cancer risk – twice that of women who used such products infrequently.  Are these products underneath your kitchen or bathroom sink right now?

The perilous products.

You may be wondering if all cleaning products and air fresheners can lead to breast cancer.

The Columbus Dispatch reports:

“The connection was drawn mostly between mold and mildew cleaners and air fresheners. Surface and oven cleaners were not associated with increased risk. Chemicals of concern include synthetic musks, phthalates, 1,4-dichlorobenzene, terpenes, benzene and styrene and some antimicrobial agents."

While this doesn’t offer definitive proof that years of exposure to cleaning products is what caused the breast cancer in the research participants, the fact remains there is a definite cancer risk associated with the chemicals found in household cleaners.

Detergents, air fresheners, and fabric softeners that contain synthetic musk are cause for worry.  These chemicals can find their way into breast milk, which is another good reason to question just how treacherous they are. In an animal study, one synthetic musk, tonalide, was shown to disable body cells’ ability to keep out harmful toxins.

Phthalates are another chemical of concern.  They affect the endocrine system and may have negative reproductive and developmental effects.

It doesn’t stop there.  Phthalates are linked to organ damage, endocrine disruption, immune suppression and cancer.  These hazardous chemicals are commonly used in household plastics, air fresheners and cleaners.

Many of these chemicals even sound treacherous.

1,4 – dichlorobenzene, a common ingredient in toilet bowl cleaners and air fresheners, can be found circulating in the blood of just about every American. It’s been proven to cause organ toxicity and is associated with lung damage.

Every time you clean and freshen your house, you could be releasing known carcinogens such as terpenes, benzene, and styrene into the air you breathe.
  • Terpenes are in pine and orange scented cleansers and react with ozone to yield toxic substances.
  • Benzene is linked to blood diseases, including leukemia.
  • Styrene is associated with cancer and birth defects as well as reproduction and fertility problems. 

The next time you pull out the Spic-n-Span, Lysol, or Pine-Sol to clean your counter tops, you could be inadvertently exposing your family to heart, kidney, liver and eye damage as well as circulatory and respiratory problems.

The list goes on and on.  Spray and wick deodorizers contain formaldehyde, a possible carcinogen. Window cleaners contain butyl cellosolve, which could cause kidney, liver, bone marrow and nerve damage.

So what is the solution?

How are you supposed to safely clean your house?

It’s not as simple as reading the labels because that won’t always help.  Even “Green” products aren’t completely safe.   It’s really hit and miss because as allowed by law, manufacturers of cleaning products do not have to list their “secret ingredients.” The scary thing is these ingredients may be kept secret for a reason – they’re dangerous and possibly deadly.

However, you don’t have to give up on a clean and fresh smelling home.  There are safe solutions.

Use hydrogen peroxide and vinegar to sanitize your kitchen and bathroom.  You can add in a little baking soda to make a scrubbing paste.
If you like sweet, scented air, mix natural essential oils with water to make your own air and fabric freshener that is completely safe.
Today more than ever we should pay close attention to the term “buyer beware.”  Big Industry isn’t looking out for you, so practice due diligence when it comes to what you bring into your home.

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