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Parent Awareness

Children's health risks from toxic chemicals in the home


Everyday household cleaners that can make cleaning faster and perhaps simpler, are full of chemicals.  These chemicals have their costs. Many give off unhealthy fumes that can irritate the eyes, nose and lungs. Some cleaners are corrosive and can harm your skin.  Many contain ingredients that are suspected of causing cancer.

Many household cleaners can leave behind chemical residues. Children tend to touch everything and then put their hands in their mouths or pick up food dropped on the floor. Children may be putting toxic chemicals in their mouths along with their toys and food. Small amounts of the toxic chemicals may not be immediately harmful to children but can accumulate to cause health problems over time.

How To Go Green

Many household items-including cleaners, insect sprays, carpets, wet paints and finishes, air fresheners, candles and incense, art supplies, fires and gas appliances-give off fumes that contain chemicals. These invisible chemicals can concentrate to unhealthy levels. Often adults don't even notice, because we are less sensitive than children to the fumes.

These chemicals are heavy and do not simply disappear. Without ventilation these chemicals will absorb into carpets, curtains, and upholstered furniture.

  • Open your windows and doors daily to ventilate your home. Make sure your home breathes! The fresh air will dilute the concentrated chemical fumes. Opening your windows and doors will allow toxic chemicals to escape instead of remaining inside.

Industrial pollutants and "run-off" from farm fields can easily contaminate our water supply. Most public municipalities test water frequently for more than 90 water contaminants, and you can easily obtain a "Consumer Confidence Report" with those results from you water utility.

Anyone who gets their drinking water from a private well should test their water regularly. If you suspect that the water coming into your home could be contaminated by lead pipes you should have your water tested.