Harmful effects of cleaning products
Q: I’m a cleaner and I spend a lot of time around cleaning products, I’m worried about what this might be doing to my health. How can I minimise the effects of this? Thanks, Cheryl.
Great question! Firstly, I would encourage you to air the house as you’re cleaning, keeping windows and doors open, if possible, and avoiding being confined with cleaning products (whenever possible).
I also think it’s really important to consider what you’re cleaning with. Certain synthetic chemicals commonly found in conventional cleaning products present known or suspected problems for the people that use them and the environment once washed down the drain.
Volatile organic compounds, used to enhance the performance of a product, can impair neurological functions, while other problematic chemicals can act as respiratory irritants or endocrine disruptors, depending on the extent of exposure, according to the National Environmental Trust and other environmental groups.
It’s a common misconception that eco-friendly or green products aren’t as effective as their conventional counterparts and recent research has proven that green products can achieve your desired results without compromising your health or that of the planet.
Q: Lately I’ve found that even the smallest things are getting on top of me, I can’t seem to keep up with it all. What strategies do you suggest to bring about more balance? With thanks, Gem.
I’m sure many people relate to this feeling! When you start to feel overwhelmed it’s important to go back to basics, incorporating small changes can make the world of difference, here are a few suggestions:
Create a morning ritual
Some of the world’s busiest people, attribute their ability to remain calm amidst the juggling act of life, to their morning ritual. Whether it is five minutes, 20 minutes or an hour, whether it is a game of tennis, a walk, meditation, reading or simply drinking a cup of tea while you gaze out the window and think of the things in your life that you are grateful for, time by yourself can set you up for a day with more energy.
When life feels like it is all work and no play, it’s very easy to feel fatigued with life. We need things to look forward to and opportunities to be silly and laugh and just play. If you feel silly playing games or making jokes, watch a comedy film and don’t hold back. There’s nothing like a deep belly laugh.
Re-evaluate the to-do-list
Re-evaluate your to-do-list. How many of the tasks need to be done by you? How many can be done by a colleague, family member or Email your questions for Dr Libby to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, only a selection of questions can be answered.
friend? How many of them need to be done at all? How many of them need to be done now?
Put your legs up the wall
A great way to help you breathe diaphragmatically is to lay on your back with your legs up the wall. Lie in this position for five to 10 minutes and focus on your breath. Place a folded towel under your back or bottom for support if you like. Take 10 minutes to fully relax into this pose, it’s especially soul-nourishing with some soothing music.
Ask for help
If simple changes don’t make a difference, it is important to remember that help and support are always available. Never be afraid to ask friends or family or a qualified professional for help. You are never alone.
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Volatile organic compounds, used to enhance cleaning products, can be harmful.