Last month in the Natural Fertility 101 series, we covered a lot about helping our bodies naturally cleanse and detoxify. This month we’ll begin to focus a bit more on how to keep those toxins out to begin with.
When I sit and think about how differently I live my life compared to just 5 years ago, I really just have to laugh.
I was the poster child for conventional/modern life.
I thought nothing of the makeup I wore or the lotions I used, air quality was the last thing on my mind, and wasn’t everything organic? I mean….it had to start as an organic particle somewhere right? The one thing I did think about was the cleaners I used; they had to be super strong and full of chemicals! If they weren’t, then they just didn’t work at all.
I looked at people like I am now and laughed – literally laughed out loud. How in the world could people live like that?! Don’t they know how crazy they seem!? But sometimes I think God really has a sense of humor, because it seems that everything I was adamantly against, I now believe whole heartedly.
A co-worker came into work one day and announced that her father had cancer – she decided to do everything in her power to reduce her exposure to chemicals that contribute to the horrible disease and, intrigued, I watched in wonder. She began buying natural cleaners and remarked at how well they worked. As much as I didn’t want cancer I was amazed at how much money they could save me over a years time, and I bought some from her. Little did I know how much I was doing for the health of my family.
One of the scariest issues with conventional cleaners is this:
“Cleaning product companies are NOT required to list ingredients used, because they are considered trade secrets.”
So, not only are the chemicals toxic—most of the time you don’t even know which ones you’re using.
Some of the common hazards of cleaners include:
- Alkayl Phenoxy Polyethoxy Ethanols – Found in detergents and multiple types of cleaners. Researchers have found that even in small amounts, this chemical can activate estrogen receptors in cells, which they found stimulated the growth of breast cancer cells and feminized male fish.
- Kerosene – Found in all-purpose cleaners and degreasers, it can damage lung tissue and dissolve fatty tissue around nerve cells.
- Para dichlorobenzene – Found in deodorizers and mothballs, it is an endocrine (hormone) disrupter.
- Triclosan – Found in antibacterial products, it can amplify the response of our naturally occurring hormones, causing depression of estrogen and androgen production.
- Phthalates – used often as fragrance and is a common hormone disruptor.
- Glycol ethers (2-butoxyethanol) – common in all-purpose cleaners and window cleaners (Windex) and has been shown to impair fertility and harm fetal development in animal studies even causing implantation mortality (miscarriage) and impacted litter size. Men exposed on the job were more likely to have lowered sperm counts.
- Triethanolamine – found in disinfectants (Lysol) and shown to cause genetic damage.
The list of chemicals is of course longer than this, and many more have been shown to increase risks for multiple health issues including some having a direct link to hormone disruption, infertility, and birth defects.
Non-toxic living for healthy fertility
Changing your conventional cleaners to natural ones is an easy step. There are plenty of healthier options in the stores now and making them at home is not only super frugal, but effective as well.
It didn’t take me long to switch everything over to natural or homemade options. I now have only a couple conventional cleaners in my home for really tough issues (we have hard water and I can’t let the shower get away from me) that I need extra help with once or twice a year (instead of every week).
If you use natural or homemade cleaners, why did you make the switch?
I’ve found that around the house, I don’t ever need anything more than vinegar, baking soda, and water. Vinegar and water works better than fabreze in a spray bottle for pet and smoke odors, works wonders on greasy stove tops, a little baking soda added to the mix gets out tough stains and burned on stuff from carpets or stoves. If you put baking soda down a drain that is clogged, then pour vinegar down it gets clogs out, freshens the disposal, and keeps pipes clean. I even steam clean the carpets with vinegar and water, makes them nice and white, and takes any odors out. I buy my vinegar in 2 or 3 gallon jugs from costco for about 5 bucks, lasts me months, and does everything. Cheapest way to go!
I switched to making my own because of all the reasons you mention in this great article.
I am ttc 4.4 years. We switched for MANY reasons.
My son’s immune suppression.
Less yuck in my home!!!
Now I just need a good stain remover!!
I will start by saying that I am amazed! I just came home and opened a package of skincare products I received today. New things that I have not used before from a company that claims to be all natural and concerned about our health and the well being of the environment. Two items specifically for myself. One being a eye make up remover and the other a fortifying vitamin face lotion. As I always do, I scan the ingredient list on both as i open them. I’m not crazy about what I’m seeing but I also don’t know off the top of my head what is what. I notice on the lotion it says “do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding”. Great! I package it back up and decide I will send it back as we are month 1 into trying to conceive ( and that’s all it usually takes for us). I scan the other bottle and it does not have the same warning. I set it aside and open my computer, which is literally inches away. I go to FB and I see the post for this article. I know God sent me here because I think I have only visited this website one other time. I read through your article and see the ingredient glycol. I go back and check the product. This is where I get confused. The ingredient is listed as Butylene Glycol. Is this the same thing? I had a miscarriage a year ago so as you can imagine I am nervous this time around. I use all natural cleaning supplies ( which I’m not sure I even trust anymore) and thought I was using natural skincare too. I’m not one to use a lot of cleaning supplies. Mostly just in the bathroom and that is natural stuff. I think i’ll stick to vinegar and water from now on . Thanks for sharing this info.
@Bobbi, I honestly don’t know if it’s the exact same thing or not. I just know that in my research it was referred to as Glycol.
I check all my skincare stuff on http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/
It’s a great site to check and see what ingredients might be toxic and rates them as well.
As far as house hold cleaners its hydrogen peroxide, soap and vinegar. No more scrubbing. Use the first two w/ a sponge. H2O2 really gets the grime and then rinse w/ vinegar!!!
I love the article. I think that it wasn’t until I had kids that I could appreciate it though. With kids, you feel the obligation to make your home safer for them and keep them protected as much as we can. Indoor air pollution is said to be up to 70% more polluted than outdoor air! That is unbelievable considering WE decide what comes into our home. But that is the good news, we have a choice. We don’t have to buy the chemicals found in the cleaning aisles. Whether it’s baking soda and vinegar, Norwex or Seventh Generation, there are safer and better solutions.