Bleach has been in our family homes for years and used extensively for it’s disinfecting properties, among other things. But we now know bleach is not a good thing for our health or our environment. It’s corrosive, dangerous and, sometimes, deadly. Besides the health issues involved in the direct use of bleach, our environment can suffer from it’s use and holds onto it in many ways:
- When household bleach is mixed with wastewater it is found to form numerous organic compounds. Two of those compounds are chloroform – which can cause dizziness, headache, respiratory issues, heart attack, liver and kidney damage, birth defects and more – and carbon tetrachloride – which is responsible for nerve damage, liver and kidney degeneration, coma and death.
- Chlorine and wastewater can also create Trihalomethanes, a toxic carcinogen that has been linked to breast cancer, miscarriage and other fertility issues in animals.
- Bleach also breaks down in the environment to “halides”, which harms shellfish, as well as other aquatic life.
- Organichlorides, which contain chlorine, stick around in the environment for a long time and have been linked to reproductive issues, immune dysfunction, cancer, hormonal disruption and more. Source: What Is Bleach? Sustainablebabysteps.com
Many of us still use bleach to clean our homes, but there are safer, more gentle alternatives. Hyrdogen peroxide, vinegar, tea tree oil, natural herbs and citrus fruits all have disinfecting and cleaning properties. Tipnut.com has a list of 14 bleach-free surface disinfectants that are easy and inexpensive to make. You can even scent them to your own liking using your favorite essential oils!
And, don’t forget the power of the sun. Stains can be removed from many clothing items just by simply hanging them in the sun. In any case, avoid the bleach – for your own health and the health of our planet.