Could Your Cleaning Products Cause Cancer?

Women who reported a greater use of cleaning products may be at a higher risk of breast cancer than those who use them sparingly.

Researchers writing in BioMed Central’s open access journal Environment Health asked more than 1500 women about their cleaning product usage and found that women who reported using more air fresheners and products for mould and mildew had a higher incidence of breast cancer.

Julia Brody, from the Silent Spring Institute, USA, worked with a team of researchers to carry out telephone interviews with 787 women diagnosed with breast cancer and 721 comparison women.

She said, “Women who reported the highest combined cleaning product use had a doubled risk of breast cancer compared to those with the lowest reported use. Use of air fresheners and products for mould and mildew were associated with increased risk. To our knowledge, this is the first published report on cleaning product use and risk of breast cancer.”

The researchers questioned women on product use, beliefs about breast cancer causes, and established and suspected risk factors. They found that cleaning products, air fresheners, and insect repellants were associated with breast cancer, but little associated was observed with overall pesticide use.

Emed’s comment:

The chemicals in cleaning products have long been known for their potentially harmful effects to our health.

Each and every day millions of Australians are unknowingly exposing themselves to dangerous toxic chemicals. Some of these chemicals are known to be cancer causing, while other chemicals have been shown to contribute to hormonal disruptions, headaches, allergies, depression, chronic fatigue, learning disabilities, hyperactivity and irritability.

One would think that it would be illegal to use a dangerous chemical in cleaning and body products – but it isn’t.

Look on the label of any commercial cleaner, shampoo, conditioner, body product, dishwashing detergent etc. and you will see a long, unpronounceable list of chemicals, many of which could be harming you.

Luckily, we live in a day and age where there are many natural and effective cleaning products available.

There are also many make-at-home natural options for cleaning around your home. A few examples include:

  • Baking Soda: An all purpose, non-toxic cleaner. It can clean, deodorize, removes stains and softens fabrics.
  • Essential Oils: For disinfecting and fragrance.
  • Lemon Juice: Cuts through grease and removes perspiration and other stains from clothing. It can be used as a bleach alternative.
  • Salt: Can be used as an abrasive.
  • Vinegar: Cuts grease, removes stains, removes mould.

What else can I do?

  • Reduce your chemical exposure by switching to natural brands. For body, skin and hair products, try the Alchemy or Avalon Organics range.
  • Cancer prevention is not an easy task, and it’s not as simple as swallowing a pill either. A disease-preventing lifestyle is something you commit to for life.Eat a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and lean meats for the correct nutrition. Read ‘Health Promoting Nutrition’ for a disease-preventative eating plan.Exercise everyday. Vigourous exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
  • Get your supplementation under control. Use the basics, like a really good multivitamin to provide your body with the necessary vitamins, minerals and co-factors. Fish oil is also ideal for good health and cancer prevention. A recent study showed that fish oil supplementation reduces breast cancer risk by 33%. Click here for a list of the best fish oils available.
  • Get enough sun? Vitamin D is essential for good health and cancer prevention. Click here to find out how a vitamin D deficiency could be affecting you.

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