One of the oldest proverbs that I have heard is ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’. It is so old and so clichéd that it has become really uncool to say something even remotely close to that. However, the onus that that proverb places on cleanliness is definitely questionable. There are a zillion ads on T.Vs […]
One of the oldest proverbs that I have heard is ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’. It is so old and so clichéd that it has become really uncool to say something even remotely close to that. However, the onus that that proverb places on cleanliness is definitely questionable. There are a zillion ads on T.Vs these days depicting the use of various cleaning materials for our homes. All of these, without exception say that they are the best in the business, or mean that without actually saying it to avoid all sorts of legal headaches. Bit silly really, because all ads depict each other as ordinary, which would logically mean that all products are merely ordinary in some way compared to others. But anyway, not the topic of discussion here. I was talking about cleanliness. So yeah. Why has cleanliness been given so much importance? Quite straight forward really. Since times immemorial, dirt and dust have been portrayed as the harbingers of all kinds of bacteria and other kinds of really disgusting looking germs. They seem kinda silly actually, as if they popped straight out of the imagination of an under developed three year old. Ok, tangent. These bacteria and other ‘germs’ have been proven to cause numerous diseases that are not fatal in most cases, but can lead to untimely deaths in rare situations. Nobody wants to take that risk. Fair enough. So what do you do? You get home cleaners of every sort that money can buy and keep your house polished (Talking about an ideal case here, folks). Is that it, then? Do you think you are protected from any and all kinds of infections? Most people would think so. Fair enough assumption on their part, really. ‘Now that I have destroyed all possible causes of harm, my family can finally stay disease-free’ goes the thinking of a typical person in a family, going on to paint a perfect scenario where they would not have to spend a penny on medicine after spending so much on cleaning materials. The brain is quite good at that apparently-painting perfect scenarios. It does that seventy percent of the time it works by nature. And you thought you were wasting time on purpose. Anyhow, coming back to cleaning, this is when you get a reality check. You will find that you may have closed the doors on one kind of disease, but have opened the door to an entirely new kinds.
The chemicals in the cleaning fluids or the air fresheners that you use are harmful to the germs and bacteria. The problem is, they are harmful to you as well. Studies say that a number of diseases related to the skin are brought on by prolonged exposure to dish washing fluids. Similarly, breathing in the scent of room fresheners regularly can cause damage to the respiratory system. These cleaners are also extremely poisonous if ingested. Thus, great care has to be taken in case there are children in the house. Cleaning ingredients can cause different kinds of health hazards. Skin and respiratory problems are most common with the symptoms being watering of eyes, respiratory irritation, etc. while long term effects include even cancer. Corrosive drain cleaners, acidic bowl cleaners and oven cleaners are the most dangerous of all cleaning products. Ingredients such as chlorine bleach and ammonia are toxic and can cause fumes which are dangerous to people with asthma, and heart and lung problems. Another problem with these two chemicals is that they might react with each other. This leads to the further formation of gases such as chloramine and toxic chlorine that are highly damaging to the lungs.
Cleaners are not just what you use in your house, but also those that you use on your body. Most people know that the skin is the largest organ in the body. What they do not know is that the skin acts like a sponge, absorbing around sixty percentage of what you apply on it. Most skin care products say that they are safe to be applied, but there is enough evidence to suggest that prolonged use can cause serious issues to the skin.
Thus, the problem that we have two-fold. Ensure a clean and healthy living space, while at the same time, not use any of the cleaners that are toxic in nature. So what can we do? Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem. In recent times, many environment conscious companies like SODASAN have been coming out with products called organic cleaners. They not only have green products to clean the house or household appliances, but also the human body. All their products are made from plant and animal products and can be used safely for all purposes. One might be revolted when he/she sees the phrase ‘animal product’, but by that, they only mean stuff like beeswax and honey. The one product that can be termed actually animal is the gall soap, which is an excellent spot remover.
What I am trying to say here is that if you think you do not have an alternative, you cannot be more wrong. The world is fraught with choices. We just have to open our eyes and see them.
Go Organic! Clean Green!