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Spring has sprung, but do you know what’s springing from your cleaning products?

Many common household cleaners are toxic, wreaking havoc with our hormones. Picture: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

By DR ANDRE COMRIE

Do you also get the impression that the flower gardens are especially colourful this spring? Perhaps nature is compensating us for the dismally long locked-down winter. Now it’s time for us to do our bit, dust ourselves off and brighten up our homes. Time for spring-cleaning.

Before you get out the bucket and mop, however, pause a moment to check the labels on your cleaning products. Do you find health warnings – “avoid skin contact” or “only use in a well-ventilated space” or “if swallowed, seek medical advice”? The sad fact is that many common household cleaners are toxic.

The toxins in cleaning products are often endocrine disruptors, meaning they wreak havoc with our hormones. Such chemicals are linked with developmental, reproductive, brain function, the immune system and other problems.

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Put briefly, what happens is this: in the normal course of events, a hormonal stimulus arrives at the target cells or organs where the molecules bind to specific receptors on the cell membrane. This sends a message into the cell, causing it to perform a specific action.

In the presence of the disruptors the receptors are blocked, so the necessary message can’t reach the interior of the target cells and they are unable to perform their functions properly. Sick, dysfunctional cells lead to sick, dysfunctional organs and, therefore, to sick, dysfunctional people.

Other interference might be in the synthesis, secretion and eventual elimination of natural hormones, all of which adversely affect our health.

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Unfortunately, quite low doses of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals can be unsafe. The body is very sensitive to hormonal signals and small changes in amounts can have far-reaching effects. So as we wash and polish, there’s a build-up of toxins that could be slowly poisoning us, our children and our pets.

Best stop using these products. There are safe alternatives. For the past 30 years I’ve been using a brand of cleaning products that is economical, effective, and toxin-free. I can confidently recommend them. The result will be a home that is sparkling clean and safe, and not contaminated with undesirable chemicals.

And, no, I’m not a soap-salesperson, but a health scientist with a doctorate in immunology. If you’d like to chat to me, call 084 506 3643.

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