The toxic cleaning that is going on continually in our schools across America (and in many cases in our own homes) has its own toxic downside for our children.
By the time our children are 5, they can have as many as 7 pounds of chemicals in their little bodies. [I] And, if you have been reading my column you know that over 50% of our children have a chronic ailment in this country. All my research has helped me discover that this is directly the result of so many toxins in our everyday lives and something now recognized as the precursor of dis-ease known as a toxic load.
- “A developing child’s chemical exposures are greater pound-for-pound than those of adults.
- “An immature, porous blood-brain barrier allows higher chemical exposures to the developing brain.
- “Children have lower levels of some chemical-binding proteins, allowing more of a chemical to reach ‘target organs.’
- “A child’s organs and systems are rapidly developing and thus are often more vulnerable to damage from chemical exposure.
- “Systems that detoxify and excrete industrial chemicals are not fully developed.
- “The longer future life span of a child compared to an adult allows more time for adverse effects to arise.”[ii]
The cleaning supplies being used to “kill” the virus are toxic. Lysol[iii], and bleach[iv]are both very toxic to the human body as are many of the cleaners available in our grocery stores. Quaternary ammonium compounds, often called quats, are the pesticide chemicals found in wipes (like the ones in a dispenser on the way into a grocery store.)These are toxic to bacteria but, they can also affect human health. It will be even worse if these chemicals are given to the children to clean their own desk and study area.
There are hundreds of helpful microbes on our skin that eat bad bacteria before they penetrate our defenses. Chemicals in these cleaning compounds kill the good bacteria at the same time as they kill the bad bacteria. As a result, these toxic chemicals are harmful because they kill off the good bacteria that the body needs, at the same time as they kill the virus. To exasperate the issue, we are cleaning much more than before, and it is especially damaging to our children’s lungs at the same time that all those toxins are going through the skin on our children which is their largest organ.
As a reminder, the Corona-19 virus impacts our lungs dramatically, so this information is crucial. In some cases, schools are planning to mist the chemicals. Misting chemicals lets them linger in the air longer, making it more likely they will be inhaled by students and staff.
“Many disinfectants work best on surfaces that have already been cleaned with soap and water to remove “organic materials,” like skin cells, which can deactivate chemicals like bleach. That means while merely misting or spraying chemicals might seem like it saves time, it won’t necessarily kill the corona-19 virus.” “You won’t be as effective, but you’ll still have the side effects,” Stephanie Holm, who co-directs the Western States Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, which is funded by both EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a national expert on these chemicals said.[v] “Environmental health experts warn that relying too heavily on disinfectants to prevent the spread of infection could actually create more dangers, especially if chemical cleaners are used when children are present.”[vi]
I share this with you to raise awareness, and to suggest some solutions. When I first got an autoimmune disease and started actively purging toxins from my own life, to be able to return to wellness myself, my research found that my best cleaning solutions were two-fold.
First, to kill viruses and bacteria, I learned to first use hydrogen peroxide on the surface, let it sit for 5 minutes, and then wipe it off. I will then follow with a chaser of white vinegar, which would kill anything that the hydrogen peroxide did not kill. Is hydrogen peroxide safe to use? There are 8 products that are based with hydrogen peroxide that EWG (the environmental working group) rates as an A for safety. [vii]The EWG has a database of hundreds of thousands of items that have been scientifically tested for toxicity and safety and then rated, for easy use by the public.
Continuing to do the research I have now found even better solutions. The first is just pure soap and hot water, and a microfiber cloth, which does kill the Corona-19 virus. And second, a fabulous cleaner that I have found called Branch Basics that is rated an A or a 1 on the EWG scale of toxicity which can be used to clean everything. Branch Basics are plant enzymes. Because my body is so sensitive to toxins, I use it to wash my dishes, my counters, my dishes, my laundry, my kitchen floors (to protect my pets), and my toilets.
Finally, some thoughts from Darin Olien, who wrote a book called Super Life.[viii] He too believes in eating whole foods, eating all the colors of the rainbow, and living in a way that strengthens and supports our immune system. This will create a strong internal environment that is inhospitable to disease and viruses. All my research agrees with Darin Olien. I am a huge advocate of cooking and eating 75% of plant foods that are organic. And then remove the toxins to protect your immune system.
Finally, Mark Miller who works with Holm at the pediatric unit and directs the Children’s Environmental Health Program at California’s Environmental Protection Agency states that hot water and soap kill 90% of the microorganisms that we need to target, making it the most effective solution. If in doubt, use hydrogen peroxide as the backup. All of this is much safer for our children.
“You always want to be balancing risks and benefits, and you want to be using the safest products possible in the safest way possible,” he said. “You could use a grenade to kill a fly, but a fly swatter will work just as well and cause far less damage.”[ix]
I recommend that you do your own research on this subject and have included all of my references in writing this column. This information is important for our children, so I want to give you a place to start your own research.
Be informed and protect your children.
References[i]Mom’s Across America statistic
[ii]EWG https://www.ewg.org/research/body-burden-pollution-newbornsalthough this reference is to newborns, it remains true through the early stages of development for children.
About Cheryl Meyer
Cheryl Meyer suffered from autoimmune disease. By eliminating hundreds of toxins, she reversed her pain. Cheryl has a BA from UC-Berkeley and is a health coach from IIN. Cheryl is an award-winning author, international bestseller, health coach, speaker, local tv host, and guest podcaster. Cheryl has written 4 books on health and toxins available on Amazon and has her own podcast It Feels Good to Feel Good, Futureproof Your Health on Voice America. Her website is cherylmhealthmuse.com She specifically works with clients with chronic illness giving them hope and helping them find solutions. It is never too late to start healthy habits. Cheryl is available to speak about the toxins in our world that are making us ill. She is a sought-after expert on toxins, in our food, cleaning, water, minds, including toxic stress and toxic lack of sleep. She also talks about the impact of toxins on our children and our pet’s health.
Contact Cheryl for one on one coaching at firstname.lastname@example.org. Eliminating toxins is a crucial step to regain wellness.
Cheryl encourages you to listen to your body and to own your own health
To see more, view all posts by Cheryl Meyer here.