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The health benefits of eco products: allergies and prevention

Do you suffer from sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, congestion, wheezing or skin irritation after every cleaning session? Then your chemical cleaning products could be to blame. Household cleaning products which contain toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, ammonia, sodium laurel sulphate, d-limonene and sodium hypochlorite are found in drain and oven cleaners, furniture polish, and laundry detergents, as well as all manner of dish soaps, disinfectants and multi-purpose cleaning sprays.

Chemical agents such as ammonia produce strong odours which can exacerbate allergies. Similarly, aerosol sprays and air fresheners can produce air particulates which will trigger allergies. As Dr James L. Sublett, MD, managing partner of Family Allergy and Asthma in Louisville, Kentucky, advises:

"Cross aerosol spray cleaners off your shopping list. Not only can they trigger allergy symptoms, but one study also found that weekly use of cleaning sprays was linked to increases in rates of asthma, asthma-medication use, and wheezing. Even more frequent use of these cleaners was associated with greater risk."

On the other hand, you could alleviate these symptoms by replacing your chemical agents with eco-friendly cleaning supplies. These 'green cleaning' brands have been manufactured from organic, naturally occurring ingredients. Consequently, these eco-friendly products can help to reduce your allergy symptoms and limit your likelihood of developing further allergies to pollens, spores, mites, dander and other particulates.

After investigating the various green cleaning supplies on offer, you should purchase products that are certified as 'biodegradable', 'non-flammable' and 'made from naturally occurring ingredients'. Always check the ingredients list of these green cleaning supplies to verify that they have not been formulated with preservatives, artificial dyes, chemical solvents, volatile organic compounds or other harmful chemicals such as chlorine, ammonia, phosphates, alkalis, nitrates, borates or acids, amongst other toxic chemical agents.

Sites such as Allergy UK will list their approved range of products and services to help you manage the symptoms of your allergies, sensitivity or intolerance. Similarly, sites such as Big Green Smile exclusively sell cleaning products that have received Allergy UK's official Seal of Approval.

It is also advised that you supplement the effectiveness of your green cleaning products by investing in eco-friendly cleaning apparatus; such as organic cotton cloths. These environmentally conscious products will pick up and retain dust particulates rather than stirring them into the air. Simply replacing your synthetic cleaning apparatus with these natural cleaning solutions can reduce potential allergy attacks triggered by dust particulates.

Fundamentally, cleaning has been shown to reduce the symptoms caused by pollen, spores, mould, dust mite, pet dander and other allergies, so it is a paradox that your cleaning agents could actually be causing them. Fortunately, eco-friendly cleaning products offer a viable long term solution. These green cleaning supplies are free from environmental toxins and allergy-exacerbating chemicals so you can rest assured that they will leave your home sparkly clean and allergy-free.

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