Article of Interest: “Disinfection dangers – How to avoid viruses without exposing yourself to toxics”

Our team at the Hoffman Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) Program at UT Health San Antonio wanted to share this important external article:

The rational fear of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) spread has led to an enormous growth in the creation and use of a multitude of products that we use to wipe, spray, and fog, particularly where we eat, sleep, commute, shop and study.
But in the U.S., the history of the use of toxic chemicals has often been followed years later with public health agencies realizing that potential adverse effects on health were downplayed as everyone focused on supposed benefits. This approach has often led to massive overuse of different classes of chemicals, which is the case now with cleaning and disinfecting chemicals. We are faced with a pandemic that is causing unprecedented, exponential use of cleaning and disinfection products, and we already are finding evidence this is leading to downstream health issues in humans and wildlife.
From oven cleaners, air fresheners, toilet bowl cleaners, laundry detergent and softeners, to chemical wipes and mildew sprays, the drive to make your home, office buildings, schools and shopping areas sparkling clean and eliminate germs has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Cleaning products and disinfectants are among the most toxic products sold today.

Read the full external article at Environmental Health News.

While some tend to overlook the chemicals in everyday products, their harmful effects add up. In fact, countless products contain toxicants, including:

  • Chemical wipes and mildew sprays
  • Laundry detergent and softeners
  • Toilet bowl cleaners
  • Air fresheners
  • Oven cleaners

Even those who avoid using such products at home can still face exposure in public places, such as grocery stores, schools, offices, and other spaces.

“Cleaning products in the U.S. are under minimal regulatory oversight and contain chemicals known to cause many health issues,” the researchers write. “Avoid buying harmful cleaning products to begin with, purchase products checked on reliable online sources, or make your own cleaners with basic, inexpensive natural ingredients. Open windows to clean out odors, spot clean spills and messes at the source, and throw in some old-fashioned elbow grease instead of relying on a toxic chemical fix.”

How chemically sensitive are you?

Take the Hoffman TILT program’s Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI) survey:

  1. Do you feel sick when you are exposed to tobacco smoke, certain fragrances, nail polish/remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners, pesticides, paint/thinner, fresh tar/asphalt, cleaning supplies, new carpet or furnishings? By sick, we mean: headache, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, upset stomach, etc.
  2. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse or allergic reactions to any drugs or medications (such as antibiotics, anesthetics, pain relievers, X-ray contrast dye, vaccines or birth control pills), or to an implant, prosthesis, contraceptive chemical or device, or other medical/surgical/dental material or procedure?
  3. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse reactions to any foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, or food additives (e.g., MSG, food dye)?

If you answer YES to any of these three questions, take the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and share the results with your doctor!

The Hoffman TILT program is funded by the Marilyn Brachman Hoffman Foundation.