I’m sure you’re familiar with the Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes commercial where happy children are shown throughout various parts of a house putting their wonderful, goopy little hands on every surface they can reach…. Then in comes a close up of a package of the wipes on the counter for each child to grab.
Kids are shown having fun wiping things down – including their faces! Life is not just good again, but those darlings, and the adults they threaten to contaminate are safe, safe, safe.
I sure hate that commercial.
Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes, according to the Materials Safety Data Sheet, contain several chemicals listed as hazardous ingredients. For example, Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride (ADBAC) is one of the ingredients found on the wipes. It is a broad spectrum biocide, and a suspected immunotoxicant and neurotoxicant. It is also an ecotoxin potentially fatal for many forms of aquatic life. I don’t think those innocents would still be smiling if they knew.
We have been conditioned by years of marketing, that no home is safe without these types of products. The reality is thorough hand washing on a regular basis will do wonders for keeping germs at bay. Soap and water will also do wonders to keep counters clean. Keep food preparation areas separate to avoid contamination – in other words, don’t cut your veggies on the same cutting board as chicken. Of course, you could stop eating chicken and not have to worry about it!
It is amazing how clever marketing will give the perception of products making our lives easier and more pleasant when in reality they can harm us.
It brings to mind a conversation I had when I first began the process of forming Sound Earth in 1999. I contacted several government agencies regarding what regulations needed to be followed to put a product on the market. I recall one conversation in particular that included products already on the market, and their perceived safety.
The man I was speaking to said that most cleaning agents are compared with Ivory Laundry Soap as it is one of the most caustic on the market. I told him how shocked I was to hear that, and he asked “why, because there’s a baby on the package?”
YES! That is exactly why.
So, word to the wise: don’t always believe the story you’re being told! You can check out your favorite products, and their safety at the National Institutes of Health Household Products Database.