toxic chemcials in household cleaners, dr chad larson, non toxic chemicals in household cleaners, diy non toxic household cleaners, toxic chemicals linked to autoimmune disorder and illness

At thirteen:fourteen we are extremely passionate about removing as many unnecessary toxic chemicals from our lives as possible.  
We know that it isn't always easy to do this though and finding reliable information can be tricky, a lot of companies and brands don't want it to be simple for us to read their complicated labels so its really confusing to know where to start.  
We thought we would bring in some help, in the form of Dr Chad Larson.  He is currently researching advanced developments in environmentally-induced chronic disease so we knew he would be perfect to talk to. 
Like Dr Larson's interest in illness that has been caused or influenced by toxic chemicals, The World Health Organisation also released a full report which you can read here on the scientific knowledge they have, on exposure to and the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals.  It's a real situation and it's pretty scary when you look at the things that are in our everyday products, but we can start to change the position we are in by educating ourselves on what these ingredients are and why they don't need to be in our lives.   Below we discuss the use of potentially harmful chemicals in our household cleaning and beauty products with Dr Larson...


1. What are the links between the chemicals in household cleaning products and illness?
Chemicals in cleaning products can cause irritation and inflammation at the local tissues that come in contact with the chemicals, like the skin and respiratory tract. Chemicals can also bind with human tissues to form a ‘neo-antigen’. This neo-antigen appears scary to the immune system so it reacts by developing an antibody reaction and now that antibodies are attacking human cells, autoimmunity can ensue.

2. In your opinion what everyday product/s would we be the most surprised to hear are toxic to our health?
Probably sunscreen with SPF above 50 and aerosol spray sunscreen, toothpaste with triclosan, perfume/cologne and air fresheners.


3. What are alternative natural household cleaners that you would recommend or DIY ones that we can make ourselves?
For the DIYers, here is a list of ingredients (most recipes that you google will have some combination of these ingredients):
• Baking Soda
• Castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner's)
• Essential oils, like tea tree oil, lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, or lemongrass oil
• Fresh lemon juice
• Hydrogen peroxide
• Olive oil or avocado oil
• Water
• White Vinegar
EWG has a rating system that lists the healthier household alternatives, it can be found here: http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/content/top_products#.WcK6cMiGO70
They also have a similar system for beauty products/cosmetics:


4. If someone is struggling with a condition that might be affected by these toxic chemicals like an autoimmune disease, how long would it take for symptoms to possibly ease and get a bit better if they make the switch to natural make up/skin care and house cleaners?
The first place to start is evaluating the immune system’s reaction to a variety of chemicals. The only lab that I know of that does that is Cyrex Laboratories in the US, Canada and the UK. They have a panel called Array 11 (Chemical Immune Reactivity Screen) that looks for abnormal immune reactions to a comprehensive list of common chemicals. This simple blood test can take the guesswork out and let you know which chemicals may be contributing to the person’s symptoms.
The reactions are so individual, it is hard to generalize, and typically switching to more natural cleaners/cosmetics is just a piece of a comprehensive protocol that would include multiple lifestyle tips, dietary suggestions, and targeted nutritional supplementation. Typically, when all the suggestions are followed, individuals suffering from autoimmunity, typically start feeling better in 3-6 months.



Dr. Chad Larson, NMD, DC, CCN, CSCS, Advisor and Consultant on Clinical Consulting Team for Cyrex Laboratories (joincyrex.com). Dr. Larson holds a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Southern California University of Health Sciences.