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Health Issues and a Clean Environment

Health Issues and a Clean Environment

By Clifford Woods

Health Issues and a Clean Environment

The term clean environment is somewhat vague and can be interpreted in many ways. A clean environment is not only necessary for aesthetic pleasure, but is essential in sustaining human health as well.
The most widely known health impacts of the environment can be attributed to factors like pollution, climate change, ozone depletion, land degradation and the obvious loss of biodiversity. It is such factors that bring about the correlation between health issues and a clean environment.

Why look at environment and health?
There is increasing awareness that our health and the environment in which we live are closely linked, and in 2006 the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 24% of the global burden of disease was due to modifiable environmental factors. This growing awareness is reflected in recent health and environmental initiatives from governments and other organizations.

A lot has been said about the health issues brought about by poor indoor and outdoor quality, lack of sanitation, the use of hazardous chemicals and poor water quality as well. These are all factors that directly affect human health and are as a result of our poor efforts at maintaining and creating a clean environment.

Many blame the sorry state of the environment on the growing population, the projected increase from 6.8 billion to 9.2 billion by the 2050 means that we should expect worse days to come. This link between resource utilization and population is easy to follow, but is largely due to our lifestyles.

There is simply too much carbon dioxide production and this is all easily traced from sources, such as cars, detergents, pesticides, manufacturing and of course, the receding water levels.

Health and the Environment

  • While there are efforts to improve the environment, it is still shocking that preventable ailments and premature deaths still occur globally due an unclean environment and here’s proof:
  • 3 million children lose their lives every year due to diarrhea, which is brought about by unclean water and poor sanitation
  • Malaria still claims close to 3 million lives yearly
  • Acute poisoning from pesticides effects between 3.5 and 5 million people in developing countries
  • About 4 million children lose their lives to respiratory infections many of which are linked to poor indoor and outdoor air quality

While it’s clear that many of these health issues affect those in developing countries, environmental threats are everywhere and industrialization is now the major threat to a clean environment. Industrial pollution is now the leading cause of air pollution and toxic waste. In fact, statistics show that respiratory conditions, such as asthma, are becoming more prevalent in the developed world mainly due to environmental factors.

Environmental conditions that affect human health are manageable and even preventable with better environmental care and practices. A clean environment is not just the responsibility of your government, but falls upon us all. There are many advantages to having a clean environment and some of these include:

  • Less communicable diseases
  • Enhanced quality of life
  • Better food quality
  • Clean energy for future generations and more

Health and the environment affect us all, but it is the poor who are most affected and especially the children and women. While the health issues that have been brought about by global changes are quite easy to identify, many of us ignore them unless we are directly infected or affected.

Human health has always undergone threats from natural phenomena like draught, fire, flooding and others. This is however, being worsened by poor environmental management. Remember that good health and a clean environment coexist.


Clifford WoodsClifford Woods is the CEO of Effective Environmental Services and Organic Environmental Technology
We brew Beneficial Microorganisms that eat toxins and offer Natural Organic Soluiotns

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All Purpose Cleaners

All Purpose Cleaners

By Clifford Woods

All purpose cleaners are soaps and detergents that are multi-purpose. This means that they can be used for various cleaning duties, such as cleaning surfaces and appliances at the same time.

All Purpose Cleaners

While these all purpose cleaners are convenient, they have also come under massive disapproval due to their high toxic content. Many contain hazardous chemicals and in a bid to keep our homes clean, we are also filling them with lots of harmful toxins. Though the law requires products to list their ingredients, what they do not indicate is the amount of toxicity you get by using these detergents.

It is therefore, up to us to ensure that we know what products to use and avoid.

Some of ingredients to avoid are:

  • Petroleum solvents: Commonly found in oil-based paint, paint thinner, spot remover, gasoline, kerosene, and lubricating oil. This solvent can damage the mucous membranes and exposures to paint and solvents have been suggested as potential risk factors of childhood leukaemia.
  • Phenols: Phenols are both naturally occurring chemicals and are manufactured by man. ‘Phenol’ is the name of the simplest member of the family of chemicals of that generic name. Pure phenol is a color-less or white crystalline solid with a powerful sickly sweet antiseptic odor. Commonly found in disinfectants. Excessive exposure to phenol may cause health effects on the brain, digestive system, eye, heart, kidney, liver, lung, peripheral nerve, skin and the unborn child. Phenol may also cause genetic damage.
  • Diethylene glycol: Is a colorless, practically odorless, poisonous liquid with a sweetish taste commonly found in window cleaners, Diethylene glycol is toxic to the nervous system and has resulted in numerous epidemics of poisoning since the early 20th century.
  • Perchloroethylene (Perc): This is a colorless, nonflammable liquid and another toxic chemical to avoid. It has been associated with liver and kidney damage as well as cancer. It is most popular in spot removers dry cleaning fluid and shoe polish.
  •  Chlorinated phenols: Chlorinated phenols are believed to be almost entirely man-made in origin. These phenols are harmful to the circulatory and nervous system and are more toxic to aquatic life.
  • Butoxyethanol also called Butyl cellosolve: This is a colorless liquid with a sweet, ether-like odor. It is a common chemical in the all-purpose cleaners. It’s quite toxic and has been known to damage the liver, kidneys, bone marrow and the nervous system amongst others.

Unfortunately, we cannot list all of the ingredients to steer clear of here as the list is far too long but we can suggest a better way forward, which is using the organic or non-toxic cleaners.

Buying Non Toxic Detergents

There are many non-toxic detergents on the market and the good thing about these is that they are made using plant based and organic ingredients. This means that they are not only great for cleaning your home, but also do not harm your family or pets. They also do not become toxic when they interact with your sewage system or septic and you can rest assured knowing that you are not generating toxic fumes while cleaning the home.

Non Toxic Home Substitutes
There are also ways you can keep your home safe from toxins without spending much on commercial all purpose detergents. This obviously depends on the cleaning duty you are undertaking. Great cleaning substitutes you can easily source from your pantry include:

  1. Baking soda: This is one of the best multi cleaning products you can have in a home. It’s great for scouring and is a great deodorizer as well.
  2. White vinegar: Vinegar can help you remove wax build up, grease, mildew, odors and certain stains.
  3. Lemon juice: Lemon contains strong acids that are effective in cutting grease and disinfecting as well.
  4. Borax: Borax not only cleans, it deodorizes, disinfects and softens water as well.
  5. Plain soap: Plain soap consists of water, oil and alkali and has no synthetic additives, making it a great all purpose cleaning agent.
  6. Cornstarch: Cornstarch acts as a great shampoo for rugs, carpets, and windows and can be used as a furniture polisher as well.

As you can see, there are simple ways to keep your home clean and toxic free either with manufactured cleaning agents or non toxic all purpose cleaner substitutes.


Clifford Woods is the CEO of Effective Environmental Services and Organic Environmental Technology

Find out more about our Organic Cleaner

We brew Beneficial Microorganisms that eat toxins and offer Environmentally Friendly products

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