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Monday
Dec062010

My babies were healthy without Lysol

#lysolmoms is a toxic fail whale

Today brings us yet another round of Think Before You Tweet.  Twitter Moms is hosting a Lysol Twitter Party with the theme of Healthy Babies.  It is scheduled to take place on twitter from 7:00pm to 8:00pm EST on Tuesday, December 7 using the hashtag #lysolmoms. There are already more than 100 people signed up to attend the twitter party for the chance of winning one of 10 $25 gift cards (presumably for Lysol products, but that isn't really clear in the invite).

While most people are happily confirming their attendance in the RSVP section with "WOOHOO" and "Wouldn't miss it!", a few moms have decided to think before they tweet. For example, twitter moms member Teresa Avila (@WellnessMomCA) said:
I fail to see how Lysol and keeping yourself or your babies healthy has anything to do with each other. There are much safer alternatives that kill germs, without the harmful side effects!

Ethanol is the primary ingredient in Lysol spray and is highly flammable, especially under pressure. Prolonged inhalation in a closed environment will create headaches, cough, fatigue and drowsiness. Skin exposure might result in severe redness and burning. Lysol spray uses denatured ethanol, which can cause ethanol poisoning when ingested.

Lysol spray contains carbon dioxide. It is colorless and odorless. In low amounts, carbon dioxide can affect your concentration. Increased amounts will cause your breathing rate to increase. And prolonged exposure can cause death from suffocation.

When using Lysol spray, be sure there is plenty of ventilation. Do not spray near your face and risk inhaling the fumes. Use on fabrics such as rayon, acrylic plastics and wood will cause damage.

Keep Lysol spray out of the reach of children and do not expose your children or pets to the spray. Do not spray on or near food because of the risk of ethanol poisoning.

I have not used store brands for 6 years now, because of chemical sensitivities brought on by these types of chemicals along with being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which is linked to chemical exposure. I only wish I had know the statistics before.

Another member, Amanda Kloster (@onlygreencanada), posted:
I don't know how "Lysol" and "raising healthy babies" go together. Lysol products contain so many chemicals! Toxicologist Shawn Ellis found Lysol products have up to 1000 times more chemical particles than their competitors, recorded at around 1,200 parts per million (average household is about 50 parts per million). These chemicals have been found to cause permanent eye damage, kidney and liver issues, and asthma. Google it or read more at http://bit.ly/gmcvKM

I think these women are right to be concerned. I was concerned the moment the e-mail about the twitter party hit my inbox.

On a general level, I think that with any corporately sponsored twitter party, people need to be aware that the companies have their own interests at heart.  Lysol is obviously not going to organize a twitter party to tell you not to use its products nor is it going to organize a neutral twitter party that will provide truly neutral information on how to best keep babies healthy. With this type of event, people attending or watching on twitter should expect a series of carefully crafted tweets by the twitter party hosts (@twittermoms and @goodgirlgonered) about how wonderful Lysol is and how it helps keep babies healthy. They should also expect people who are only interested in a $25 gift certificate to re-tweet and help spread those messages to their friends while interjecting their enthusiasm for Lysol products (whether that is true enthusiasm or enthusiasm manufactured by the potential of winning a prize).

When it comes to Lysol in particular, it looks like the company has invested a lot in developing partnerships to help spread the word that people should "routinely clean and disinfect surfaces", indicating that "cleaning with soap, water, and scrubbing removes dirt and most germs," but that "using a disinfectant cleaner kills germs, giving even better protection."  The problem is that messages like these breed dirt and germ fear in our society. It has parents keeping their children out of the natural dirt outside (Dirt is Good!), teachers slathering antibacterial crap on kids hands, and people constantly disinfecting things, all while exposing kids to more and more chemicals and not allowing them to develop natural resistance to the bugs around them.

In its report called Disinfectant Overkill, Women's Voices for the Earth outlines some of the concerns with the overuse of disinfectants:
As stories on the dangers of flu viruses, contaminated foods, and contagious illnesses proliferate in the media, advertisers increasingly try to convince consumers that antimicrobial cleaning products will protect their homes and families from infection. Likewise, manufacturers have capitalized on consumer fears by producing more products that contain antimicrobial chemicals. However, it is unnecessary to disinfect one’s homes to the degree that advertisers and manufacturers would have consumers believe.

Antimicrobial cleaning products (also known as disinfectants) are specifically intended to both clean surfaces and kill germs such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi. But research has shown that some of the most common antimicrobial chemicals used in cleaners could have serious health consequences, especially for women, cleaning workers, and young children. Also, the overuse of antimicrobials contributes to the growing problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which some scientists say could leave the public with fewer tools in the fight against infectious diseases.

I agree with this conclusion. I do not think that routine disinfecting is a good idea (despite what Lysol and its partners recommend). I think people should consider alternatives to antibacterials and disinfectants. If I have a virus spreading like wildfire through my home, in addition to regular good practices like hand washing, I might consider using a natural disinfectant product (e.g. Seventh Generation Disinfectants), but I  don't see the need to use those on a daily basis. If you absolutely must use a product like Lysol in your home, I think the one important message with regards to healthy babies would be to keep it away from your babies and anything they might touch or use.  But I think the best approach is just to avoid it altogether.

In its report card on cleaning product companies, The Dirt in Cleaning Product Companies, Women's Voices for the Earth gave Reckitt Benckiser, the company that makes Lysol, an overall grade of C minus. While not all of its products are considered to be a concern (7 out of 65 products were flagged as problematic), the report indicated that the five companies reviewed "are failing to provide the public with the information they need to make informed buying decisions. It’s time for these companies to act like leaders and set an industry standard for comprehensive product labeling and removal of potentially harmful ingredients from ALL of their product lines."  In particular, in the case of Lysol, the report flagged the following products as problematic because they contain the toxic ingredient benzalkonium chloride which has been linked to asthma:

  • Lysol Brand II Disinfectant All-Purpose Cleaner (Dilutable) - Fresh Scent

  • Lysol Brand II Disinfectant All-Purpose Cleaner (Dilutable) - Country Scent

  • Lysol Brand II Disinfectant All-Purpose Cleaner (Dilutable) - Lemon Scent

  • Lysol Brand Disinfectant Deodorizing All-Purpose Cleaner (Dilutable) - Fresh Scent

  • Lysol Brand Disinfectant Deoderizing Cleaner - Mountain Air Scent


These products are not only unnecessary, but they are also potentially hazardous to our health. Before you jump on the bandwagon and tweet in support of #lysolmoms, think about what you are doing. Even if you do use those products in your home, are you really comfortable recommending them to others given the potential hazards? How do you think it affects your social capital when you tweet about toxic products under the guise of keeping babies healthy? Is it worth it for a chance to win a $25 gift card?

Image credit: Matthias Töpfer on flickr
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Reader Comments (84)

AMEN! Thanks Annie!

December 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJanelle Sorensen

Sigh. I am so tired of everyone plugging brands like this. Lysol and my kids have only crossed paths under the most dire-est of circumstances, like the very infrequent but unpleasant poo-on-the-floor episodes.

I wonder what the next product for social networking moms to latch onto will be?

December 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlaura

Yuck. I don't understand the desire to spray toxic chemicals around your home, in your air, and on surfaces that you (& your developing children) breathe, touch, and eat from - all in the name of making those areas & surfaces...what? Cleaner? Safer? And then to sell it as something aiding in "healthy babies"? The wrongness (& nastiness) makes me shudder.

December 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkelly @kellynaturally

Excellent points.

My son was in the PICU this past summer with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, which can be caused by a variety of nasty things like e.coli (which, incidentally, can be in a child's own stools, so while good hygiene is important, being paranoid won't really help you much unless you put your child in a straitjacket before all diaper changes or practice your reflexes eight hours a day to grab wandering hands) ...

...BUT his kidney specialist, a very wise older doctor we really like, told us that in his view one of his hardest tasks was convincing parents in the aftermath of this (one time!) thing that their kids NEEDED to be allowed to go play in the dirt.

I admit to having a germ freak side now, but y'know what? When that pops up (like whenever something reminds me of his illness), I go nuts... with the white vinegar and dish soap. ;)

December 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

Most Twitter parties make me sad.

My own personal metric for whether I discuss something online is whether I would be comfortable discussing something with my friends. And I wouldn't be comfortable subjecting my friends to brand messaging I didn't necessarily agree with for a chance to win something.

If someone else has a different comfort level, I understand. I just hope that they are making a considered choice, based on the best information that they have.

December 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

So well said. I think you got right to the heart of the matter when you said that of course Lysol is going to tell you need their products. It's in their best interest to sell their products, not to be honest. Consumers should remember that when dealing with any for-profit company.

December 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia

(I'm one of those people who reads regularly but doesn't often comment)

A work (childcare centrer) we aren't allowed to use disinfectant, with exceptions*. Eerything, literally everything, gets cleaned with hot, soapy water. Good heigine is about colour coded cloths (so you don't use the same cloth for dishes as for toilet), good hand washing procedures, good ventilation. Not disinfectant.

And if you do need to use disinfectant, there are natural ways. Tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, vinegar, just to name a few.

*Exceptions being, if there is a bug spreading, or one of the kids get a poo on the floor or toilet seat. Also us it to clean the nappy change table if one of the kids has had hand, foot and mouth in the past 6 months (but only after that child. Every other time its hot, soapy water).

December 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPharaohKatt

Great post. I have never used disinfectant crap on my son or his toys, or even regularly in my house. We just use regular soap and water. And he is one of the healthiest kids I know! Which says quite a bit for a toddler who spends a lot of time with other toddlers.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Before I had kids my house was infested with all these disinfecting chemicals. I shudder ti think of it now... from Javel to antibacterial hand soaps, my house was 'infected'. Luckily, I did a lot of research after my son was born and I switched to all natural products (i.e. lots and lots of vinegar, baking soda and tea tree oil). I switched to regular non sls hand soaps and I don't use anything chemically antibacterial anymore.

What shocks me now are people who read all about how bad chemicals are for them (us) and still choose to use them regularly... I just don't get it. Not to mention that all these products end up costing a fortune... vinegar is way cheaper!

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAida N

Aida, I do a lot like you. Love vinegar, baking soda and tea tree oil, or lavender essential oil to keep my husband from complaining about the smell of vinegar. Works for most the cleaning in the house, and I can let my kids use them.

Much better than messing with something like Lysol. It wouldn't be worth the gift card to me to get involved.

My daughter has Cystic Fibrosis, and it is certain that many 'bugs' and molds like (Aspergillus, Pseudomonas, Staph, B. Cepacia, and MRSA) on our household surfaces can be life threatening to her and detrimental to her lung function. I DO NOT use Lysol in our house (and I would never attend a Lysol party), I try to keep our house as chemical-free as I can, and my daughter is still breastfeeding after 3 years (which has helped keep her very healthy), but I know *many* in the CF community who do use products like Lysol to help keep their hospital visits further apart along with the routine hand washing and avoiding sick people. I don't think these products should be used in healthy family households, and doing so is what leads to things like MRSA that are potentially deadly for my own child. What kinds of products should families who are at a higher risk of infection be using to clean our surfaces? Does anyone here have any information about cleaning surfaces with Colloidal Silver?

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKacieAuLait

So important to address the insidious side of marketing (repeatedly, it seems!).

Disinfectants have their place -- after severe illness, for transplant recipients and other people with immunosuppression -- but it doesn't need to be toxic. Even bleach can be foodsafe if made up correctly, AFAIK. And it doesn't need to be presented as something that everyone needs all the time.

I'm a microbiology major and one of my favourite experiments was the one that showed that proper handwashing with regular soap is just as effective as antibacterial soap.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrivqa

Annie - Excellent article (as always).

What Lysol doesn't explain in its advertising that its products kill germs is that cleaners work differently than antibacterial products when it comes to germs. Soap and surfactant based cleaners work to lift dirt off of surfaces so it can be rinsed away. In doing so, you lift away and get rid of germs- just like when you use dish washing liquid to remove grease off of dishes. Disinfectants kill germs. Disinfectants don't clean. Disinfecting cleaners do both. So, yes - using Lysol's disinfecting cleaner will kill germs and not just lift them away, but it also has a whole host of other stuff. And you don't need it. If you feel compelled to disinfect, use some isopropyl alcohol, or vinegar, or perhaps tea tree oil in water. All of those are a heck of a lot cheaper.

Also, keep in mind that a product that KILLS germs is a registered pesticide.

Love this article! I have seen the emails talking about the twitter party and it turned my insides. I don't fault anyone for using Lysol products, although I wish they at least had the right information about those products. I don't fault anyone for believing marketing hype, even through the new tactics like twitter parties, although I wish we could all see through it all the time. I don't fault anyone for trying to win a gift card because many, many people need things like that right now, although I wish they didn't. I don't know everything. I don't always make the right decisions. I just wish that these huge corporations didn't make it so difficult, didn't prey on the vulnerable, and didn't care about profits above human health. One can wish, right?

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrenna

We never use any disinfectant products in our house with the sole exception of toilet cleaner - just good old soap and water. Seems to work - I have a 16 month old who's never had a day's illness, and never even had any diarhoerra in her life... I do get some funny reactions from people when I tell them we don't use disinfectant but I'm just not convinced we need it in everyday life...

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLorna

Want to keep your babies healthy? Breastfeed them. Wash your hands. Let them play with dirt.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEilat

Wow - thanks so much for bringing attention to this important topic! There are amazingly healthy, non-toxic cleaners on the market. Please do research into the ingredients before buying these toxins for your family. Nothing good will come of it.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTamara @ bynature.ca

It's ok to promote a product by means of a twitter party however I have to agree that household cleaning products and babies/children don't mix. Don't we lock up these products that all say KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN on them? Seriously a better theme would have been about keeping a clean happy home or something.

I had joined twitter moms to see what they were about, being it I am a blogger and have worked with various other reputable "Mom blogger" groups but after a few unimpressive newsletters, "contests" & such I unsubscribed and have never worked with them. Too bad it's all about how much they make and not about how they are helping moms.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAMotherhoodBlog

We stopped using a lot of chemicals quite some time ago. Wanna know what I clean my kitchen space with? Water, Grapefruit Seed Extract, and White Vinegar.

I typically scrub my sink with none other than baking soda and White Vinegar.

We DO have a can of Lysol but I rarely if ever, use it. We purchased it last year when our oldest was sick for three months straight and the doctors couldn't figure out the cause. Turned out it was pneumonia. Even then, I didn't spray it every day - maybe once a week and only right after the kids had gone to school.

I personally can't handle Lysol in large amounts - it gives me headaches and makes me nauseous. My mother used to use it in insane amounts when I was a kid though. Our house reeked of Lysol. I refuse to do that to my kids. I'd rather they eat dirt. ;-)

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauren H

The ironic thing is I do use Lysol disinfecting spray- but not around the baby or on baby's things! It's full of alcohol and flammable! I (adults only) use it on toilet flush handles and light switches when we have a stomach bug.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMilehimama

Yet another case of complete incongruence. (Is that a word?) I don't understand why a brand would do something like this and not know that it would bring up questions and negative reactions. There are so many things Lysol could do to create PR. Creating a Lysol and Healthy Babies campaign shouldn't have been one of them.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPostpartum Progress

So gross. I truly can't understand how so many people jump on these initiatives with no regard to how the products they are pimping affect their health, their family or the environment. We're not perfect - I sometimes resort to a disinfectant wipe on the garbage can, but there's no way I'd become a cheerleader for a toxic company, be it lysol, walmart, mcdonald's or any of the other major players on twitter.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkarengreeners

Excellent post and perfect timing. I was just talking to my SIL about how Lysol isn't safe and she said oh I use it all the time... and she watches my daughter 3-4 days a week. Totally sharing this!

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara

I agree, totally, that disinfectants aren't really necessary, and certainly not with all that added stuff. The germophobia is just out of hand, and adding toxic chemicals doesn't help.

That said, I think it's hard for people to take "our side" of the story seriously because so often we denounce ALL chemicals, even though everything in the world is a chemical: "Water is a chemical (H20) and in large quantities it causes death by drowning. BAN WATER!"

I felt like that when I read the quote from WellnessMomCA: "Lysol spray contains carbon dioxide. It is colorless and odorless. In low amounts, carbon dioxide can affect your concentration. Increased amounts will cause your breathing rate to increase. And prolonged exposure can cause death from suffocation."

Yes, that's true. But remember biology class? Carbon dioxide is what we breathe out, when we breathe in oxygen. Carbon dioxide naturally makes up about 0.05% of the air in the world. I think we need to choose our battles more carefully. Lysol is an unnecessary product with lots of toxic stuff in it that we wouldn't want our children to breathe. But to denounce all things that are "chemical" makes us seem like fanatics; instead, we should denounce the dangerous stuff, and understand the non-dangerous stuff.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott

Thank you, Scott. That is my husband's biggest beef with "environmentalists": "Of course it's a chemical! Everything's a chemical! Water's a chemical! Damn hippies..."

He's not exactly PC, sure, but the point remains. As you said, denounce the dangerous stuff rather than bringing a blanket campaign against "chemicals".

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia

Scott:

You're right, which is why I provided those quotes as examples of what people are saying, but then provided my own info on the actual risks in the post.

That said, as a busy mom and non-scientist myself (biology class was 20+ years ago!), I prefer to purchase products from companies that I have grown to trust through their use of quality, non-toxic ingredients, and good disclosure of what goes into their products, rather than trying to wade through exactly which of Lysol's products have toxins in them and which ones don't. It is so much easier that way.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

I don't think a lot of people realize just how powerful Twitter is as a marketing tool. Everywhere companies are jumping on the bandwagon and offering incentives for people to spread the word. Such as this twitter party. Regardless of the product, mothers need to understand that social media is not marketing free, but in fact a very valuable tool for marketers and that they need to be smart consumers.

And all that said, I'm definitely not a fan of antibacterial disinfectants as a common household product.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoy Carder

A good green alternative to Lysol and other chemical disinfectants is tea tree oil! A few drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle of filtered water is all I use to clean our trash cans, (cloth) diaper pail, and other things that need sanitizing. No harsh chemicals needed!

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny B

I will never, ever buy that product or ones like it (hello, Glade, Drano, oven cleaners). Cancer is very real people - and using chemicals in your home can only multiply your chances of exposing your kids and yourselves to carcinogens.
Maybe Arm & Hammer and the vinegar companies need to jump on the social media bandwagon and spread the word about how they work together to clean without killing. It's not rocket science - clearly some moms will tweet away without a second thought as to the tripe they are spreading, and all for a measly $25 gift card? How sad.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Sugarpants

Amen, on the Say No to Lysol! There's an ad I see in my area with a Name Brand Bleach tries to convince mothers that they need to dip their children's toys in a bleach-water solution. Aiiieee! It makes me throw up a little in my mouth to think of putting even a very diluted bleach solution on my baby's toys.

@Scott and Cynthia: While being precise is certainly important, I think it's worth keeping in mind that even when people use imprecise/incorrect terminology, the *point* people are making regarding these products are still valid. The ingredients in Lysol and other cleaning/make up/household products are no less toxic if one refers to them as "chemicals" versus "harmful chemicals" or another more scientifically correct phrase. There are lots of naturally-occurring substances that are toxic to people (arsenic), or toxic in large doses but fine in small ones. If water is a chemical and arsenic is a chemical that doesn't make them equally benign/harmful. I can understand the conflation of the concept of 'chemical' in popular discourse might be annoying to scientists, but that doesn't make people's concerns less valid.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErin

I am super-sensitive to chemicals and fragrances and have always been. I have to hold my breath if I go down the cleanser aisle or risk a bad headache. As an adult, I can avoid the chemicals that hurt me (unless that perfumey lady is sitting next to me at church), but as a baby, I was at the mercy of adults, who I could not have told, other than by crying, if chemicals were hurting me. It is incumbent on adults to take into account that their children may be very sensitive and to act accordingly.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSuebob

Check out this item: http://buy-her.com/things-that-are-eco-friendly/ionator-hom-cleaning-can-suck-less/. It's pricey, but it's completely chemical free and is supposed to kill 99.9% of germs (same as Lysol). It uses plain tap water.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

When we adopted Knox we had to become a chemical free house. With Knox's history and his medical issues, he can't so much as breathe in the vapors of common cleaning chemical products. It was then I learned just how UNSAFE some cleaning products are, including LYSOL, and I was horrified I'd been using them all along with my previous three children.

I wish more people would understand that Lysol is not safe for their children and it does not help keep kids healthy.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRedneck Mommy

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! If some mothers choose to hoc products for a "chance to win", I feel they should be responsible enough to know the good and bad points of the product. We should be informing and educating each other on our social network sites... as well as entertaining. ;)

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMommyNaniBooboo

This germ nonsense is getting entirely out of hand. I can barely find an antibacterial-free hand soap in the grocery store.

I get irritated every time I see commericals about GERMS! and see all those hand sanitizers everywhere.

I don't mess with any of that stuff and my son's immune system is excellent.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

I agree entirely. There's so much greenwashing and difficult-to-decipher labeling these days that I either make my cleaning products myself (yay for vinegar!) or buy from the companies I know are conscientious.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott

What's shocking is that so many people sign up for these twitter parties for a CHANCE to win a giftcard. What are organizations like twittermoms getting?

And no to Lysol. We only use home-made cleaning products. Cheap and organic.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterOHmommy

Love this. If only a big marketing company would take on your account to spread the word. *sigh*

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaranda

Erin: Thanks for your response. I think you might be misunderstanding me a little. The terminology isn't really what bothers me. It's that, by declaring all chemicals to be "bad," we lose credibility with the people we're trying to convince.

I have a friend who's a mother and a toxicologist... and she laughs at all the "anti-chemical" writings for this reason; all kinds of safe things are chemicals, and the internet is full of people denouncing various chemicals without checking if they're actually harmful or not.

And it's a real shame that my friend laughs at the "anti-chemical" people, because sometimes they're very right. Lysol has all kinds of nasty stuff in it, and you're right to say no to it. But unless we actually research what exactly the harmful things ARE in Lysol, we can't effectively convince others to stop using it. If we just say that all chemicals (including, as posted above, carbon dioxide) are bad, then we lose credibility with anyone who knows stuff about science.

So it's not a terminology thing. It's a focus thing. We should focus on the chemicals that actually do harm, instead of blindly lashing out at all things chemical. That's what I mean.

And the first step in doing that is to start becoming aware... which you and the other readers here have certainly done. That's an awesome way to start.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott

I can't believe that so many moms think toxic chemicals and babies go together... really?? People aren't stupid, shows you the power of marketing doesn't it? These things are labeled "Keep out of reach of children" yet companies have moms convinced they NEED to introduce them to their children's environment.

If you can smell it, you are breathing it. I don't want my family breathing chemicals, that includes Lysol spray, plug in air fresheners and the like. I shudder to think what all of that does to developing lungs.

Twittermoms obviously has a huge amount of sway, I wish they'd be more conscientious in their marketing partnerships.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaranda

Hi Annie,

Thanks for this post.

I appreciate the home run you've hit here:

1) Twitter (and other social media tools) co-opted for marketing tool by large companies;
2) the frightening oblivion with which we purchase products without wondering
a) if we need them;
b) if they do what they claim; and
c) what the effect is of their production and use (both close to home and far afield)
3) how susceptible we are to visceral appeals (the health of our children)

I'll be back to read more. Both your contributions and those of your readers are food for the brain.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDiane L. Duff

I gave up using Lysol and similar cleaning products when I would suffer what I called "lung shudders" every time it was sprayed in my presence. Imagine my dismay at my MIL's refusal to use anything but the most caustic of chemicals for cleaning her home, a home that was mine also for 4 years. Yes, I lived with my in-laws for 4 years as a newlywed/new mother. Now that we have our own home, replete with spray bottles of vinegar, boxes of baking soda and the occasional green cleaning product (woot Seventh Gen!) I've noticed a most infuriating, maddening and heartbreaking occurrence: My kids go for a sleep over every week end and my ultra-sensitive, allergic to everything and nothing 2 year old comes back with the most horrendous (think gross, gross, gross and dragon like) stuffy/runny nose. Right.

There are times when people not only do not think of the irreparable these products have on little people but also do not think it's important to read the label so they are at least following the rules of safety it proposes. Have you ever noticed that "crime fighting scary bacteria eater" wipes such as Lysol wipes leave a thin film of god knows what on your hands after using them? Yeah, your baby could eat that.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoy

LOL! I think I may be rsvp'd for that. I have this huge problem of just rsvp'ing for every twitter party I come across :) Even if I'm not sure what it's for. I suppose it's some neurotic little need to just type as much as I can as fast as I can :D

Thanks for sharing.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErica

i use benefect to disinfect my household. i clean with all natural cleaners as i stated then spray benefect in the areas where it needs a little more disinfection... it's non chemical and completely non toxic. look it up.
http://www.benefect.com/US_benefect/US_products_disinfectants.php

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAida N

You took the words right out of my mouth. I've been getting this invite and thinking the same thing.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Albin

Then what would they market? ;) Love this article.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDawn in Ohio

Actually, MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant bacteria are caused by poor aseptic and antibiotic practices in hospitals. Disinfectant behaviours in the home have a much more minor effect.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrivqa

Couldn't agree more, you little rabble rouser.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGreta

Thanks for posting this. I completely agree, and generally hate Twitter parties because so many bloggers are so willing to sell their souls for the chance at a gift card or prize. :(

I shared the link to your great post here too: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/All-Natural-Families/123064884403022

Now off to tweet this instead. :)

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia

I agree with everything in this article...EXCEPT that disinfectants are NEVER the answer. EVER.

If a bug is being passed around it is because your family has an immune system/diet problem, not a "germ" problem.

Cut out sugar and wheat and gluten, processed/pasteurized dairy, processed/packaged foods, artificial flavors/colors/preservatives and eat wholesome nutrient dense foods and get sunshine vitamin D. And you wouldn't be passing these illnesses around because your body would be strong enough to not become susceptible.

And for te record 7th generation is NO better. So tired o people promoting them, their products still use SLS and other chemicals and are also watered down and dont work as well as many other TRULY natural brands out there, and recommending "their" disinfectant still perpetuates the myth we need to kill germs the good and the bad ones.

Clean up your body if you are constantly getting sick and let the good and bad germs do why they do best and work on each other.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMomma

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