Chemical Free Cleaning

It is no secret that it can be difficult to host a chemical-free and toxin-free lifestyle. We are constantly surrounded by a large range of toxins in the environment, food, personal-care products and cleaning products. Some of them we don't have control over, but most we can take steps to eliminate from our life. 

This class will be focused on supplying you with information needed to help you and your loved ones create a chemical-free and toxin-free environment. I will start by sharing facts with you about why you should make the switch from commercial cleaning products. Then, I will share an action plan to begin using alternative cleaning products in your life. I will share a lot of recipes and DIY ideas that include Young Living essential oils that can drastically reduce your daily toxin exposure. 

It's simple. Do you want to improve your lifestyle? Do you want to provide your family with the healthiest environment possible? 

If you answered yes to either of these questions, this class will provide you with a tool belt of information and a plan of action that you can put into place right away.

I am not a medical professional. The information shared in this class is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any illness, nor is it meant to replace any medical attention or advice. Advice and testimonies are all based on use of Young Living brand of essential oils specifically. Use and application of this information is done solely at your own risk. 

However, I do believe that when you give your body the support it needs, than your body can heal itself. I also believe in creating a chemical-free and toxin-free environment is best for you. 

If you have any questions or need help, please send me an e-mail:

So, let's get started......

Why should you care about making a switch to chemical-free cleaning products? To sum it all up:

Source: Environmental Working Group

Think the government has your back? Think again! 
Just because chemicals are legal doesn't mean they are safe or healthy.

Just because you don't swallow it doesn't mean it doesn't get in...

Toxic chemicals make their way into our bodies in three key ways:
- the lungs (inhalation),
- skin (dermal absorption), and/or
- mouth (ingestion).

Breathing of contaminated air is the most common way that cleaning chemicals enter the body. Less commonly, cleaning chemicals may be swallowed accidentally if food or cigarettes (or hands) are contaminated. 

Regardless of the way the chemical gets into the body, once it is in the body it can do some major damage! The chemical enters the blood stream and can travel to other areas of the body.

"Chemicals are showing up on the front page of newspapers for the same reason that they are showing up in babies. A very weak law that was passed a long time ago and has never since been modernized. It is the Toxic Substances Control Act. The Toxic Substances Control Act grandfathered in 62,000 industrial
chemicals in 1976 and presumed that they were safe. The law does not require any new health or safety studies before a new chemical is allowed onto the market. None. Of the chemicals that come to EPA for approval, 80 percent are approved within just 3 weeks. And in the history of ToSCA, as it is called, only 5 chemicals, only 5 have been banned or restricted. This law is so weak that when the first bush administration tried to ban asbestos it was challenged in court and lost. This is a law that protects polluters. It protects companies. It protects profits. And what we need is a law that protects people and public health. It is a tall order, but we have made big changes before. We have cleaned up industries, we
have cleaned up air, we have cleaned up water but most relevant to tonight, we have cleaned up our blood."
Source: Environmental Working Group

Scary? Yes! Can you make the switch to a chemical-free and toxin-free lifestyle to protect your family? Yes!

Whether or not you currently suffer from asthma, it’s important to understand the respiratory risks associated with exposure to chemicals from cleaning supplies. For current asthma sufferers, various studies have linked exposure to chemicals from cleaning supplies (including “natural” fragrances) to worsening asthma symptoms and increased risk of asthma attacks.

"Beware of cleaning products. While cleaning the home is important and can eliminate triggers such as mold, ingredients in cleaning products can cause asthma and allergy symptoms."

"People with asthma can be exceptionally sensitive to air contaminants, including those in ordinary cleaning products. A 2009 study led by Jonathan Bernstein, a physician and leading asthma and allergy researcher at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, measured worsening symptoms in asthmatic women after they had completed housecleaning tasks (Bernstein 2009).

A growing body of evidence suggests that using cleaning products can also cause asthma to develop in healthy people. A 10-country study of more than 3,500 individuals who were initially free of asthma found that nine years later, those who used spray cleaners at least once a week to clean their homes had a 30-to-50 percent increased risk of developing asthma during the study period (Zock 2007). This association was linked primarily to commonly used spray products such as air fresheners, glass cleaners and furniture cleaning sprays. The risk increased the more often people used sprays or the greater the number of different sprays used. The research team calculated that with the widespread use of spray cleaners and the high level of asthma risk, one in seven cases of adult asthma could be attributed to the use of these products (Zock 2007).

Preliminary findings also suggest that fetal exposure to household cleaning supplies may affect respiratory health. In a series of studies on parents and children, scientists at three British universities determined that children born to women who frequently used cleaning supplies in their homes while pregnant had a higher risk of persistent wheezing and reduced lung function (Sherriff 2005; Henderson 2008). The increased risk of these respiratory symptoms persisted for at least eight years after in utero exposure and was independent of many other indoor air pollutant exposures and potential confounding factors."

How many people suffer from allergies? Sure, there are the commonly known culprits such as pet dander, mold, ragweed, and pollen. But did you know that your cleaning products could also be making you sick?

"Ordinary cleaners can cause some people to suffer mild to severe allergic reactions of the skin, eyes and lungs. In rare cases, these reactions can require hospitalization. Some cleaning products contain chemicals that can trigger an allergy by themselves, while others have ingredients that can combine with proteins to form “haptens” that trigger reactions (Chipinda 2011)."

Don’t think fragrance is a BIG deal? Consider this...

"Fragrances are collectively considered among the top five allergens in the world (de Groot 1997; Jansson 2001). They can also trigger asthma attacks (Norback 1995; Millqvist 1996). Researchers at the Universities of Washington and West Georgia who surveyed everyday Americans’ experiences with fragranced cleaning supplies found that nearly one in five suffered headaches, breathing difficulties or other problems when exposed to air fresheners (Caress 2009). A study led by Alexandra Farrow of Brunel University in the United Kingdom linked air fresheners in the home to higher incidence of diarrhea and earaches in infants and headaches and depression in their mothers (Farrow 2003). A Swiss study published this year found that use of air freshening sprays 4-7 days a week was associated with reduced heart rate variability, a marker of autonomic cardiac dysfunction (Mehta 2012). Because manufacturers routinely refuse to list individual ingredients in fragrances, independent researchers have difficulty conducting targeted studies to identify which fragrance chemicals raise the greatest concern.

Enzymes added to laundry and dishwashing detergents to break down and remove soils and stains have been linked to respiratory allergies in occupational settings. Manufacturers have taken steps to reduce exposure by encapsulating these enzymes, but workplace studies suggest that problems remain. For example, recent studies of factory workers manufacturing detergents by both the Netherlands Expertise Centre for Occupational Respiratory Disorders and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health detected an increased risk of sensitization and respiratory allergy (Vanhanen 2000; van Rooy 2009). Workers with higher exposure to detergent enzymes also had greater symptoms of sneezing, itchy nose, rhinitis and wheezing. Industry-funded studies suggest that ordinary use of household cleaners containing enzymes poses no risk to consumers (Basketter 2010; Sarlo 2010; Weeks 2010)."

There’s a reason many traditional household cleaners include poison control warnings; instruct users to wear gloves, masks, and eye protection; and warn against contact with skin. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to wear a hazmat suit to make sure my house is clean. And what about the surface afterwards? You’re supposed to feel confident that you- and your kids- can eat off it? Touch it? No thanks!

I won’t get into it now, but fortunately, Young Living has some great natural, plant-based cleaning solutions that ACTUALLY WORK and you can feel comfortable using in your home!

I think it is safe to say that we all know someone who has had to fight cancer.

"What are the risks of using cleaning products that contain chemicals that may turn out to be cancer causers? This question hasn’t been studied very often. One recent retrospective study by the Silent Spring Institute that surveyed 1,500 Massachusetts women, half of whom had been diagnosed with breast cancer, suggested a link between using household cleaners and cancer (Zota 2010). Women who reported the greatest use of cleaning products (top 25 percent) were twice as likely to have been diagnosed with breast cancer as those reporting the least use (bottom 25 percent). Higher risk was also associated with frequent use of air fresheners, especially solid ones, and mold- and mildew-control products."

Now...let's take a minute to talk about two of the chemicals that the EWG found many household cleaners may be laced with that are possible, or probable, carcinogens. 

"Formaldehyde (sometimes called formalin). Designated by the U.S. government and World Health Organization as a known human carcinogen, formaldehyde is listed on labels or worker safety documents as an ingredient in dozens of cleaners in the EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning. Formaldehyde may also be generated in cleaning product containers by formaldehyde-releasing preservatives such as bronopol (also known as 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol). In this situation, manufacturers do not add formaldehyde itself to the product, but instead they add preservatives that release formaldehyde in order to kill bacteria and extend the product’s shelf life. EWG’s tests of cleaning products used in California schools detected formaldehyde in Comet, Pine-Sol and Simple Green cleaning products. Formaldehyde vapors have been detected when citrus- and pine-based ingredients mix with ambient ozone inside homes (CARB 2008). Formaldehyde formation is worst on smoggy days, when ozone levels are high.

1,4-Dioxane. Classified as a probable human carcinogen by the EPA, this chemical has been detected in a number of brand-name liquid laundry detergents (Steinman 2010). This substance is an impurity unintentionally formed during industrial processes that make synthetic ingredients such as PEG and polyethylene compounds. Several animal studies have found higher rates of liver tumors in animals exposed to 1,4-dioxane. Studies of occupational exposure have been inconclusive (EPA 2010)."

If this information is causing you to think twice about the cleaning products you use in your home, stick around, this class is perfect for you!

Are you pregnant or planning to become pregnant? If so, it is important to know that the chemicals used in common household cleaners can not only cause harm to you, but also to your unborn child.

"Borax and boric acid. These compounds are used to stabilize enzymes in laundry or dishwashing detergents and borax is a common ingredient in homemade cleaners as well. Sodium perborate, a form of oxygen bleach found in some cleaners, releases sodium borate during the bleach process. The European Union considers them toxic to human reproductive systems (ECHA 2011). Men working in boric acid-producing factories have a greater risk of decreased sperm count and libido. Chronic exposure to high doses of borax or boric acid causes testicular atrophy in male mice, rats and dogs (EPA 2006). Female test subjects show reduced ovulation and fertility at higher doses. Animal studies of high-dose exposures to borax and boric acid have found that they can cross the placenta, affecting fetal skeletal development and birth weight. Risk assessments by U.S. and E.U. agencies have not comprehensively examined exposures from cleaning supplies in relation to other sources of exposure such as pesticides, personal care products, food and water, making it difficult to assess the specific level of risk from borax or boric acid detergents and cleaning supplies (EPA 2006; European Commission 2007; ECHA 2008). Boric acid is a candidate for the E.U.’s list of substances of “very high concern” for which health-protective regulation is a priority (ECHA 2010).

Diethylene glycol monomethyl ether. This solvent is also known as DEGME or methoxydiglycol and is found in a few heavy-duty cleaners and degreasers. The European Union suspects this chemical of damaging fertility or the developing fetus (ECHA 2011) and has essentially banned it in cleaners (EU 2008). Other chemicals in the glycol ether family have been linked to impaired fertility and reproductive and developmental toxicity in animal studies (EPA 2000; NTP 2000). Four are on California's Proposition 65 list of male developmental toxins. Occupational studies indicate that men exposed to glycol ethers on the job are more likely to have reduced sperm counts, and that pregnant women exposed on the job are more likely to give birth to children with birth defects (Cordier 1997; CDHS 2007). These solvents are readily absorbed through the skin or via inhalation and can reach toxic levels in the body.

A 2010 study conducted by the New York State Department of Health that analyzed maternal occupation and 45 types of birth defects indicated that children born to women working as building custodians have a significantly increased risk of certain congenital deformities (Herdt-Losavio 2010). Other occupational studies have highlighted risks of solvent exposure for a group of children born to women working with organic solvents during pregnancy. Some of the children in this category had reduced IQ and language skills (Till 2001; Laslo-Baker 2004) and vision abnormalities (Till 2005). Few studies have probed the reproductive or developmental risks tied to cleaners, a troubling gap in our understanding of the potential effects of long-term exposure to these common consumer products."

So what can you do? Ditch those toxic chemical cleaners.

Did you know that everyday there are accidents involving household cleaners? Severe damage can be caused by cleaners when contact is made with the skin, eyes, or when cleaners are ingested. 

"Many household cleaners can cause severe damage when ingested or splashed directly onto the skin and eyes. Though Americans are aware of the acute toxicity of some cleaning supplies, statistics on hospital visits and poison control calls make clear that accidents with cleaning supplies occur daily.

Cleaning products that are extremely acidic or alkaline or contain corrosive ingredients can cause painful burns to the skin and eyes and permanent tissue damage or scarring. Inhaling fumes from these products can harm the lungs. Cleaning professionals can suffer serious chemical injuries on the job.

A 1999 study found that every year, for example, 6 of every 100 building custodians in Santa Clara County, Calif., experienced chemical-related injuries; 20 percent were serious burns to the eyes or skin (Barron 1999).

A review of records of 94 patients admitted to a hospital burn unit for chemical burns over a 19-year period found that 14 percent were injured at home with ordinary household cleaning products (Wibbenmeyer 1999).

One of the most serious immediate hazards is the formation of high levels of harmful gases when strongly reactive cleaning products are mixed. Bleach-based products pose the greatest hazard. Chloramine gas forms when bleach- and ammonia-based cleaners are mixed. Chlorine gas forms when bleach-based cleaners are mixed with acidic cleaners such as toilet bowl cleaners, rust removers or vinegar.

In 2010, American poison control centers fielded more than 116,000 calls about household cleaner accidents involving children under age five (Bronstein 2011). U.S. emergency room records show that in 2006 alone, 10,318 children under age five required some form of medical treatment as a result of poisoning with household cleaners, and 744 of them had symptoms that were life-threatening or resulted in significant disability (McKenzie 2010).
Bleach was the most common cause of poisoning or injury (McKenzie 2010). Spray bottles of cleaners were the most common means of exposure, involved in 40 percent of the accidents (McKenzie 2010). Although rates of household cleaner-related injuries to children from regular bottles or original containers and kitchenware have decreased in recent decades, spray bottle injury rates remain high (McKenzie 2010). Many common spray cleaners have brightly colored packaging that fascinates inquisitive young children. Parents sometimes neglect to twist the cleaners’ spray nozzles into an “off” position or children reopen closed nozzles.
These injuries are tragic – and unnecessary. There are safer cleaning products on the market that do not risk lasting damage to small explorers."

Chemical free cleaning is one of the reasons, personally, that I fell in love with Young Living products. I know many others who say the same.

Have you considered the impact the chemicals and toxins in your home could have on developmental issues? Children in particular are experiencing increased developmental issues.

"The number of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) has been rising steadily, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now estimate that ASD affects about 1 in 110 children in the U.S. 40 percent of these children have intellectual disabilities, and all suffer from impairments in social interactions. Some also have problems with communication and behavior."

"One thing that has changed dramatically over the last several decades is human exposure to toxic chemicals and metals in the environment. Many of these chemicals and metals are known to affect the developing fetal brain. These include lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), arsenic, cadmium, and manganese.

The developing brain is highly sensitive during the first three months of growth. In children who are susceptible, exposure to a neurotoxic metal or chemical during this window could confer a lasting change in brain structure and function.

The chemicals known to cause harm to the developing fetal and infant brain are part of a larger family of 200 chemicals known from workplace studies to cause neurological harm in humans, according to a review article by Philip J. Landrigan of the Children's Environmental Health Center at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine published in the January, 2010 issue of Current Opinion in Pediatrics. Children are exposed to roughly 3,000 chemicals in personal care products, building materials, cleaning products and motor vehicle fuels, yet fewer than 20 percent of these chemicals have been tested thoroughly to see if they harm the developing brain. "We've created a situation where we are exposing our children and grandchildren every day to new chemicals that didn't exist [until recently]," says Landrigan. "We've never tested them, and we don't have a clue what these chemicals do to early development."

Obesity plagues America, right? Most people have tried dieting, but just gain it all back. You've tried exercising, but lack of energy or waning results disheartened you and shed away your motivation to continue. Consider this: you are fighting an uphill battle...against toxic chemicals. 

"Your body’s ability to process trash, including toxic trash, is a pervasive factor in your ability to lose weight and reach a healthy goal weight. Struggling with this issue activates backup strategies for dealing with toxic overload, which include expanding the number of fat cells and stuffing them with toxins as well as fat. This is likely done to get the toxic trash out of your circulation and away from key organs. It causes easy weight gain and complicates weight loss because your body does not easily give up the toxic fat it has stored."

"A variety of reasons toxins pose a major challenge to weight loss. A person who has too many toxins to process will make new fat cells and store those toxins along with fat in them. This is first a form of self-defense against being poisoned, and second, a strategy to get toxins out of the circulation and away from major organs. This means that some people will not be able to lose any weight at all, regardless of how little they eat, until the acute nature of their plumbing problems are addressed.
It is very clear that these toxins are released back into the circulation during weight loss. This is especially the case during significant weight loss26. During a weight loss of 12 percent of body weight toxins in the blood increased 23 percent - 51 percent, with the heaviest individuals releasing the most toxins27. Over a one year period of weight loss toxic exposure ranged up to a whopping 388 percent. Scientists have shown that such toxins can interfere with thyroid hormone28 function during weight loss.  Human data shows that as the toxins go up in the blood during weight loss the levels of biologically active thyroid hormone (T3)29 go down. This data means that your plumbing and detoxification systems must be in good working condition for healthy weight loss – or possibly even to engage weight loss."

It all makes sense now, doesn't it? Your light bulb just lit up.

So what do you do? 

1. Cleanse/detox: In order to get those toxins out, we need to do a cleanse and detox to help our bodies break down those toxins and flush them out of our bodies. I'm not going to talk about this today, but you can check out Young Living's 5-Day Nutritive Cleanse, if you are looking for a head start. It is a good rule of thumb to do a cleanse 2-4 times per year.

2. Minimize Future Exposure: Get rid of as many of the toxins around you as possible. This includes cleaning products, as well as other toxic products in your personal care regimen and even your diet. If it ain't natural, kick it to the curb. 

Check out these awesome graphics below that help explain what dieting, over exercising and cleansing do to your body. The second graphic explains the formation of cellulite. Great resources!

Feeling empowered to get healthy yet? Oh yeah!

Next, in the class you will learn about the most common harmful toxins in commercial cleaning products. 

"Tetrachloroethylene (AKA Perchloroethylene or "Perc") is a manufactured chemical used for dry cleaning and metal degreasing." 

"High concentrations of tetrachloroethylene (particularly in closed, poorly ventilated areas) can cause dizziness, headache, sleepiness, confusion, nausea, difficulty in speaking and walking, unconsciousness, and death. Irritation may result from repeated or extended skin contact with it. These symptoms occur almost entirely in work (or hobby) environments when people have been accidentally exposed to high concentrations or have intentionally used tetrachloroethylene to get a “high.”

"The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that tetrachloroethylene may reasonably be anticipated to be a carcinogen. Tetrachloroethylene has been shown to cause liver tumors in mice and kidney tumors in male rats."

"2-butoxyethanol (or ethylene glycol monobutyl ether) and other glycol ethers. 2-butoxyethanol is a widely-used cleaning solvent that: causes anemia by damaging red blood cells, creates air pollution that exceeds workplace limits, is linked to impaired fertility and reproductive and developmental toxicity, and (just to really make the case) EPA considers it a possible human carcinogen."
Source: EWG

"Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break. They are often called plasticizers. Some phthalates are used as solvents (dissolving agents) for other materials. They are used in hundreds of products, such as vinyl flooring, adhesives, detergents, lubricating oils, automotive plastics, plastic clothes (raincoats), and personal-care products (soaps, shampoos, hair sprays, and nail polishes). 
Phthalates are used widely in polyvinyl chloride plastics, which are used to make products such as plastic packaging film and sheets, garden hoses, inflatable toys, blood-storage containers, medical tubing, and some children's toys.
People are exposed to phthalates by eating and drinking foods that have been in contact with containers and products containing phthalates. To a lesser extent exposure can occur from breathing in air that contains phthalate vapors or dust contaminated with phthalate particles. Young children may have a greater risk of being exposed to phthalate particles in dust than adults because of their hand-to-mouth behaviors. Once phthalates enter a person's body, they are converted into breakdown products (metabolites) that pass out quickly in urine.
Human health effects from exposure to low levels of phthalates are unknown. Some types of phthalates have affected the reproductive system of laboratory animals. More research is needed to assess the human health effects of exposure to phthalates.
In the Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals (Fourth Report), CDC scientists measured 13 phthalate metabolites in the urine of 2,636 or more participants aged six years and older who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) during 2003–2004. For several phthalate metabolites, results from the prior survey periods of 1999–2000 and 2001–2002 are also included in the Fourth Report. By measuring phthalate metabolites in urine, scientists can estimate the amount of phthalates that have entered people's bodies.
  • CDC researchers found measurable levels of many phthalate metabolites in the general population. This finding indicates that phthalate exposure is widespread in the U.S. population.
  • Research has found that adult women have higher levels of urinary metabolites than men for those phthalates that are used in soaps, body washes, shampoos, cosmetics, and similar personal care products.
Finding a detectable amount of phthalate metabolites in urine does not imply that the levels of one or more will cause an adverse health effect. Biomonitoring studies on levels of phthalate metabolites provide physicians and public health officials with reference values so that they can determine whether people have been exposed to higher levels of these chemicals than are found in the general population. Biomonitoring data can also help scientists plan and conduct research on exposure and health effects."

Source: CDC website

"Chlorine is one of the most commonly manufactured chemicals in the United States. Its most important use is as a bleach in the manufacture of paper and cloth, but it is also used to make pesticides (insect killers), rubber, and solvents. Chlorine is used in drinking water and swimming pool water to kill harmful bacteria. It is also as used as part of the sanitation process for industrial waste and sewage. Household chlorine bleach can release chlorine gas if it is mixed with certain other cleaning agents. Chlorine was used during World War I as a choking (pulmonary) agent. "

"People’s risk for exposure depends on how close they are to the place where the chlorine was released. If chlorine gas is released into the air, people may be exposed through skin contact or eye contact. They also may be exposed by breathing air that contains chlorine. If chlorine liquid is released into water, people may be exposed by touching or drinking water that contains chlorine. 
If chlorine liquid comes into contact with food, people may be exposed by eating the contaminated food. Chlorine gas is heavier than air, so it would settle in low-lying areas. "

"The extent of poisoning caused by chlorine depends on the amount of chlorine a person is exposed to, how the person was exposed, and the length of time of the exposure. When chlorine gas comes into contact with moist tissues such as the eyes, throat, and lungs, an acid is produced that can damage these tissues.

"During or immediately after exposure to dangerous concentrations of chlorine, the following signs and symptoms may develop:blurred vision, burning pain, redness, and blisters on the skin if exposed to gas. Skin injuries similar to frostbite can occur if it is exposed to liquid chlorine. Burning sensation in the nose, throat, and eyes. CoughingChest tightnessDifficulty breathing or shortness of breath. These may appear immediately if high concentrations of chlorine gas are inhaled, or they may be delayed if low concentrations of chlorine gas are inhaled. Fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) that may be delayed for a few hours. Nausea and vomiting. Watery eyes. Wheezing. Showing these signs or symptoms does not necessarily mean that a person has been exposed to chlorine. "

"Long-term complications may occur after breathing in high concentrations of chlorine. Complications are more likely to be seen in people who develop severe health problems such as fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) following the initial exposure."
Source: CDC website

"Ammonia is one of the most commonly produced industrial chemicals in the United States. It is used in industry and commerce, and also exists naturally in humans and in the environment. Ammonia is essential for many biological processes and serves as a precursor for amino acid and nucleotide synthesis. In the environment, ammonia is part of the nitrogen cycle and is produced in soil from bacterial processes. Ammonia is also produced naturally from decomposition of organic matter, including plants, animals and animal wastes.
Some chemical/physical properties of ammonia are:
  • At room temperature, ammonia is a colorless, highly irritating gas with a pungent, suffocating odor.
  • In pure form, it is known as anhydrous ammonia and is hygroscopic (readily absorbs moisture).
  • Ammonia has alkaline properties and is corrosive.
  • Ammonia gas dissolves easily in water to form ammonium hydroxide, a caustic solution and weak base.
  • Ammonia gas is easily compressed and forms a clear liquid under pressure.
  • Ammonia is usually shipped as a compressed liquid in steel containers.
  • Ammonia is not highly flammable, but containers of ammonia may explode when exposed to high heat.

How is ammonia used?

About 80% of the ammonia produced by industry is used in agriculture as fertilizer. Ammonia is also used as a refrigerant gas, for purification of water supplies, and in the manufacture of plastics, explosives, textiles, pesticides, dyes and other chemicals. It is found in many household and industrial-strength cleaning solutions. Household ammonia cleaning solutions are manufactured by adding ammonia gas to water and can be between 5 and 10% ammonia. Ammonia solutions for industrial use may be concentrations of 25% or higher and are corrosive.

How can people be exposed to ammonia?

Most people are exposed to ammonia from inhalation of the gas or vapors. Since ammonia exists naturally and is also present in cleaning products, exposure may occur from these sources. The widespread use of ammonia on farms and in industrial and commercial locations also means that exposure can occur from an accidental release or from a deliberate terrorist attack.
Anhydrous ammonia gas is lighter than air and will rise, so that generally it dissipates and does not settle in low-lying areas. However, in the presence of moisture (such as high relative humidity), the liquefied anhydrous ammonia gas forms vapors that are heavier than air. These vapors may spread along the ground or into low-lying areas with poor airflow where people may become exposed.

What is ammonia’s mechanism of action?

Ammonia interacts immediately upon contact with available moisture in the skin, eyes, oral cavity, respiratory tract, and particularly mucous surfaces to form the very caustic ammonium hydroxide. Ammonium hydroxide causes the necrosis of tissues through disruption of cell membrane lipids (saponification) leading to cellular destruction. As cell proteins break down, water is extracted, resulting in an inflammatory response that causes further damage.

What are the immediate health effects of ammonia exposure?

Inhalation: Ammonia is irritating and corrosive. Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia in air causes immediate burning of the nose, throat and respiratory tract. This can cause bronchiolar and alveolar edema, and airway destruction resulting in respiratory distress or failure. Inhalation of lower concentrations can cause coughing, and nose and throat irritation. Ammonia's odor provides adequate early warning of its presence, but ammonia also causes olfactory fatigue or adaptation, reducing awareness of one's prolonged exposure at low concentrations.
Children exposed to the same concentrations of ammonia vapor as adults may receive a larger dose because they have greater lung surface area-to-body weight ratios and increased minute volumes-to-weight ratios. In addition, they may be exposed to higher concentrations than adults in the same location because of their shorter height and the higher concentrations of ammonia vapor initially found near the ground.
Skin or eye contact: Exposure to low concentrations of ammonia in air or solution may produce rapid skin or eye irritation. Higher concentrations of ammonia may cause severe injury and burns. Contact with concentrated ammonia solutions such as industrial cleaners may cause corrosive injury including skin burns, permanent eye damage or blindness. The full extent of eye injury may not be apparent for up to a week after the exposure. Contact with liquefied ammonia can also cause frostbite injury.
Ingestion: Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia from swallowing ammonia solution results in corrosive damage to the mouth, throat and stomach. Ingestion of ammonia does not normally result in systemic poisoning."

"EPA has approved triclosan for use in 20 pesticide formulations applied to consumer products from credit cards and countertops to baby bibs and blankets. In a callous and unjustified abuse of federal pesticide law, EPA failed to consider the safety of babies' and children's exposure to triclosan in breast milk, mattresses, sleepers, blankets, bibs, toys, house dust, diaper cream, and other potential sources when approving these uses.
Triclosan persists in the environment, breaks down into substances highly toxic to wildlife, pollutes the human body, and poses health risks that are barely studied and poorly understood. Because triclosan has been proven ineffective, and EPA has failed to assess its safety for children, we recommend:
  • A ban on triclosan in personal care products and any other products used at home, in line with the conclusion of the American Medical Association that common antimicrobials for which resistance has been demonstrated should "be discontinued in consumer products unless data emerge that conclusively show that such resistance has no effect on public health and that such products are effective at preventing infection."
  • For remaining non-consumer uses, EPA must fully assess the safety of triclosan and its breakdown products for the fetus, infant, child, and other vulnerable populations.
  • Consumers should avoid the use of triclosan-laden products whenever possible.
  • Manufacturers should curtail their use of this toxic, persistent chemical in consumer products, voluntarily in advance of mandatory restrictions."

Source: EWG

"The main reason to avoid anti-bacterial soaps is its active ingredient: triclosan (and the related triclocarbon). Triclosan is an anti-bacterial chemical found in many consumer products, and it's nearly ubiquitous in liquid hand soap. It is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity, and even low levels of triclosan may disrupt thyroid function. Further, the American Medical Association recommends that triclosan not be used in the home, as it may encourage bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
It also affects the natural environment. Wastewater treatment does not remove all of the chemical, which means it ends up in our lakes, rivers and water sources. That's especially unfortunate since triclosan is very toxic to aquatic life."
Source: EWG

"The most common antibacterial agents in cleaning wipes are called "quats" (short for quaternary ammonium compounds) and include such chemical mouthfuls as alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride and benzalkonium chloride. Of course, difficult pronunciation does not necessarily equal danger, but in this case we are talking about pesticides that are certainly toxic to bacteria and can affect human health, too.

The American Medical Association discourages the use of antibacterial agents in consumer products because they may encourage the development of "superbugs" - antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Quat-resistant bacteria have been detected in homes routinely cleaned with antibacterial products. These bacteria were also resistant to a number of other important antibiotics, suggesting that regular exposure to quats could create microorganisms difficult or impossible to control with today's antibiotic arsenal.
The Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, a leading international authority on asthma, considers these chemicals to be "asthmagens," - substances that can cause asthma to develop in otherwise healthy people. With asthma now affecting nearly one in ten children in the U.S., it makes sense to avoid unnecessary exposures to asthma-causing chemicals, especially for kids."
Source: EWG

Most people are familiar with formaldehyde from the glory days of dissecting frogs or cats in high school biology. That pungent smell will forever be ingrained into your head!

Well, did you know that formaldehyde is also a very common toxin that pollutes the air in almost every American home? 

"At room temperature, formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas that has a distinct, pungent smell. It is also known as methanal, methylene oxide, oxymethyline, methylaldehyde, and oxomethane. Formaldehyde is naturally produced in small amounts in our bodies. It is used in the production of fertilizer, paper, plywood, and urea-formaldehyde resins. It is also used as a preservative in some foods and in many products used around the house, such as antiseptics, medicines, and cosmetics."

Source: CDC

Also, recent news links formaldehyde with ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. You may remember ALS from the Ice Bucket Challenge. Read more about this new link here:…/study-strengthens-formaldehyde-lin…

For a list of products with formaldehyde in it:…

A note about air fresheners: Though not listed on the label, formaldehyde is a major concern when it comes to synthetic air fresheners. Why? Compounds inside react with oxygen to form formaldehyde.

So, I've quite possibly scared your pants off about all of these nasty toxins that are in our cleaning products. But where do you go from here?

The answer: GO NATURAL!!

It's time for you to throw out those toxins for safe alternatives. 

Now, I know what most of you are thinking right now. Where will I find the time to make natural cleaning products? Well, just like you I spend my days running around with my busy children. Trust me...I hear you and have created a solution that will work within any schedule. 

For the rest of the class, I am going to share with you DIY recipes you can use to create a chemical-free and toxin-free home. Here is the time saver...I have created a weekly plan for you to replace a few products a week in your home. When you are done, you will have a chemical-free home that was easy and hassle free to establish. I have done all of the prep work for you. You will be provided with shopping lists, recipes, and instructions for how to use all of the products in your home. 

First, let's talk about essential oils. 

Each plant carries its own unique essential oil that acts as its defense. These same properties are very beneficial to our bodies as well. They support our immune health, help to elevate our mood, and assist in balancing our body systems. 

These oils pack a powerful punch when used in our cleaning products. Just a small amount can exponentially increase the cleaning power of other natural cleaning agents.

Pretty cool, huh?

All essential oils are not the same. There are many, many factors that go into a pure therapeutic essential oil. This is important because impure essential oils can be less effective and depending on what the impurities are, can actually be harmful and toxic. 

Think of it this way... 

If it takes 10,000 roses to make a 5mL bottle of pure, therapeutic-grade Rose essential oil, does it make sense that you could buy a bottle from your neighborhood health food store for $10? That rose oil is not pure. (Note: The wording on cosmetics is not regulated or policed, so companies can claim purity all they want with absolutely false claim). Don't forget why you are making the switch to chemical free cleaning... 
My ending goal for this class is to make this transition to chemical-free cleaning as easy and fun as possible for you. I want you to walk away from this class feeling empowered with the know how to create the healthiest environment in your home right away.

When you are preparing to make the switch to chemical-free cleaning, there are a few items that I would recommend that you purchase to get yourself started. 

*Thieves Household Cleaner
*baking soda
*white distilled vinegar
*Castile soap (we recommend liquid)
*hydrogen peroxide
*super washing soda

*coconut oil
*olive oil

In addition, these are my favorite Young Living essential oils to help make and maintain a chemical-free home:

*Tea Tree

*Citrus Fresh


What sorts of containers will you need? This exact list will depend on what you are making, but here are some ideas. You can find these at your local dollar store,  

*spray bottles
*open mouth containers/sugar containers
*baby wipe containers

*washable cloths

You can save a few dollars and help the environment by repurposing your old glass containers like this picture below.

Before my essential oil journey began I mistakenly thought essential oils were just fragrances that smelled good. Once I did more research on the benefits of inhaling unadulterated, pure, therapeutic grade essential oils I was floored! Not only can diffusing benefit me but it can benefit my whole household. 

Diffusers disperse essential oils as a fine vapor throughout the air. When inhaling, it takes 22 seconds for oils to reach your brain. the limbic system is affected the most when oils are used aromatically because the only way to reach this system is through smell. The limbic system is the center for memory and emotion. Using a diffuser, is a great way to inhale oils, purify the air, and is great for respiratory support. Having multiple diffusers in your home is always a plus!!

My favorite chemical free cleaner is Thieves Household Cleaner from Young Living. It comes concentrated and can be used in so many recipes to clean your home safely. Check out the graphic below!

This recipe is super simple to make and is very cost effective. I currently have several of these spray bottles around my house. All you need is the Thieves Household Cleaner (concentrated bottle), a spray bottle, and water, and you are good to go! This is approximately a 30:1 ratio (30 parts water to 1 part concentrated cleaner), so that one bottle lasts forever. Check out the graphic below to see the actual breakdown of cost.

I bet you never thought Young Living could actually help you SAVE money while providing you with powerful products that are non-toxic and support the immune system. This concentrated Thieves Household Cleaner can clean your counter tops, floors, bathtubs, sinks, windows, mirrors, dishes, laundry, etc. The list truly goes on...even fruits & veggies! This cleaner has replaced so many household cleaners in my home. ONE bottle of cleaner with over 20+ uses that's non-toxic AND saves you money. You can't beat that!

Some of you might be asking, what can I do in the meantime to prepare? I would suggest placing an order to purchase the Young Living essential oils suggested above. I would be happy to assist you in placing a order for your essential oils. Please send me a message letting me know you need some assistance. 

I hope this chemical free cleaning class has helped you understand the importance of switching to chemical free cleaning. Please e-mail me at if you have any questions. 


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