The Precautionary Principle: Err on the side of Caution.
What is the Precautionary Principle?
Manufacturers will never stop selling chemical cleaners because it is too big of an industry. There will always be that convenient cleaning aisle in every grocery and department store. You will always be lured to the fragrant scents persuading you to keep your home “clean.”
I want to share a Revolutionary Idea with you – something for you to carry in the back of your mind that will enable you to confidently walk past that chemical aisle to better your health and the environment:
The Precautionary Principle States:
· When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken over if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.
This is a REVOLUTIONARY approach to protect our health and the environment! You have the power to control what you are exposed to given reliable information to help you make an informed decision.
This idea sounds very simplistic but it breathes life into the dormant areas of our minds that have never questioned household cleaners.
My son Austin loves Taylor Swift. He knows all of her songs and one song in particular caught my attention as I heard him singing along. It gave me a little inspiration to continue in my journey of Natural Cleaning.
I believe the context of this video can be shaped to include anything revolutionary, including the precautionary principle.
Taylor Swift Change
Proper testing of chemicals and complete labels should have to be disclosed, like a map, in order for us to stay clear of an explosion of health issues that are plaguing our generation. We are running recklessly through a chemical minefield, except we don’t know what is going to pop up and try to destroy us.
I have decided to stop using conventional cleaning products altogether in my home not because it has/is/ or will hurt my family's health, but because I don’t know. I think the decision to stop using synthetic chemical cleaners and to follow the precautionary principle is the most important decisions you will ever make for the health of your family and the safety of your home.
What I do know is that my Natural Cleaners made with Natural Ingredients are effective, biodegradable and act as a map that leads to the Road to Recovery for future generations. I have empowered myself through the precautionary principle to keep my home free of dirt and toxins and now you can be empowered too!
“We’re not going to run through this minefield until we have a map”
In my endeavor to dissect Natural Cleaning, Benefits of switching from Chemical Cleaners and learning how to effectively Clean Naturally, I discovered something ‘new’ in every resource I encountered. How nice it would be if someone would just had all of these new findings, ideas and tips in one place I thought one day. It would have saved me so much time!
Here are some neat things I found:
As I was flicking though some old textbooks from a Women’s Studies course, that I was about to put it in the recycle bin, I saw a heading titled “The Precautionary Principle.” I was intrigued and sat and read the chapter titled “Cancer,” which was covered in notes in my handwriting. To summarize, the chapter discusses Cancer in women and how Cancer research is based on the biomedical model:
· a belief system that determines how we think about disease, its causes and its remedies.
· This model stresses cures over prevention and biological causes over social ones.
· For example, in terms of breast cancer, mammograms are thought to be a “preventative measure.” However this is a misrepresentation because they are more of a “secondary prevention” because a mammogram does not prevent cancer – it allows for early detection of cancer and a more effective treatment for people who already have the disease. It is a part of the cure – not prevention.
“We are losing the war on cancer because we are fighting the wrong enemies”
· Real prevention has to stop cancer before it starts.
Chemical Cleaners and the Impact on our Health from Precautionary Principle
This chapter led me to this article, “Chlorine, Human Health, and the Environment – The Breast Cancer Warning” Chlorine, Human Health and the Environment
To summarize this article:
· Organochlorines, industrial chemicals made from chlorine and carbon-based organic matter could be a carcinogen that is widespread, bioaccumulative in our bodies and a pollutant in the environment.
· This class of chemicals are highly toxic even in small exposures, in which a slew of health issues may arise.
· Interestingly, the article claims organochlorines are PREVENTABLE!!! This is because alternatives are available now for all major uses of chlorine.
· Link to natural alternative to chlorine bleach.
This article claims: evidence of environmental causes of cancer suggests the possibility of prevention, if we could stop the production of hazardous chemicals. We all live downstream from toxic wastes dumped into the environment, and that to end cancer we need to go upstream and stop the pollution that is poisoning our lives.
Our system: Innocent until proven guilty. Selling a certain chemical is okay until someone can prove they’re actually not.
Not only will the Precautionary Principle better our health it will also benefit our environment:
· According to the Seventh Generation Company “If every household in the United States replaced just one 32 oz bottle of solvent-based glass and surface cleaner with a solvent free product, it would prevent 11 million pounds of Volatile Organic Compounds from being released into the environment.”
This gives me hope that every individual action will make a difference to our lives and the Earth.
· In Europe, toxicologists are followers of the Precautionary Principle – it is better to be safe than sorry. If there is potential human toxicity, it is banned.
· Canada and the US require conclusive evidence that people exposed to that chemical will be harmed before banning.
· Far more chemicals are deemed “safe” in these countries than in Europe.
What Can I do?
I have the power to control what enters my home.
We will be empowered to know there are alternatives to petroleum. When we have, hold and value this knowledge we will make choices that force demand for petroleum based products to go down and force manufacturers and corporations to stop making products containing potentially harmful chemicals and instead use natural ingredients.
So the next time you venture down that seemingly pleasant cleaning aisle remember:
1. Chemicals are not listed on all labels. If a label is incomplete you want to keep shopping.
2. Don’t be fooled by the commercialism – there are very intelligent people designing the appearance to appeal to your senses resulting in a purchase.
3. You do have options. Look for products made from Natural Ingredients.
Let Modern Betty help you get “Back to the Basics” and Simplify your Life, Naturally.