Are Conventional Cleaners Bad for Asthma?

Aunt Fannie Blog


You probably know someone with suffers from asthma. How about a friend or loved one who struggles with allergies or other respiratory sensitivities? Rates of chronic respiratory illness have been on the rise over the last several decades and families are looking for answers as to why. A growing body of research points to conventional cleaning products as one of the major culprits.

The American Lung Association states, “Household cleaning agents that contain potentially harmful substances that contribute to indoor air pollution is wide-reaching and diverse.” They further note that household cleaners can cause dizziness, nausea, allergic reactions, and eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritation and that some can cause cancer.

For many years, a small handful of well-known cleaning brands have dominated supermarket shelves. We have trusted those brands to provide us with safe and healthy products. Until recently, FDA labeling laws have allowed those big brands to manufacture products with very little regulation. They’ve had free reign to create formulas with “proprietary” ingredients. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has found that 1/3 of the substances used in the fragrance industry are toxic. But because the chemical formulas of fragrances are considered trade secrets, companies aren’t required to list their ingredients but merely label them as containing “fragrance.”

Additionally, 70% of the 17,000 chemicals used in conventional cleaners have not been tested for effects on human health – so we don’t even know the potential hazards! 

As consumers have become more educated, the demand for ingredient transparency has grown. Conscious consumers are seeking high quality, traceable products that are safe for our bodies and our homes. Even products using plant-based ingredients (sounds safe, right?) are created when chemists take the plant molecule, ‘break’ it, then add or subtract whatever they like, creating a synthesized chemical unknown evolutionarily to the human body.

Whole ingredients, on the other hand, come as nature intended and are evolutionarily adapted to our bodies (think ancient grains or fermented foods). By using 95%+ whole ingredients in Aunt Fannie’s formulations, our solutions are regarded as the healthier option for our families. And guess what? When ingredients are ‘whole’, they are oftentimes recognized by our body as food. No asthma inhaler here.