I saw that a Twitter mom's group is hosting a Lysol Twitter Party complete with gift certificates for Lysol. Excited moms are RSVPing with messages like "Wooohooo!" and "I wouldn't miss it" but what they are missing is that disinfectants like Lysol are associated with health problems, some more chronic and serious than the colds and viruses they are trying to eliminate by using Lysol in the first place.
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.
One report found that Lysol contains alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, a pesticide that can irritate respiratory function and toxic ingredient benzalkonium chloride which has been linked to asthma.: Denatured ethanol is another respiratory irritant found in Lysol. According to Dr. Virginia Salares, an indoor air quality expert, overexposure to ethanol can cause irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes and may cause central nervous system depression. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services lists diethylene glycol monobutyl ether as an ingredient in Lysol. This chemical can cause liver, kidney and blood-related health issues in animals when ingested or exposed to in high amounts. Labels on Lysol clearly state to avoid inducing vomiting and seek medical attention or call Poison Control in the case of ingestion. Furthermore, studies show that the overuse of disinfectants may contribute to the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which some scientists say could leave the public with fewer tools in the fight against infectious diseases.
So what's a safer alternative? Use vinegar! Numerous studies have show that plain white vinegar, the kind you can buy in any grocery store, kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of viruses. To make a disinfectant spray to kill germs simply pour some white distilled vinegar into a clean spray bottle. Spray it on undiluted, and don’t rinse. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, add a few drops of an antibacterial essential oil such as tea tree, lavender or thyme.