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Communities Against Chemicals

Written by Christina Handley, Glade Run Lake Conservancy Director

Glade Run Lake Conservancy is dedicated to the preservation of Glade Run Lake and its watershed. One major source of water pollution is the synthetic production and use of toxic chemicals in many of the cleaning and personal hygiene products on the market. Over the last few decades, this type of pollution has significantly increased and is a growing concern.

Did you know...

There are more than 700 known ‘dead zones’ in oceans and lakes? Pollution by fertilizers, agrochemicals and sediments are some of the factors most strongly associated with these habitat collapses (Diaz and Rosenberg, 2008, Laffoley and Baxter, 2019).

Every year in the U.S., an average of 1,500 new chemical substances are produced, many containing known toxins harmful to people and the environment (GAO 2019).

Industrial chemicals, including known carcinogens and their residues, have been detected in the blood and tissues of all populations, including the unborn and infants (Mathiesen et al., 2021, Soleman et al., 2020), and in mother’s milk (Hu et al., 2021, van den Berg et al., 2017).

Pollution-related deaths are now around 9–10 million a year compared, for example, with two million deaths from COVID-19 in the first year of the pandemic (WHO 2021).

One in six deaths are due to contamination of air, water, food, homes, workplaces, or consumer goods (Landrigan et al. 2018).

There is increasing evidence in recent decades of cognitive, reproductive, and developmental disorders as well as premature deaths caused by chemical contamination of the human living environment (Diamanti-Kandarakis et al. 2009).

Since 2004, the Stockholm Convention has managed to examine and ban only 26 out of potentially 350,000 synthetic chemicals in existence (Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention 2019).

We are poisoning ourselves every single day by using products that contain harmful toxic chemicals! However, it's not too late to make a change for yourself and our planet.

Making safe cleaning products is simple and inexpensive. Here are a few all-natural recipes:

All Purpose Cleaner

  • 3 cups water

  • 3 tablespoons baking soda

  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar

  • 20 drops of lemon essential oil

Pour all ingredients into a glass spray bottle and shake well. Spray on hard surfaces and wipe clean.

Liquid Laundry Detergent

  • 1 bar of soap

  • 1 cup borax

  • 1 cup of washing soda

  • 2 cups water, additional water

Use a grater to shave the soap. Boil 2 cups of water, turn heat to low, and add the shaved soap. Mix until combined. Remove pot from heat and set aside. Pour borax and washing soda into a 5 gallon bucket and mix. Add soapy water from pot and mix quickly and thoroughly. Add enough water to fill 3/4 of the bucket and continue stirring. Allow mixture to set overnight. Use 1/2 cup for small loads or 1 cup for large loads.

Glass Cleaner

  • 1/4 c. rubbing alcohol

  • 1/4 c. white vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

  • 2 c. warm water

Combine everything in a spray bottle and shake well. Shake well before using, too, as the cornstarch might settle at the bottom.

Dryer Sheets

  • ½ c. white vinegar

  • 20 drops of tea tree essential oil

Cut 100% cotton material into 3” squares (example: old t-shirt) and put into glass or ceramic container. Add white vinegar mixture and soak squares. Add 1-2 square(s) per load.

Weed Killer

  • ½ tsp. dish soap

  • 2 cups white vinegar

Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and spray directly onto weeds.

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