Household Chemical Reactions

Toxic Chemicals in the Home:

There are many household chemicals which are very poisonous.  Household chemical reactions are not uncommon, as there are  not only many invisible toxic chemicals in the environment, but those  to be found  in many products you have around the house, from cleaning products to that face cream you smear on your face daily.

There are many household chemicals which could cause reactions: 884 different toxic chemicals have been found in personal care products alone.

Here are some of the most common household chemicals which you would be best to avoid using, whether they be found in cleaners or make-up, or products designed for your baby:


Even if you avoid using products which contain harmful chemicals, it is difficult to avoid contaminating your environment with this chemical, as we shall see. This insidious chemical is found in many products which we use every day in the bathroom or the kitchen. Propylene glycol is used in many toothpastes, face creams, shampoos, conditioners, ice cream, and BABY PRODUCTS.

Propylene glycol  is commonly known as industrial anti-freeze. It is one of the most corrosive chemicals known. It is to be found in the mechanic’s workshop, and sometimes in the garages of the home handy-man, as it is used in brake fluid, degreasers and anti-freeze products .

Petrol stations are the worst place for picking this chemical up, as it gets spilt about when people top up their brake fluid, or use anti-freeze.  Propylene glycol is carried about from place to place very easily, as the greasy quality of anti-freeze and brake fluid makes it easily transferrable. You get a coating of it on the soles of your shoes as you fill up your car with petrol, and walk over to the check-out to pay your bill. The coating on your shoes then  gets transferred to your car floor, and then to  floor of the house when you return home.

This is one very good reason for removing your shoes at the door, before you enter your house, or that of anyone elses.

In a chemical analysis which I read about, it was found that propylene glycol was the most common chemical to be found on the floor of well-trodden public places, such as pubs, or railway stations. It was commonly found in the carpets of most households. You can see how easily propylene glycol can get onto your skin, or onto your food, simply because there is a film of it on the floor of your house which has been  tramped in from the street.

Propyelene glycol, or ‘anti-freeze’ is  known as a humectant, which means that it is capable of attracting water. This is the reason it is used in cosmetics, because it keeps your skin moisturized. This is why it is used in baby products, as it works to ‘protect’ your baby’s skin from nappy rash.

So- there is a danger to health if you regularly  apply  face creams to your skin, or use nappy-rash creams or moisturisers on your baby: you will absorb small amounts of propylene glycol through the pores of the  skin. The stuff then finds places to store itself in the body, most commonly in the liver.

Propylene glycol, or anti-freeze has very bad  side effects.  In my view, this chemical is possibly more to blame  than plastics are, for the many conditions of ill health which afflict so many people today.

Propylene glycol is an  extremely corrosive substance, it eats away at your nervous system, and weakens the walls of the veins, capilliaries and arteries. Breathing the fumes from brake fluid is just about as damaging to your throat and lungs as is smoking. It is extremely irritating to the eyes. It will increase blood pressure and cause heart palpitations. This is because the body sets off alarm bells in order to try and shunt the blood around more quickly in order to rid it of the toxins eroding its pathways. This increases the liklihood of stroke and heart disease.

It has an immediate effect on the pituitary gland, which controls the hormonal production of the various centers in the body’s glandular system. The  result of exposure to propylene glycol – a disfunction of the pituitary gland,  could be the reason so many people have a problem with obesity and depression today.

Remember that whilst  the application of a nappy-rash cream will protect against nappyrash, your baby will be absorbing propylene glycol directly into its body through the pores of the skin. This could cause problems such as anxiety, or excessive crying.  Propylene glycol upsets the digestion and ruins the beneficial bacteria in the bowel. This, alone, can cause a crying baby. This toxin also  causes, from my own experience, breathing problems, asthma-like symptoms,  sinus trouble, ear ache and poor memory.  If you are not the sensitive type which suffers these reactions,  toxic chemicals  in your body are still a potential hazard to your health, as they will lie dormant, building up over time only to take the body by storm later in life:  serious immune deficiency diseases  such as arthritis, osteoporosis,  multiple sclerosis, parkinson’s disease, or cancer could be the outcome.

Some warnings on the use of Propylene glycol state that ‘prolonged and repeated contact with the skin may cause irritation, skin rash, and dermatitis’, however, these are the least of the health concerns regarding propylene glycol, or brake fluid. It is extremely damaging to the immune system and to the nervous system.

A relative of mine who worked as a mechanic for years, changing brake fluid for people as part of his job, became very ill with ‘M.E.’  and acute depression. His immune system shut down completely, and it took several years before he was well enough to work again. His health practitioner blamed it on the brake fluid, the propylene glycol.

Of course, the amounts he was getting splashed onto his skin and onto his clothes was far more than what your baby will absorb through use of a nappy-rash cream. However, this chemical IS absorbed through the skin, and if you use the cream on a daily basis, then your baby’s health will be affected, in the long run. You just cannot tell what a ‘safe’ dose will be. It could cause early cancer in the child’s life, or the child may be prone to arthritis, or multiple sclerosis later in life, if he/she is continually exposed to this, and other, chemicals during its childhood.

It is important to avoid this chemical: avoid those commercial products which contain it, and take measures to avoid  the contamination of your home and environment by removing shoes at the door. Be careful to wash the hands  well after going downtown for petrol, or even shopping.


This is another chemical to watch out for. It is probable that you will have reactions to this household chemical, not realizing where the root of the problem may lie: It is found in many products commonly used about the house. Many cosmetic products: nail varnish, lipsticks, face creams and conditioners, have formaldehyde added, because it is a very convenient and cheap preservative.  It is found in many house paints and varnishes. It is found in many cleaning products, including some soap powders. It is found in some commercial dyes, such as leather-tanning dye, and clothing dyes.

Formaldehyde, like the propylene glycol in brake fluid and other products, is easily absorbed through the pores of the skin.

Formaldehyde is a carcenogen. However, the immediate effect one notices after exposure to this chemical is loss of memory, disorientation and confusion.

I have personal experience with the effects of formaldehyde poiisoning: This chemical was fairly new to the medical profession when I was a girl. It was regarded as the latest wonderful invention, as it  immediately sterilized medical equipment upon contact.  In the 1950’s, when I had my appendix removed after peritonitis, a jar of formaldehyde was kept beside the bed to sterilize the thermometer. The thermometer sat in this fluid day by day, until the nurse came around to take temperatures, at which point the thermometer was simply flicked a few times, then put straight into your mouth. I noticed some alarming and frightening reactions after each thermometer reading: it was obvious the stuff in the jar, which had the most distinctive and sickening smell, was causing a general blanking out of the brain, then  memory loss , disorientation and confusion once my brain ‘came to’ again.

I consider myself lucky: many nurses who used formaldehyde regularly in the 1950’s suffered such  extreme memory loss that they had to give up nursing.

If you use products which contain formaldehyde on a daily basis, you might not  associate your poor memory, or lack of motivation, with the source, because the poisoning will occur gradually, over a period of time.  But there is no doubt about it – formaldehyde directly affects the brain and its memory function. It also causes cancer.

Being a painter of buildings, or boats, is probably the most hazardous of occupations where formldehyde is concerned. But glamorous women who use nail polish all the time are also at great risk of getting cancer, or suffering memory loss in the interim. Formaldehyde is absorbed through the nail tissue on your fingers and toes. This has been proven by doctors who analysed Jacqui Davison’s cancer in the 1980’s:  the source of the cancer had come from the big toe, and the big toes were the only toes which she kept continually painted with nail varnish.


The  American Red Cross did a study in 2008, at the request of the Environmental Working Group.  The blood from the umbilical cord of newborn babies was analysed. These are the facts from a leaflet entitled ‘The Scandal of this Generation’ which was recently  given to me by a promoter of  ‘New-ways’ products:

287 compounds were found which had MILTIPLE toxic effects:

134 were found to cause cancer

151 were found which are known to cause birth defects

154  were found to disrupt hormone production

186 caused infertility

130 were known to affect the immune system

158 were known to be neurotoxins

Even if you do not perceive an immediate reaction from using products with these harmful chemicals in them, it is advisable to avoid them if you want to protect your health and the health of your children in the long term. Below is a list of some of the most common  toxic ingredients  used in household products and cosmetics:

Di-ethanol-amine, used as a foaming agent, reacts with nitrates in babies’ drinking bottles. The chemical forms the compound  NDEA – nitrosodiethanolamine, which has long been recognized as a cancer causing agent. Apparently, in 1980 the FDA announced that about 42% of all cosmetic products were contaminated with this compound.  Germany banned the use  Di-ethanol-amine, which forms DEA/NDEA. Dr Samuel S. Epstein M.D. who wrote the books  ‘The Politics of Cancer’ and ‘Unreasonable Risk’ discusses this ingredient.

Dioxin, Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, PEG-12 (polyethylene glycol-12), Sodium Monofluorophosphate, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, and Sodium Saccharin are other very dangerous chemicals widely used in personal care products, and other household products.