PO Box 72068 RPO Glenmore Landing Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2V 5H9

#7 Avoid Harsh Household Products

Blue pail filled with cleaning bottle, rags and yellow rubber gloves hanging over the edge.
What’s in your cleaning products?
Image Source: picserver.org

Household neurotoxins?

Many of our common household cleaning products and other household products contain neurotoxins. Choosing carefully when you select cleaners can help reduce your toxic burden (that’s the build up of harmful stuff in your body) that comes from all the stuff we use and live with.

Household cleaners are an essential part of our daily lives, helping us to maintain a clean and healthy living environment. However, many common household cleaning products contain neurotoxins, which can be harmful to our peripheral nervous system. In this blog post, we will discuss the potential dangers of neurotoxic household cleaners and how to reduce your exposure to these harmful chemicals.

So, what are neurotoxins?

Neurotoxins are substances that can interfere with the transfer of signals between nerves.  At the CNA we believe that, over time, exposure to neurotoxins can lead to a build-up of toxins in the body, which can in turn, impact both the nervous system. This can result in a range of neurological symptoms, including peripheral neuropathy2.

There are several household cleaners that can contain neurotoxic chemicals. According to Ethical Consumer, conventional cleaning products can contaminate the air with a mix of carcinogens, hormone disrupters, neurotoxic solvents, and mood-altering chemicals1. Scientists regard household cleaning products as one of the most important sources of indoor pollution and one of the most insidious threats to human health1. Some specific chemicals to look out for in household cleaners include parabens, triclosan, and phthalates1. Parabens are a group of compounds widely used as an antifungal agent, preservative, and antimicrobial. They have been linked to neurotoxicity as well as immunotoxicity and skin irritation1

Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms

Peripheral neuropathy can cause a range of symptoms, including pain, numbness, tingling, and loss of function in the affected limbs. In some cases, exposure to neurotoxic chemicals found in household cleaners can cause toxic neuropathy, a form of peripheral neuropathy that results from exposure to harmful substances2.

How to reduce the risk-find safe choices

To reduce your risk of developing toxic neuropathy from household cleaners, it is important to be aware of the ingredients in the cleaning products you use. As mentioned, many common household cleaners contain neurotoxic chemicals such as parabens, triclosan, and phthalates1

When choosing household cleaners, it is important to look for products that are free from these harmful chemicals. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a list of cleaners that contain ingredients that are safer for human health and the environment3. However, even “safer” cleaners should be used with caution and according to the instructions on the label. Investing in a good pair of rubber gloves can go along way to avoid contamination through the skin.

In Summary

Many common household cleaners contain neurotoxic chemicals that can be harmful to our nervous system. To reduce your risk of developing toxic neuropathy from household cleaners, it is important to be aware of the ingredients in the cleaning products you use and to choose safer alternatives when possible. By taking these simple steps, you can help protect your health and the health of your family.


  1. Toxic Chemicals in Cleaning Products, Ethical Consumer
  2. Toxic Neuropathy, OHSU Brain Institute
  3. US Environmental Protection Agency, Search products that meet the safer choice standard
Share this article

Subscribe to our newsletter

Skip to content