Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I've been studying household bleach for the past week (plus some), and it's turned out to be more complicated than I had originally thought.  As I imagined, using bleach to disinfect is common practice; however, the "greener" crowd sees bleach as a fairly toxic chemical (in excess and when mixed with certain other common substances it certainly is!) that doesn't really belong in our homes.  I haven't found any conclusive scientific studies that look at household use of bleach, and so I'm still thinking and will hopefully have a more thorough discussion up soon.

One interesting line of thought that I've been entertaining is, how important is it to have our homes disinfected?  Clearly the goal of cleaning a home is different than cleaning a hospital or dental office, and perhaps, just maybe, "clean" but not disinfected is best for a home setting. The Hygiene Hypothesis might support this thought too.  I ran across this over at My Two Hats the other day:
"...digging in the dirt may be healthy is the hygiene hypothesis. This theory, bandied about for a number of years now, states that as our environment gets cleaner and cleaner, the way in which our immune system interacts with the environment changes. Because the immune system isn’t challenged in the same way, it may not develop in the same way. The theory suggests that kids who have far fewer exposures to microbes may have higher risk of some diseases, such as asthma and eczema. Of course, this is still a “theory”, and we must approach it with a balanced perspective."
 This is not the first time I've come across this line of thought, and it mostly makes sense to me, but again, I haven't fully looked into it either.

What are your thoughts about using bleach in your homeWhat is important to you to disinfect? The bathroom? Kitchen sink?

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