We’ve all seen claims like “100 per cent natural” or “all-natural ingredients” splashed across a variety of products. Sometimes the word “green” or “organic” may be added as well. But are “green” or “natural” products actually safer to use?
Just because a product is natural, green or organic doesn’t mean it doesn’t have risks. They are still made up of chemicals, just ones produced by nature instead of humans. But nature produces plenty of chemicals that can harm us if we’re exposed to too much of them.
Often, natural ingredients are no different than synthetic ones in how they work or what risks they pose. In fact, a synthetic substance that mimics a natural one can sometimes provide a purer ingredient that can make a product safer for use.
Some tips on how to prevent exposure to chemicals in the home, whether they are natural or not, include:
- Read the label and follow all instructions before use.
- Lock up your chemicals to keep them out of reach of children and pets.
- Dispose of household chemical products the right way. Check with your municipality to learn how and where.
- Ventilate your home.
The Chemicals Management Plan is a Government of Canada initiative aimed at reducing the risks posed by chemicals to our health and the environment. As part of the plan, Health Canada has launched the Healthy Home campaign to provide people with easy-to-understand and useful tips to properly manage chemicals and other environmental hazards around the home. Find more info at canada.ca/healthy-home.