Keep Spring Cleaning Safe this Year with Advice from Georgia Physician Assistants

Avoid unintentional exposure to toxins in cleaning supplies and store them safely to keep them out of the reach of children.

Online PR News – 08-April-2010 – – (Atlanta, GA) – With warmer weather finally in Georgia to stay, many people are turning their thoughts to “spring cleaning.” However, some cleaning practices can be harmful. The Georgia Association of Physician Assistants encourages Georgians to practice safe cleaning this spring.

“A lot of cleaning supplies contain toxins,” said Ben Taylor, PA-C, PhD. Taylor is the public education chair for GAPA. “Unintentional exposure to these toxins can be harmful – preliminary studies show that these toxic chemicals could be the cause of several cancers.” Taylor also said that breathing in chemicals could cause harm to lungs, and even possible brain damage.

To avoid any potential harmful side effects, Taylor suggests the following:

• Don’t mix cleaning products. Many cleaning products mixed together will cause a chemical reaction that could lead to poisonous fumes. “It’s more than just feeling a little lightheaded from the fumes,” Taylor warned. “Mixing cleaning products can lead to brain damage or death.”
• Go natural. You can avoid a lot of these concerns by keeping a supply of household staples, such as vinegar, baking soda and rubbing alcohol on hand for cleaning. “The best cleanser is usually soapy, hot water,” Taylor suggests. “Start with the mildest cleanser for whatever area you are cleaning.”
• Keep children out of the way. Fumes can be even more dangerous to children, particularly babies and toddlers. “Schedule your heavy cleaning for when they are napping, or even better, out of the house altogether,” Taylor said.
• Read the label. “Products with ‘caution’ on the label are much less poisonous than labels that read ‘danger’ or ‘poison,’” Taylor stated. “Also, the label will tell you what surfaces to use the cleanser on, and whether it’s safe or not to mix with anything else.”
• Store safely! “Anyone with children knows that they can get into anything in a split second,” Taylor said. “All it takes is the blink of an eye for something potentially catastrophic to happen.” Taylor advises his patients to keep cleaning solutions in a locked cabinet out of reach of children.

“If accidental ingestion or inhalation occurs, call the Poison Control Center immediately,” said Taylor. (The Center’s hotline is 800-222-1222.) “With a little bit of precaution, you and your family can enjoy a clean, safe home – just in time for the summer months!”

It is the mission of the Georgia Association of Physician Assistants to promote high quality, cost-effective, accessible health care as part of a physician-directed PA/physician team in Georgia. To learn more health tips or how PAs make health care more affordable and accessible in Georgia, please visit and click on “Patients.”


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