With little ones around, you probably feel like your home could always be a little (or a lot) cleaner. However, you may want to hold off on using bleach as part of your weekly cleaning routine. A recent study involving 9,000 families with children ages 6-12 in Spain, the Netherlands, and Finland, linked frequent use of bleach with an increase in illnesses such as tonsillitis (35%), the flu (20%), and recurrent infection risk (18%) for the children. The study was a passive, observational one, meaning that the research was based on asking families about bleach usage and the number and frequency of family illnesses and was NOT based on telling them whether to use or abstain from bleach. Based on the findings, the scientists believe that the chemicals in bleach may damage lung cells, triggering inflammation and lowering the immune system’s ability to fight off infections. While bleach has been demonstrated to be effective in killing certain viruses and bacteria, there are plenty of natural ways to clean your home that are often less expensive and healthier for the whole family as well as the environment.

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