Let's be honest - some Hong Kong people are germaphobes "git pik". We've lived through SARS, Bird flu, pig flu, and we're waiting in fear for the next big epidemic. Because of this fear overuse of cleaning chemicals is common.
Domestic helpers who do most of the cleaning are exposed to high levels of toxic chemicals. Worse yet, the infants and toddlers in these families are playing on and laying on surfaces that have sprayed and wiped with harsh chemicals.
One mother explained to me that the reason her house must be totally disinfected is because her children suffer from asthma and frequent skin rashes SO any and all dust or allergens must be eliminated. She didn't consider that the cause of her children's difficulties in breathing and their skin problems might lie with the chemicals the helper uses everyday to keep the house clean.
A recent study from Norway found that frequent use of some household cleaning materials is as damaging to the lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes a day.
Overuse of common household cleaners can damage your lungs as much as smoking 20 cigarettes a day! Imagine what these chemicals may be doing to your children whose lungs are still not fully mature. There are many safe alternatives to using harsh chemicals in the home and I urge parents to do some homework and find alternatives that won't threaten the health of our family and those who work for us.
There are many websites dedicated to this topic. Here's one. I hope your home will be both safe and clean...