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Lougheed Town Centre Optometry and Optical in Burnaby, BC
Located in Burnaby, BC
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Lougheed Town Centre Optical in Burnaby, BC
Home » What's New » What’s in Your Household Cleaning Supplies?

What’s in Your Household Cleaning Supplies?

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Most of us have the basics: bleach, oven cleaner, air freshener, furniture polish, and window spray. Did you know that chemicals found in these kinds of cleaning products can be toxic and harmful to your health? In small amounts, they generally don’t cause much damage. But when used on a regular basis or in a poorly ventilated area, the level of toxicity rises.

If you’ve ever gotten a headache or developed watery eyes after scrubbing down your kitchen counters, you may have a sensitivity to the chemicals in your household products.

That Burns

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs, are gases that are released into the atmosphere, usually from burning fuel sources like wood or gasoline. They can also be found in many household products such as degreasers, aerosol sprays, and disinfectants. These gases are released not only during use, but also when kept in storage or transported between locations.

VOCs are generally less harmful when released outdoors, as the gases are absorbed into the atmosphere. However, in an indoor environment, the gases have 10 times the concentration!

People may come into contact with these compounds by breathing them in or through direct contact with their skin, which can lead to any of the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Respiratory problems
  • Nausea
  • Impaired coordination (ie. difficulty walking straight, buttoning a shirt, or holding a pen)
  • Eye problems (ie. itching, burning, redness, or soreness in the eyes)

Other Chemical Irritants

Chemicals like sodium hydroxide can be found in oven and drain cleaners. Air fresheners and leather cleaners may contain formaldehyde, which in high amounts, has been linked to certain types of cancer. Even laundry detergents and stain removers can contain irritants.

If you’ve been exposed to these types of chemicals, you may experience trouble breathing, irritation in the eyes, nose or throat, or develop a skin rash. So, use extra caution when handling these kinds of cleaning supplies.

If your job exposes you to higher levels of chemicals from cleaning products, such as janitorial staff or sanitation workers, artificial tears and protective eyewear can help. Use them daily to give you relief from chemical agents that irritate the eyes. Ask your optometrist about which types are best for you.

Immediate Eye Care

Should your eyes come into contact with chemical substances or VOCs, immediately irrigate your eyes with plenty of cold water. Tilt your head so that the exposed eye is down, to avoid flushing the chemical into the good eye, and avoid rubbing your eyes. Rinse your eyes for 15 minutes - this will flush acidic or alkaline chemicals out of the affected areas. This should be your first line of defense, even before calling a doctor. 

If you have saline solution or contact lens solution readily on hand (non-peroxide only), administer several drops of solution to the affected eyes. Contact your eye doctor or, if need be, visit an emergency room. Chemical burns can cause serious damage to the cornea, so schedule a checkup with your eye doctor as soon as possible.

5 Ways to Lower Your Risk of Chemical Exposure

Despite the potential harm to your health, there are some things you can do to minimize over exposure to these dangerous chemicals.

1. Wash Your Hands

Our mothers always said it, and with good reason. The #1 way to lower your risk of health issues from chemicals is to wash your hands after handling cleaning products. Use warm water and soap and be sure to wash the hands thoroughly, even if you used gloves. Consider washing to your upper arms in case of a splash or splatter, such as from paint or aerosol sprays. 

2. Don’t Rub Your Eyes

Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes until your hands have been completely washed and are clear of any lingering chemical substances. Even a little foreign substance in the eye can be incredibly painful. If you’ve ever had an eyelash stuck in your eye, you know what we mean. So just imagine how severe the pain could be if you accidentally touched your eye after contact with bleach or glass cleaner.

3. Go Outside

Get some fresh air. If you feel dizzy or nauseous, if your eyes burn or you have trouble breathing after using cleaning supplies, go outside. A short walk in the fresh air can quickly open the nasal passages and clear your eyes from strong chemical vapors.

4. Open Some Windows

Make sure there is plenty of ventilation when cleaning or using any chemicals like paint. Open windows or turn some fans on to circulate the air more effectively.

5. Read Labels

Read labels and warnings so you know what’s in the cleaners you’re buying and how to use them safely. Consider trying out some natural cleaning supplies that don't contain VOCs.

About “Green” Cleaning Products

In recent years, so-called “green” products have made their way onto store shelves, but just how green are they, and are they safer than standard ones?

While baking soda and vinegar have long been touted and praised for their cleaning abilities, there is a seeming plethora of new natural disinfectants and general cleaners on the market.

Buzzwords to Look out For

There are some buzzwords you can look out for, which are clues that certain products may not be as natural or as safe as you think. Consumer product manufacturers aren’t required by law to disclose the ingredients in artificial fragrances, so labels may simply list “fragrance” on their ingredient list. Items labeled “natural” are also vague; they don't have to be specified, and not all natural items are necessarily safe. However, if something is listed as “flammable”, that’s a pretty sure sign of a chemical ingredient.

Chemicals & You

Simply being aware of your body’s reaction to the everyday cleaning supplies in your home is the first step. Use these items safely and with caution. For any severe eye pain – especially if you notice any vision changes – talk to your eye doctor right away.

Clinic Protocols and Patient Guidelines – COVID -19

We have been working diligently to establish protocols to keep both our patients and staff safe during this time and for the foreseeable future. The following protocols and guidelines have been established to ensure the highest level of sanitation possible.

Clinic Hygiene and Sanitization Protocols

 

Arrival to the Clinic

ONLY scheduled patients are permitted to enter the clinic. If you were driven to the clinic, please ask your family/friend to wait for you in the car. Please enter the clinic no earlier than 5 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.

If you arrive late for your appointment, it may have to be re-scheduled as we must keep on time to ensure enough time for sanitation between patients and avoid overcrowding at the reception area.

Please wear a MASK before entering the clinic.

If you do not have a mask, we will be offering them for a nominal fee.

 

Further Safety Precautions

Touchless Payment

Currently, we are only accepting Interac, Mastercard and Visa cards. If you have extended health insurance, Please inform our staff with all the details. We deal with Sun life, Great-West Life, Blue Cross and Manulife we will bill your insurance first and then charge your credit card the remaining balance.

Physical Distancing

Please be mindful to keep 2M distance if you run into other patients in the reception room. Stand on the floor decals. We are aiming to stagger appointment to avoid congregation in the waiting room.

Sanitation time between each treatment has been scheduled and we are using hospital grade disinfectants to sanitize all high touchpoints, tables, light switches, door handles etc

Practitioner PPE

We will be wearing masks, and some will be wearing face shields, gloves, and scrubs.

Paying for your treatment

 

Booking Appointments

Please email the clinic at info@lougheedoptical.com or call at (604) 420-2115 for your future appointments.

24 Hours Prior to your scheduled appointment

24 hrs. prior to your appointment, you will receive your 24-hour reminder email. It will have a link to the THRIVE BC COVID- 19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool. The link is: https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en IF you answer YES to any of the questions, please call the clinic to reschedule your appointment no earlier than 2 weeks. This is extremely important for the safety and protection of our patients, therapist, and our families.

Upon the arrival of your appointment, if we notice any flu-like symptoms or through conversation realize that you have possibly engaged with friends/family who may have been exposed to COVID- 19, we will respectfully ask you to reschedule the appointment.

Product Purchase

Our Staff will assist you in Choosing your Eye Wear, Please DO NOT HANDLE THE FRAMES FROM THE DISPLAY. Once you have made your Frame selection the remaining frames will be sanitized before being placed on the frame bars.

These protocols are in place to ensure the health and safety of you, your loved ones, our staff, our practitioners, and their families.

We thank you for your patience and understanding. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Lougheed Town Centre Optical & Optometry

Located at 9855 Austin Rd, Ste 147, Burnaby, BC V3J 1N4

Phone: 604-420-2115

We are back! We are now open to our normal business hours. Please request an appointment here or call 604-670-3329. We are looking forward to seeing you again. Thank you, and stay safe.