'Tox-Doc' offers advice for not overusing cleaning chemicals

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Since the beginning of the pandemic, we've been wiping every surface in our home, as well as our credit cards and cell phones.

But could we be doing more harm than good?

ABC13's Brhe Berry spoke with the "Tox-Doc," who says there is such a thing as cleaning too much, and it can actually weaken our immune system, making us more vulnerable to the virus we are trying to fight off.

Dr. Noreen Khan-Mayberry says overusing cleaning chemicals can weaken our respiratory and cardiovascular systems, kill brain cells and even eat away at our skin, which weakens a major barrier of protection to our blood stream.

She says the key is isolating the things coming into your home, so you don't have to clean as much.

Dr. Khan-Mayberry says when it comes to bleach, one time a week is the magic number. However, you must ventilate and protect your respiratory system while using it. She also cautions against over using hand sanitizer.

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"Really take care when you are giving it to your children, your young children, they tend to do this and then they put it into their mouths. This is a terrible, terrible dosage," Dr. Khan-Mayberry said about kids accidentally ingesting sanitizer. "I am so happy we have hand sanitizer, but we have to use it judiciously. We have to use it appropriately. We have to be conservative. We don't just want to use hand sanitizer, especially with our children, all the time."

Dr. Kahn-Mayberry says when you are overusing chemicals in your home, your pets will be affected first. She said we can actually shorten their life span by overusing chemicals for a long period of time.

Her advice is to wear your mask while cleaning, open windows, read labels closely and water down strong chemicals when recommended.

She also suggests having a designated spot or sealed box for things that come into your home, like your shoes, to avoid needing to clean your entire home as frequently.

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When things get scary, the trick is to control what you can control -- like getting rid of germs in your home.

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