Is Lysol Safe During Pregnancy? What Everyday Substances Should You Avoid?

By Willow Breckenridge | Jun 7, 2021

Your adult body can handle exposure to toxins that prove deadly for smaller creatures — like the life growing within your belly. As an expectant mother, you need to know what’s safe and what to avoid. 

Even frequently used household items that you rely upon to keep you and your family safe and tidy can pose threats to your unborn. Is Lysol safe during pregnancy? Here’s a shortlist of everyday substances you should avoid while expecting. 

1. Cleaning Supplies 

Ladies, you probably figured out that you can get a little extra help around the house after you share the plus sign on your pregnancy test. Enjoy the respite, but please don’t insist on hiring a maid service unless you have far more comfortable financial circumstances than the average American family. Having a baby is expensive, and most products, including unscented Lysol, are safe if you take precautions. 

Please do read your labels to avoid products containing phthalates, which can cause congenital reproductive abnormalities in male babies. That’s why unscented Lysol is probably safe, but read your label — if it has added fragrance, please leave it on the store shelf. Pass on air fresheners in general, as they often contain these harmful substances.

Try to avoid excessive exposure to fumes and chemicals through your skin. Thanks to the novel coronavirus pandemic, you probably have plenty of masks handy — wear one while you clean. Hopefully, you also have a stash of latex gloves, but stock up if you don’t and cover your paws while you wipe surfaces. 

2. Kitty Litter 

If you have a feline friend, please don’t believe the old wive’s tale about them stealing a baby’s breath. You shouldn’t surrender your fur-baby, who also needs your love, although you should take measures to mitigate jealousy once your baby arrives. 

However, you will need to get your partner to take over litter box duty if it typically falls on your chore list. Cat feces can carry a bacterium called Toxoplasma. While the adult human immune system can fight it off, your developing child’s cannot. Although they might not show any adverse signs at birth, they can develop severe health issues later in life. 

3. Paint and Paint Thinner

One of the most fun aspects of pregnancy is decorating the nursery. However, expectant mamas should put down the paint can. 

Oil-based paints emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause headaches, eye irritation and fatigue in adults. High exposure to paints with toluene can cause growth delays and small heads in infants, similar to fetal alcohol syndrome. Please, let your partner wield the paintbrush. 

4. Mosquito Repellent

Mosquitos might love you more than ever since these heat-seeking critters find your increased core body temperature irresistible. However, you might want to avoid those containing lemon eucalyptus oil as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that these are unsafe for pregnant mothers and children under three. 

DEET can pass through the placental barrier. However, studies show it doesn’t harm the fetus, and you should use it to prevent the Zika virus. 

5. Mercury

If you added more fish to your diet, now is the time to exercise caution with your seafood consumption. While it’s generally healthy, some fish have high mercury levels that can harm your unborn child. 

Fillings often sometimes contain this substance. Cut back on your fatty fish consumption and talk to your dentist about your pregnancy before undergoing any procedures. 

6. Nail Polish 

There’s good news — you don’t have to give up your monthly mani-pedi during pregnancy. However, you do want to avoid exposure to the fumes inside the salon, as they can spur nausea. 

The solution? Your favorite manicurist may have used it before the pandemic broke — wear a mask. If the odor still proves too much for your belly, have your partner help you paint your toes at home. 

7. Dry Cleaning Chemicals 

You might need to take an extended leave of absence if you work for a dry cleaner. Some evidence suggests that exposure to the organic solvents used in the cleaning process can cause miscarriages, low birth weight and congenital disabilities. 

You might not even want to take in your clothes. Stick to wash-and-wear until after giving birth. 

8. BPA 

If you haven’t gotten a steel reusable water bottle yet, now is the time. The BPA in some plastic models threatens your unborn baby. 

Exposure to this chemical in the womb can cause altered brain development and behavior later in life. When in doubt, ditch the plastic in favor of a different food or beverage container. 

Are Lysol and Other Substances Safe During Pregnancy? Know What to Avoid

Now that you know to avoid fragranced Lysol and other problematic substances during pregnancy, you can protect your unborn. Remove these items from your routine today. 

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