Chemical substances! Usage and its understanding! - Survey with local citizens.

Chemical substances! Usage and its understanding! - Survey with local citizens.

 

Chemical substances can be found everywhere, not only into the detergents but also into the walls, their paints, home flavourings, carpets, clothes etc. We often use at home products that might be dangerous such as cleaning solutions, medicines, insecticides, adhesive materials, cosmetics, children's toys, etc. Many studies have shown the risks posed by chemicals found in cleaning products for domestic use. They can cause: infertility, cancer, asthma, kidney trouble, liver and lung disturbance, psychological disorders etc.

 

During June and early July 2013, Milieukontakt Albania conducted a survey aiming to point out the information level of the general public on the risks presented by the presence of various chemicals in products that people use in everyday life. This survey was distributed in an electronic form through the official website of Milieukontakt, other social networks, email list and Ekolevizja newspaper. 645 citizens from various areas of Tirana, such as the lakeside park, Tirana e re, Komuna e Parisit, the area at Casa Italia, the Faculty of Social Sciences, Economics, Medicine, etc. took part in the survey. During the survey activists of Milieukontakt had free conversations with citizens about the use of chemicals and attention on the danger they pose.

 

In general, results of the survey showed that although citizens have adequate information on the presence and hazardous chemicals in various products used at home and for personal hygiene, they remain highly dependent on their use and only 25 % of them used alternative products for cosmetic purposes. Some products that might cause health problems there are alternative substitute products, such as: washing with abundant water and soap, vinegar, baking powder, lemon, olive oil, salt, etc.

It is concerning the fact that more than half of interviewed did not use protective tools or use them rarely when cleaning products contained high levels of chemicals.

Hazardous materials should be stored in safe places and a special attention should be paid to children who should not have contact with detergents, batteries, pesticides, paints and solvents. More attention should also be paid in toys and children's clothes as there are hazardous chemicals found according to the recent studies. 24 % of interviewed have had personally or in their relatives, cases of side effects when using different detergents or products of personal hygiene.

 

After being informed, on the chemical elements present in various products and also on usage of alternative products, it was obvious the approval of citizens to substitute them with natural products. Activists disseminated to the citizens leaflets on the danger of chemicals in some products, domestic cleaning detergents and cosmetic products, as well as information on some of their products substitutes. Citizens showed great interest on this information and encouraged us to widen the campaign.. Some of the recommendations given by citizens during conversations were:

The surveys and conversations with citizens are part of the awareness campaign, undertaken by Milieukontakt to inform the public about the use and attention towards chemicals hazards. This campaign is implemented in the frame of the project “Ecosystem of Communication and Environmental Information" (ECIM ) supported by SENiOR – A program .

 

Complete analysis of the survey can be found published on the official website of Milieukontakt Albania: Publications/campigns;

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