Hi, I'm Raquel Botello. I am Mexican, from Guadalajara, Jalisco. I have been in the United States about four years. The best thing that has happened to me has been finding out about La
Colectiva de Mujeres.
Before I got to know La Colectiva de Mujeres, I didn't have any idea about how harmful toxic cleaning supplies are, and it wasn't until I came here and went to a training that I found out about the harm that cleaning supplies can cause on our bodies, our children, our pets, plants… and this is bad for workers, but its also bad for employers who are breathing the air with these products.
These products cause a lot of problems, for example they irritate your eyes, make it so you can't breathe well, make your head hurt sometimes, and if you use them regularly for a long time they can cause a lot of skin problems, stomach sickness, nausea and vomiting, and in the end these products can do an infinite amount of bad things to our bodies.
The great thing is that there are less toxic cleaning supplies. For example, to clean windows, instead of using Windex, we can use white vinegar with a little bit of water. And for example with the grease and dirt we have another recipe which is baking soda with salt and water which is really effective to clean the grease, tubs, and sinks. It has a lot of uses.
I feel very happy because I began to transition to less toxic cleaning supplies in my own home first because I realized that when I would clean the bathroom, for example, which is an enclosed space, my eyes would tear up a lot, I used to sneeze and sometimes my nose would stuff up a bit. And when I began to use the less toxic cleaning supplies, all of these ailments ceased.
We also give trainings on ergonomics, on ways in which to protect your body while you are doing a repetitive task.
I feel very proud to be giving these Health and Safety trainings in La Colectiva de Mujeres and to use less toxic cleaning products in my own house as well as the houses of my employers.