As children, many of us were exposed to marketing jingles and colorful product labeling that may have unconsciously shaped our buying choices when we became adults. Nostalgically, we find ourselves staying true to some brands we knew in our childhood without questioning whether these products really align with our current values. Many of these product formulas were created before we became aware of how some of the ingredients affect our health and the environment.
Old Reliable, But Risky Ingredients
Many traditional multi-purpose cleaners, dishwashing detergents and laundry products rely on harmful chemicals to provide a good cleaning experience. Many of these chemicals can create health risks to people, animals and aquatic life during exposure, or even years later, through the air, soil and ground water. To protect yourself and your family, learn to read the labels on cleaning products. Start by steering away from products that contain any of the following ingredients.
Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile organic compounds, commonly referred to as VOCs, are typically found in spray and aerosol products, such as room fresheners, disinfectants, paints and cleaning compounds that come in spray or aerosol form. With the potential to linger in the air even after the mist dissipates, people and pets are at risk of inhaling chemicals that have been associated with kidney, liver and central nervous system disorders. Symptoms of exposure include irritation to the nose, eyes or throat, as well as headaches and coordination issues, and can build up over time.
Phthalates are used in hundreds of applications ranging from detergents and insecticides to usage by plastic and vinyl manufacturers. Food packaging often contains these chemicals, to increase its flexibility. Phthalates are thought to be a carcinogen, as well as a cause of reproductive issues, particularly in men.
Once a popular ingredient in antibacterial wipes, gels, soaps and other compounds, triclosan has been removed from some products due to questions about possible links to endocrine disruption and antibiotic resistance in humans, but can still be found in other products. With more studies in progress, avoiding this chemical is advised.
One of a group of glycol ethers, 2-butoxyehtanol is a common ingredient in solvents, cleaning compounds, liquid soap, and other products. High-level exposure is known to cause serious health problems including liver and kidney damage and pulmonary edema, while cumulative exposure can result in neurological issues and blood related conditions, like anemia.
If you have been using traditional cleaning compounds that contain these or other harmful ingredients, learn to read labels and avoid purchasing any that are known or thought to cause health issues. Instead, opt to purchase environmentally friendly products or consider learning to use safe natural ingredients, such as vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice, as an effective, safe alternative to manufactured cleaning compounds.
To help remove harmful residues in your home from years of using traditional products, call Mopfrog of Lunenburg, an eco-friendly cleaning company. Their cleaning experts are specially trained to clean your entire home using only natural ingredients and environmentally friendly tools and methods. For a naturally clean, healthy home, call Mopfrog today!