Tag Archives: Green cleaning products

How going green at home can make for a safer environment

Don’t you just love how your house smells after you’ve cleaned? Most people clean with the intent of creating a welcoming environment and reducing dirt, germs, allergens and pollutants.

Unfortunately, many of the cleaning products used every day in homes can harm the quality of air and water. Exactly how do these products harm the environment, and how can you help lessen the impact by switching to green cleaning products?

What lurks in your cleaning products?

Thousands of chemicals in a variety of products — many of which have never been tested for safety — pollute rivers and streams, and they can take years or decades to degrade to the point of harmlessness. Some never break down, instead hanging around in the environment indefinitely.

These chemicals often are eaten by water-dwelling creatures, thus entering the food chain that eventually can reach humans. Unsafe chemical substances can be toxic and can cause birth defects and contribute to illnesses like cancer.

The problem with packaging

In addition to the often-toxic chemical ingredients in commonly used household cleaners, their packaging can be problematic as well. Cleaning products come in a range of packaging types. Aerosol cans are large, bulky and difficult to recycle. Products often come in plastic containers that are strong and light, but not all locales offer recycling for them. When they’re simply thrown in the trash and end up in landfills, these containers biodegrade extremely slowly.

Harm to water

Local waste treatment plants remove most pollutants from water before it’s returned to waterways, but the process does not remove ammonia, phosphorous or nitrogen. In large amounts, these three chemicals pose significant contamination threats to water supplies.

Once in rivers, lakes and streams, the chemicals — also used as agricultural fertilizers — build up and cause faster growth of some plants. While chemical levels are controlled in agricultural environments, in water supplies, levels are not controlled. As a result, the excess nutrients lead to dense plant life that can choke marine animals and other plants. When these quickly growing plants die en masse, they begin to decay and reduce oxygen content of water, causing algae overgrowth. Animals then also die, and those deaths cause even more decay. Soon, the water is too polluted for human use.

Harm to air

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are chemicals found in household cleaners that can pose health risks by becoming concentrated in indoor air. When you raise a window to air out your home after cleaning, those chemicals move outdoors, where they contribute to smog.

What can you do to help?

To do your part in helping clean up the air and water, consider going green. Know what’s in your cleaning products, and make choices that don’t contribute to pollution. You can also use a different cleaning service that uses green cleaning products, such as Mopfrog of Brooklyn.

The cleaning products you use in your home can make a difference in air and water quality for everyone. As an environmentally friendly cleaning company, Mopfrog of Brooklyn is committed to keeping the air and water clean for future generations.

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Real Reasons to Switch to Eco-Friendly Cleaning & Laundry Products

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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

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.

Triclosan

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.

2-Butoxyehtanol

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!

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A 3-Pronged Approach to Help Protect Your Body From Toxins

Safe food, clean air and access to extensive supplies of food and potable water are more readily available in America than many other countries around the globe. Even though this is true, there are still many Americans dealing with serious health issues caused by exposure to toxins, many of which are found in products we believe to be safe for us to use or consume.

Three Most Common Ways in Which Toxins Enter the Body

In order for any substance to influence the health of the human body, it must first get inside where it can attack the systems and organs of the body. The three basic ways in which this usually occurs are ingestion, inhalation, and absorption

Ingestion

While most people would never consider drinking or eating anything that bears a label proclaiming it to be toxic, many of us may be unknowingly exposed to toxins each day by the food, beverages and medications we ingest. In many cases, we may even think we are making the healthiest possible choices.

One example of a toxin that we commonly ingest is BPA (Bisphenol A). This chemical has been used in plastics and resins over the past several decades to harden them and make them more durable. Commonly found in beverage containers, baby bottles, food storage containers and even as a dental coating for teeth, BPA deteriorates over time and is now viewed as a possible cause of cancer, insulin resistance, reproductive issues and many other serious health problems.

BPA usage is so widespread that it would be nearly impossible to completely remove it from our daily life. However, there are some ways in which you can help limit your exposure. These include:

  • Choosing glass bottles, dishes and containers for food storage, re-heating and table use
  • Avoiding cookware and utensils with non-stick coatings
  • Avoiding protective coatings and sealants offered by your dentist
  • Choosing fresh, unpackaged fruits and vegetables instead of those in metal cans or plastic containers

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Inhalation

Inhaling toxic chemicals happens frequently in the home environment. Oven cleaners, bleach, paint and even room deodorizers release chemicals during their use. This is particularly dangerous when they are used with little or no ventilation and recirculated by the heating and cooling system.

The best way to limit exposure to toxic chemicals that might be inhaled is to stop using chemical cleaners and choose non-toxic, natural cleaners instead. The following list of safe cleaning ingredients will clean your home thoroughly, leave it fresh smelling and give off no toxic chemicals for your family and pets to inhale.

  • Lemon juice – a natural whitener, degreaser and air freshener
  • Kosher salt – a natural scrubbing agent
  • White vinegar – a natural disinfectant, sanitizer, degreaser and fabric softener
  • Baking soda – a natural scrubbing paste, freshener, drain and oven cleaner
  • Citrus oil – a natural wood polish and deodorizer
  • Tea tree oil – a natural disinfectant and sanitizer
  • Hydrogen peroxide – a natural disinfectant, sanitizer and stain remover

Absorption

The skin is the largest human organ, with every square inch capable of bringing toxins into the body. Whenever we splash gasoline on our hands at the gas pumps, immerse our hands in bleach water while cleaning or apply chemical laden soaps, lotions, creams, tanning agents and dyes, we are allowing our skin to absorb toxins.

Avoid absorbing toxins into the body by wearing gloves when handling toxic materials and choosing natural, non-toxic cleaners, soaps and cosmetics. Your body will thank you for it!

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