Many popular mass-marketed cleaning products use persuasive language that promises consumers a more sanitary, more healthful home by choosing their product. While it may be true that their chemical composition will kill germs and bacteria, the potentially harmful effects of exposure to these chemicals may not be mentioned. In addition, many of these harmful chemicals have unfamiliar, hard to pronounce names that consumers may not recognize when reading the ingredient list.
The Who, What and Where of Potentially Harmful Cleaning Ingredients
This list focuses on helping consumers become more familiar with the chemical names of these harmful substances, as well as understand what problems they can cause and what type of cleaning product may contain them.
This chemical has been used for cleaning for generations. Mass-produced and cheap, ammonia is found in many major brands of kitchen and glass cleaners, paint strippers, polishes, fertilizers, pesticides and adhesive removers.
The bad news is that ammonia is now known to irritate the respiratory tract, eyes and skin of those that are exposed to its fumes. To avoid the dangers of ammonia, consumers can opt to use the household staple, white vinegar, as an extremely effective substitute.
Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite)
Similar to ammonia, bleach has been a household staple for decades. Bleach is found as a stand-alone product, as well as an ingredient in many detergents and laundry aids, automatic dishwashing products and disinfectant cleaners.
Bleach can cause severe skin and eye irritation, as well as respirator problems. More importantly, if accidentally mixed with other cleaning solutions, such as ammonia, it can emit poisonous gasses that are potentially fatal.
Today, households should banish bleach and replace with effective, natural solutions. Due to their antimicrobial properties, distilled white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are both great substitutes for sanitizing. Hydrogen is also an effective whitener and can brighten your whites. Similarly, lemon juice can also provide a natural option for brightening laundry and removing stubborn stains.
Glycol Ethers (Ethylene Glycol Mon-Butyl Ether, EGBE, or 2_Butoxyethanol)
Many of the air freshening spray and mist products available today contain some form of glycol ethers, as well as popular glass cleaners, oven cleaners and spot removal products. Exposure to glycol ethers is now thought to cause serious health issues, like liver and kidney damage, as well as symptoms such as lethargy, nausea and fatigue.
Consumers may want to consider replacing any products that contain any form of glycol ethers with safe, natural and effective choices, such as white vinegar combined with essential oils to combat those tough cleaning jobs.
Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
A common ingredient in household soaps, solvents, floor strippers, drain cleaners, oven cleaners and polishes, sodium hydroxide can actually cause poisoning when absorbed through the skin, inhaled or ingested. Additionally, the fumes from this chemical can irritate the eyes, respiratory tract and skin, when it is used without proper ventilation or protective clothing.
Consumers who want to avoid the dangers of exposure to sodium hydroxide can choose safe, natural alternatives such as vinegar, salt, lemon juice and baking soda to effectively clean and freshen drains, clean greasy ovens and even polish metals.
Opting For Health
These are just a few of the many chemicals commonly used in cleaning products sold today, as well as those used by the conventional cleaning industry. Consumers can lessen their risk to these and other chemicals by choosing natural cleaning agents and methods for their own homes, and by choosing professional cleaning services, like Mopfrog of South Milwaukee, who also embrace natural, more healthful cleaning options.