It is not an uncommon concern for all individuals to be looking and buying more eco-friendly products in their homes. This ranges from beauty products to appliances and especially with cleaning products. Individuals have been wanting to be more cautious of what types of chemicals they are using to keep their homes clean not just because of the health issues some of the products can cause, but also because of the effect they are having on the environment. If you are not aware of why you should be using more eco-friendly products than you may be surprised by some of the harmful effects these products have to your health and to the environments.
Why You Should Stop Using Standard Cleaning Products In Your Home?
Many products available in stores may clean your home, but they can be causing more damage than good. Many of these products contain harsh chemicals that can be hazardous to your health. These products are not just dangerous for you if you inhale them or frequently expose your skin to them they are also dangerous for the environment as well. There are a number of harmful truths you may not be aware of when it comes to your household cleaners including:
- On average the most common household cleaners contain over 50 toxic chemicals.
- Ingredients found in household cleaners have been linked to a number of medical conditions from respiratory difficulties to reports of cancers.
- Can bring on headaches, skin irritations and dizziness.
- These toxic chemicals are stored in the body's tissues.
Some of these chemicals you should be aware of and avoid when purchasing cleaning products include:
- Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
- Sodium Hydroxide
Why Are These Ingredients Harmful?
Phthalates- This ingredient is found in a number of fragranced products such as soaps and air fresheners. It is not uncommon for many to inhale Phthalates, but this ingredient can also be absorbed through skin contact as well. When absorbed through the skin Phthalates go directly to organs, which can have huge negative effects on the reproductive organs. Most companies do not have to list this as an ingredient on their products because it is classified as a company's own scent. As a safeguard avoid products that are scented or fragranced products including tissue paper.
Perchloroethylene- This ingredient is commonly found in a number of carpet or upholstery cleaners. Also known as Perc, this ingredient is a neurotoxin that can cause dizziness, lack of coordination and loss of balance. This harmful ingredient is beginning to be phased out from being included in cleaning products, but many dry cleaners and carpet cleaning services may still use products that include this harmful toxin.
Triclosan- Triclosan is found in antibacterial products from soap, detergents to sanitizers. The use of Triclosan promotes drug-resistant bacterias, which can become harmful. Triclosan is also toxic to algae which builds up from residential waterways mixing in with streams and lakes.
Quaternary Ammonium Compounds- Like Triclosan, Quaternary Ammonium Compounds are also antibacterials that aid in resistant bacterias. This ingredient can also cause harsh skin irritants as well as respiratory problems if used over long periods of times.
Butoxyethanol- This ingredient is found in most window cleaners and is considered a glycol ether. This ingredient, again, is not required to be listed as an ingredient in cleaners. Butoxyethanol can cause sore throat from short term use and long term usage can cause narcosis, liver damage, kidney damage and pulmonary edema. Using cleaners that include this ingredient, especially in your home where spaces can be smaller and more confined, can raise the toxic levels of Butoxyethanol in the air.
Ammonia- Ammonia is a harmful chemical that is included in a number of polishing cleaners as well as glass cleaners. The effects of ammonia are noticeable almost immediately causing a number of breathing difficulties. When used over an extended amount of time is can cause chronic bronchitis and asthma. What many people fail to realize is the dangerous poisonous gas that is created when mixed with bleach.
Chlorine- Chlorine can be found in tap water but is also used as a cleaning ingredient for many bathroom cleaners from mildew removers to toilet bowl cleaners as well as laundry detergent whiteners. Chlorine can be inhaled, absorbed through the skin and is even ingested from drinking city water supplies. Chlorine can cause acute respiratory issues and can cause severe thyroid disturbances.
Sodium Hydroxide- Sodium Hydroxide is found in a number of oven cleaners and drain unclogging products. Commonly this ingredient is referred to as Lye, is it a corrosive ingredient that can severely burn the skin or any other area of the body it comes in contact with.
Alternate Eco-Friendly Cleaning Solutions:
There are a number of do it yourself cleaning methods you can use to get you home sparkling clean and provide the same disinfecting results as you would get with many store bought products. Try these cleaning methods that are safe for you and the environment.
- Use baking soda and vinegar to unclog drain. This is also a great way to clean away the grimmest dirt from surfaces including your oven.
- Use Borax Powder in your laundry to whiten clothes.
- Baking soda is an effective toilet bowl cleaner.
- Tooth paste can be used to polish stainless steel surfaces.
- Use only products that are label as eco-friendly such as Bon Ami.
- For cleaning windows or glass surfaces use newspaper and diluted vinegar.
- For an all purpose cleaner mix one tablespoon of vinegar, a couple drops of tea tree oil and water. This is a much safe germ killing antibacterial cleaner to use in your home.
- Use hand sanitizer that are alcohol based that do not use triclosan.
- Use essential oils to fragrance your home instead of air fresheners.
Using more eco-friendly products is not only better for the environment but is also much safer for you as well. There are endless ways you can use all natural ingredients to make some effective do it yourself eco- friendly cleaners than the harmful products you would purchase at the store. There are also a number of eco-friendly product you can buy that will cost just the same as other products but be sure the products states that it is eco-friendly.