Probably the last thing that crosses your mind when buying a cleaning product is how it affects your health. Usually what interests the regular buyer is whether the cleaner is effective or not. Maybe consumers have too much faith in the manufactures. But what stands behind all those ingredients with weird names? Most products owe their cleaning properties to potentially hazardous chemicals. This is not the scariest part. Actually, the producers are not legally obliged to disclose all the ingredients they use in the manufacturing process.
Are you shocked? Just think about all the commercial cleaners you use in your everyday life such as:
- fabric softeners
- scours and other specialized solutions.
While these items can make your home sparkling, they also contribute to the indoor air pollution or induce some diseases. Of course, the ingredients vary in their toxicity.
Some can result in an immediate and acute reaction such as:
- respiratory or skin irritation
- others are linked to some chronic and long term effects.
Acute Toxicity Products
These ingredients can be divided in two groups – high and low acute toxicity products. The first type can be found in the strong solutions such as oven and drain cleaners and can cause severe burns. Usually the products with high acute toxicity contain chlorine, ammonia and lye. When two of these elements get combined, they produce toxic fumes that can irritate the eyes, throat or lungs. These are especially risky for people who suffer from asthma or heart problems. This type chloramines gases can be found in the oven cleaners. On the other hand, the chlorine can be mixed with acids. Such is the case in the common toilet bowl solutions. There are products have low acute toxicity. This doesn’t mean that they are less harmful. These solutions can contribute to long – term health issues such as hormone disruption and cancer.
Here is a quick list of other volatile ingredients that lurk in your house maintenance routine:
• 2 – Butoxyethanol (butyl cellosolve) – associated with blood disorders and reproductive problems. Found in: carpet and glass cleaners and laundry stain removers.
• Ammonia – can cause liver or kidney damage; aggravates asthma symptoms.
Found in: most household products
• MEA (monoethanalomine), DEA (diethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine) – when these ingredients react with nitrites, they form a carcinogenic solutions. Nitrites are used as preservatives or contaminants in other products so they can easily get in contact with some of these ingredients.
Found in: floor and all-purpose – cleaners, detergents.
Did you know that more than 3000 chemicals are incorporated in fragrance mixtures? Some of these can trigger migraines, allergies and asthma. The synthetic musk in detergents might also impact the endocrine system and the hormone function. Phthalates is a popular fragrance substance in laundry detergents, deodorizers and fabric softeners. Producers are not required to enlist publicly the chemical formulas because they are considered trade secret. Manufacturers can simply label them “fragrance.”
The good news is that there are plenty of alternatives. The safest option is to make your own solutions that require time and effort, they ensure a healthy home environment, and are easy on your wallet. For more ideas visit this cleaning website.
Read about the “9 Basic Ingredients To Spring Clean Your Home – Naturally!”
Some great recipe to make your own Toxic Free Detergents:
DIY Homemade Basic Natural Floor Cleaner for all types of floors:
- 1 gallon of hot water
- 2 or more cups of White vinegar
- 3/4 Cup Lemon juice
- A few drops of peppermint essential oils (optional)
For wood or Laminated wood that you want to add a shine to – just add olive oil and if your prefer you can omit the white vinegar.
- 3/4 Cup Olive oil
I use this regularly in my home on all my floors. It is so simple and my floors have never been so clean and you have a wonderful lemon aroma throughout your house. Simply mix white vinegar, lemon juice and hot water, (for wood or laminated add the olive oil) and mop. There’s no need to rinse just let dry and you will have a natural shine. Since I have started using this toxic-free, green and natural DIY recipe on my laminated wood and linoleum floors they look almost new again and feel so clean!