Do Your Cleaning Products Make You SICK?
The market for cleaning products is huge. Keeping clean is big business for big brands in today's world of neatness and tidiness. The annual revenue from cleaning products is around $168 billion across the globe. In fact, household spending has increased from $639 in 2007 to $659 in 2009.
Advertisers bombard us with ads. They show a wide variety of conventional cleaning products. These products range from fragrances to bleaching agents. They keep our homes sparkling and germ-free. These include specialized cleaners for just about every part of your house. Some of the brands advertise these products as "green" or "Eco-friendly cleaning".
Are these products truly Eco-friendly? Are they safe for your family? About 80% of the products have some form of chemicals. Indeed, many are hazardous to our health and the environment.
Why Avoid Conventional Cleaning Products?
The production of some cleaning products includes volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These contribute to urban or regional photo-chemical smog.
Cleaning may also pose risks to cleaners and to building occupants. Inhalation of these products can cause irritation and other health hazards. Furthermore, fumes from some cleaning products may cause asthma in healthy individuals.
Evidence shows that ordinary cleaning supplies can increase the chances of asthma as well as several other respiratory issues.
Common cleaning ingredients contain cancer causing agents such as 1,4-dioxane. Tests from research institutes have shown that numerous brand name cleaning supplies have 1,4-dioxane in their products, even though it's a known carcinogen. Other products contain preservatives that release significant amounts of formaldehyde, another known human carcinogen.
A 10-country study was done using more than 3500 individuals who were initially free from asthma. It proved there was a 30-to-50 percent increase in the risk of developing asthma when they used spray cleaners at least once a week. Scientists at three British universities found that children born to women who often aerosolize cleaning products in their homes while pregnant had a higher risk of wheezing and reduced lung function.
There are many types of industry chemicals present in cleaners which can cause asthma. These include:
Quaternary ammonium compounds, Nicknamed “quats” in the cleaning industry. Manufacturers add quats as germ killers in antibacterial cleaning products. They are also found in certain types of air fresheners and fabric softeners.
Diethylene glycol monomethyl ether, AKA. DEGME or methoxydiglycol, You can find DEGME or methoxydiglycol in a few heavy-duty cleaners and degreasers. The European Union has raised concerns about this chemical. Its reproductive toxicity and damage to the developing fetus (ECHA 2011) caused the EU to outlaw its use in cleaning products (EU 2008).
In laboratory experiments, exposure to high doses of 2-Butoxyethanol (2-BE) causes reproductive problems. You can find this chemical in glass cleaners, laundry stain removers, carpet cleaners and automobile cleaners. The Canadian Environmental Protection Act has listed it as a toxic substance based on the fact that it is harmful to human health.
Ammonia Most commonly used in window cleaners, is also found in oven cleaning products and several other commercial cleaning products. Ammonia may irritate the skin, eyes, throat and lungs in low concentrations.
Coal tar dyes found in most types of cleaning products can cause cancer.
MEA (monoethanalomine), DEA (diethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine) These harmful chemicals are in many liquid laundry detergents, all-purpose cleaners, floor cleaners, car wash products, degreasers and also dish soap. They can react with nitrites to form nitrosamines, a known carcinogen.
Phosphates Found in many detergents, and bathroom cleaners etc can cause oxygen levels in the water to decline, potentially killing fish.
Triclosan Found in: dish soaps and disinfectants, as well as a wide range of other household products. It mimics or interferes with the function of hormones in the body.
Choose Green Cleaning Instead !
It is important to realize, you have a choice. There is no need for you to continue to use a product that causes cancer or has a warning label that states: 'HAZARDS TO HUMANS AND DOMESTIC ANIMALS", just because the commercials tell you how great it is.