Individuals purchase commercial cleaning products because they believe they’re more powerful cleaners as compared to green cleaning products. They utilize a large variety of specialized cleaners for ovens, drains, glass, and bathrooms such as polishes, scourers, softeners, bleaching agents, detergents, soaps and scents. Even though chemicals and toxins in these substances disinfect and leave the surfaces clean and shiny, they also cause indoor air pollution. Moreover, they’re harmful when touched or inhaled and poisonous. Actually, these industrial cleaners are the most dangerous products in people’s homes.
Some cleaning ingredients are more harmful than others, and they can lead to immediate or acute hazards like cancer, chronic effects, chemical burns, watery eyes and respiratory or skin irritations. These dangerous ingredients are found in acidic toilet cleaners, oven cleaners and corrosive drain cleaners. For example, corrosive chemicals trigger burns on the esophagus, throat, skin and on the eyes. These ingredients are ammonia and chlorine bleach and they must be avoided by individuals suffering from heart or lung problems or asthma. At the same time, these risky chemicals can react with other toxins and form gases that are damaging for the lungs. Furthermore, cleaning products containing acids and chlorine produce toxic chlorine gas and the ones including lye and ammonia or ammonia and chlorine form chloramines gases.
Numerous cleaners contain various fragrances. For example, fabric softeners and laundry detergents can easily cause watery eyes, sneezing, headache or respiratory irritation. Studies are showing that 1/3 of fragrances are toxic and harmful. Unfortunately, most companies don’t list ingredients for these fragrances, so no one knows what’s harmful and what’s not. Yet, it is best to stay away from all products with fragrances.
Industrial cleaners might also contain substances that are not toxic. However, all these ingredients have long – term effects and can lead to hormone disruption and cancer. Most cleaners include triethanolamine and diethanolamine. When getting in contact with contaminants or undisclosed preservatives like nitrites, these 2 chemicals produce nitrosamines – dangerous carcinogens that penetrate the skin. In addition, products containing ethoxylated alcohols are also incorporating another carcinogen called 1,4–dioxane. Lastly, there are cleaners that contain butyl cellosolve, a neurotoxic chemical. Hormone disruptors can be found in most industrial cleaners. They interfere with natural chemical messages of the body and they mimic or block the hormones’ actions. Hormone disruptors can be found in cleaners and detergents under the name of alkylphenol ethoxylates.
These toxic cleaning products are not harmful only for individuals’ health, but also for the environment, polluting the waters and the air and killing animals and plants. In order to avoid all these circumstances, people must do one simple thing: use green cleaning products.