Everyone knows it’s important to limit exposure to the chemicals used in standard cleaning solutions since repeat exposure to certain chemicals can cause problems with asthma, skin irritation, and other health issues.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests that:
Cleaning products are necessary for maintaining attractive and healthful conditions in the home and workplace. In addition to the obvious aesthetic benefits of cleaning, the removal of dust, allergens, and infectious agents is crucial to maintaining a healthful indoor environment.
Unfortunately, the very chemicals used to rid the home of allergens and dirt may also cause other health and environmental problems.
The Impact on Children of Cleaning Chemicals
A clean environment reduces the likelihood of disease; however, the impact of chemical solutions on infants, toddlers, and children may be more severe than on adults. An article from advocacy group “Women’s Voices” reveals:
Children are often more vulnerable to chemicals because their organs and immune systems are not yet fully developed, and certain chemicals may interfere with the development of their neurological, endocrine and immune systems.
So, if you have children in the home, it’s best to consider using natural remedies for cleaning and to hire a cleaning service that offers green cleaning options.
Long-Term Health Impacts of Cleaning Chemicals
Brief exposure to some chemicals won’t result in any long-term damage, but cleaning is something that must occur on a regular basis. Therefore, it’s unlikely that exposure to cleaning chemicals would occur just once.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) offers a list of potential health complications that may result from repeat exposure:
- Reproductive problems
Cleaning Chemicals are Airborne
Even if you wear a face mask, goggles, and gloves when you clean, it’s very difficult to completely negate your exposure to cleaning chemicals. Chemical solutions manufactured for cleaning often evaporate quickly into the air, which means the liquid cleaner sprayed onto the tile floor might not stay there for long before it evaporates into the breathable air.
Environmental Impact of Cleaning Products
According to Facilities Net, an industry group for building and operational management, commercial buildings require 6.2 billion pounds of chemicals each year for cleaning, in addition to billions of pounds of sanitary paper and various janitorial equipment. Those numbers don’t even include all the millions of bottles of cleaning solution sold for the purposes of residential cleaning.
One of the biggest impacts of heavy use of these chemicals is the reliance on petroleum products that manufacture of those solutions requires. According to further information from Facilities Net:
The raw materials used to make the 6.2 billion pounds of chemicals used each year to clean commercial buildings in the U.S. mostly consist of petroleum, a valuable, but limited and nonrenewable natural resource. Additionally, the environment is affected during manufacturing as significant amounts of energy and water are consumed, and waste is produced.
Help Keep the Environment Clean & Your Family Safe
Reducing the chemicals in your home is easy with alternative and natural cleaning solutions. For small messes around the home, you can use natural solutions that you might already have in your cupboard. Real Simple suggests using lemons to clean dirt and rust stains.
Other non-toxic solutions you can use to clean include:
- Baking soda (deodorizes and scours)
- Cornstarch (cleans windows and polishes furniture)
- Isopropyl alcohol (for disinfecting)
- White vinegar (removes grease and mildew)
You can also request green cleaning services for your weekly or monthly cleaning visit you’re your biannual carpet cleaning appointment. Highly regarded cleaning services will always offer green cleaning options to protect your family’s health.
Next Steps: Once you’ve reduced the exposure of your family and home to cleaning chemicals, your next step might be looking at the materials and machines in your home. According to environmental activist group Greenpeace, some innocuous products like appliances and furniture actually have the same type of chemicals used in cleaning solutions.
Interested in Green Cleaning Services?
Want to ensure your home is cleaned with eco-friendly and safe cleaning materials? At Sweep Home Chicago, we are fully committed to providing all of our customers with quality green cleaning services. Get a Free Green Cleaning Estimate in the Chicago area today!