Chemicals In Cleaning Products: How Dangerous Are They?

July 25th, 2012
By Brandon Boyewsky

Chemicals in cleaning products have received increasing amounts of attention for their potentially hazardous effects on our health, but how dangerous are they really?

According to a recent New York Times article chemicals in cleaning products are very dangerous and they find their way into our bodies with ease: “Hundreds of toxic chemicals, including pesticides, fire retardants and PCBs, can be found in the umbilical cord blood of newborns, according to studies by the Environmental Working Group. It’s particularly unsettling to imagine how these chemicals might affect fetal development, as a single cell turns into trillions, said Dr. Jerome A. Paulson, a professor of pediatrics and director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment, at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington.”

You’ll want to cast off your oven cleaners, antibacterial soaps, fabric softeners, air fresheners, drain openers and toilet sprays. What’s in: nontoxic mixtures, like baking soda and vinegar. Cleaning with vinegar is an excellent way to address the cleanliness of your home, become more environmentally friendly, and protect your family’s health and safety.

Thus, given below are 4 reasons why we all should “green” our cleaning routines:

  • Prevents Exposure to Toxic Chemicals: When we are indoors, it is not difficult to pollute the confined air household air with harmful chemicals from toxic cleaning products.
  • Prevents Asthma and Allergies: Is using cleaning products which contain harmful chemicals really the solution to combat germs, bacteria, mold and mildew? Why trade one health hazard for another?
  • Prevents Accidents: Fewer emergencies will occur, such as accidental inhalation or ingestion of toxic chemicals.
  • Prevents Pollution: Toxic chemicals in cleaning products find their way to the ground where they are absorbed by plants or to the sea where they can spread all over the world.

There are many websites which document the chemicals in cleaning products and seek to answer the question, ‘How dangerous are they?’ Below are a few of these:

  • Toxic Substances Portal from the Centers for Disease Control is a gateway to the dark side for those parents will want to stress out on a molecular level. It contains a lucid catalog of human ills and the chemicals that cause them.
  • Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units. Before you diagnose nose cancer in your toddler based on exposure to bubble bath, you can call an expert through this website.
  • The Household Products Database from the National Library of Medicine, provides chemical safety sheets for thousands of consumer products. Brake fluid, printer cartridges, dog shampoos and much, much more.

Household Chemicals

The CDC has provided 5 excellent tips for maximizing your family’s safety if you opt to use chemicals in cleaning products:

  • Always read the label before using a product that may be poisonous. If you are still wondering, ‘How dangerous are they?’, do an internet search to discover their potential hazards.
  • Keep chemical products in their original bottles or containers. Do not use food containers such as cups, bottles, or jars to store chemical products such as cleaning solutions or beauty products.
  • Never mix household products together. For example, mixing bleach and ammonia can result in toxic gases.
  • Wear protective clothing (gloves, long sleeves, long pants, socks, shoes) if you spray pesticides or other chemicals.
  • Turn on the fan and open windows when using chemical products such as household cleaners.

If you aren’t sure how to address chemicals in cleaning products, or feel you can’t handle the cleaning yourself and need outside help, always choose green cleaning services that give you high-quality tidying while using environmentally-friendly and completely biodegradable products.

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