Staying Safe At Home: What Should I Know About Cleaning Products?

September 11th, 2012
By Brandon Boyewsky

Most people say that staying safe at home is the number one priority. However, if you took a look under most people’s sink, the array of hazardous cleaning products might shock you. However, before we alert the F.B.I. about anyone, it is important to consider, ‘What should I know about the safety of cleaning products?

The fact is that there are so many products out there that it is tough to evaluate the level of risk any one chemical cleaner might generate. Luckily, this is where The Environmental Working Group swoops in and drops some serious knowledge on our puzzled heads. In its freshly released guide to safe cleaning products, the non-profit organization highlights several top findings.

So, What Should I Know About Cleaning Products?

  • Of products evaluated by EWG, 53% of cleaning products contain ingredients known to harm the lungs. This is a staggeringly high percentage, and should be enough for you to question the cleaners lurking in your cupboard!
  • 22% percent have chemicals which may cause asthma to develop in otherwise healthy individuals.
  • A known human carcinogen, Formaldehyde, is used as a preservative at times. In fact, Rebecca Sutton, PhD, a senior scientist at EWG and the lead researcher on the cleaners database noted the following, “What surprised and disappointed me most is the continued use in U.S. products of chemicals that have been banned in the EU and in other parts of the world, especially really obvious bad actors like formaldehyde.”
  • 1,4-dioxane is a common contaminant of widely-used detergent chemicals. This chemical is also suspected to be a human carcinogen.
  • Chloroform, a suspected human carcinogen, sometimes escapes in fumes released by products containing chlorine bleach.
  • Quaternary ammonium compounds which are found in antibacterial spray cleaners and fabric softeners, can cause asthma. Cases of asthma turn up quite often in their research, according to Sutton, “There’s a real air pollution and asthma concern with these products, especially for children.”
  • Borax and boric acid can disrupt the hormone system. They are added to many products as cleaning agents, enzyme stabilizers or for other functions.

The EWG notes the startling truth that while ingredient labels are mandatory for food, cosmetics and drugs, they are not required for cleaning products. This means that manufacturers aren’t required to disclose the ingredients in their cleaners and many do not, even some highly-touted green cleaner makers. The organization urges consumers to tell manufacturers and legislators that for consumers to stay safe at home, they need these products labeled with a complete list of ingredients.

Not only should cleaners be labeled for safety, it is also important to go green when hiring a professional cleaning service. Sweep Home Chicago offers environmentally-conscious customers a healthy alternative to basic cleaning services; green cleaning. Green cleaning is the exact same high-quality tidying enjoyed by our basic cleaning customers, except this sanitizing is done with all environmentally-friendly, completely bio-degradable cleaning products.

SweepHome green cleaning services adhere to all standards of eco-friendly cleaning practices and will ensure minimal waste of resources. All green cleaning products are certified non-toxic and unsurpassed in quality and price.

If you are still wondering, ‘What should I know about chemicals in cleaning products?”, or feel you can’t handle the cleaning yourself and need outside help, always choose green cleaning services. Green cleaners can give you high-quality scrubbing while using environmentally-friendly and completely biodegradable products that can keep you safe at home.

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