A lot of the cleaning products we use in our household contain harsh chemicals. Usually, it is very hard to tell which cleaners have a hazardous cocktail of ingredients. Even though these products are regulated by law, yet manufacturers aren’t obliged to include the ingredients on the label. Trade secrets, you know. So, instead of protecting people’s health, these regulations in fact protect proprietary information.
And while the labels only read ‘Warning!’ or ‘Danger’, one can hardly get an idea of how hazardous these products can be. Many people are not aware of the fact that chemically-based cleaners have both short-term and long-term effects. As far as short-term effects are concerned, one doesn’t seem to be concerned about their health. However, when it comes to the long-term consequences of these dangerous ingredients, the situation changes.
If you are using some of the most common cleaners, you are probably dealing with the following chemicals:
Phenol is an organic compound also known as carbolic acid. Phenols are a class of compounds that can be extremely toxic. They may cause problems with circulatory and respiratory systems. This type of chemical is usually found in disinfectants.
As a whole, phenol is dangerous to the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract.
2. Chlorinated phenols
This type of phenols is used in toilet bowl cleaning products. They cause problems to the circulatory and respiratory systems.
Formaldehyde is the simplest aldehyde and an organic compound. It has a very strong and pungent odor. It also is volatile, carcinogenic, and toxic. Exposure to formaldehyde and its components can cause respiratory problems. Formaldehyde is common in wick and spray deodorizers.
4. Nonylphenol ethoxylate
Nonylphenol ethoxylate is a class of organic compounds closely related to one another. This combination of compounds is extremely dangerous and toxic.
According to specialists, exposure to this type of chemicals can result in endocrine problems. The latter may occur due to nonylphenol’s inability to mimic estrogen.
This chemical can be found in all-purpose cleaners and laundry detergents. Nonylphenol ethoxylate is banned in Europe.
5. Butyl cellosolve
This chemical is commonly found in windows, all-purpose cleaners, and other cleaning products. It has a bad effect on bone marrow, liver, kidneys, and the nervous system.
These are some of the most common chemicals that manufacturers use to create the cleaning products we use at home. But there are many more that we haven’t included here. The truth is, the list is endless. A whole book can be filled with information about the chemicals. It is very important to keep this list in mind when using commercial cleaners in the household. Attention to detail when purchasing such products is necessary if you don’t want to jeopardize your life and that of your beloved ones.
If you want to reduce the risk of health problems while you are still using commercial cleaners, a good idea is to use such products at less frequent intervals.
In fact, if you are smart enough, you can prepare your own green cleaners that include natural and healthy ingredients. At least won’t worry about chemically-based cleaning products anymore.
A little hint: When you survey the labels, choose the product that reveals the most information about its ingredients. Usually, manufacturers that provide such information can be trusted. Also, when choosing a product, pick up one that has no phosphates, chlorine, or petroleum-based surfactants. If you happen to find a cleaner whose label says ‘biodegradable’ or ‘non-toxic’, this product is worth your attention.