International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association

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The Dangers of Standard Cleaning Products

10 Sep 2019 5:57 PM | Andrea Hayes

Did you know that cleaning products, unlike food, cosmetics, and other personal care products, are not legally required to list their ingredients?  That’s right, cleaning products are NOT regulated by the FDA!  Furthermore, the average household has approximately 65 chemicals stored in it, most of which have been linked to asthma, cancer, hormone disruptions, and birth defects.  How are we to determine, then, what is harmful or not, of all the products on the market?  The only way to be fully protect ourselves is to reduce our exposure to these chemicals and to stick with natural green products.  Natural green products are designated as safe and free of any harmful or abrasive toxic chemicals.

We will start with standard all purpose cleaners, which typically contain a whole host of dangerous toxins.  The common ingredient, 2-butoxyethanol, is known to cause dizziness, headaches, confusion, lightheadedness, and to irritate the nose, eyes, throat, and mouth.  In contrast, why not use a comparable green product - 'Simple Green Pro Herbal Scent Antibacterial Cleaner and Disinfectant'?  This product kills 99.9% of germs, meets the OSHA bloodborne pathogens standards, fully sanitizes and disinfects surfaces, and kills viruses.  There is nothing that a standard all-purpose cleaner can do, that simple green will not do.  Why pose a risk to your health, when it can be avoided? 

Glass cleaners are another culprit.  Many standard glass cleaners on the market contain Isopropyl Alcohol, which can irritate the skin, eyes, and can provoke asthmatic episodes involving coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.  In contrast, the Simple Green Glass Cleaner is just as effective as any standard glass cleaner, restoring a streak-free shine to any window, mirror, or other reflective surface.  It meets the Green Seal GS-37 Standard, which verifies its reduced healthy, safety, and environmental risk as a green product.  When posed with the option, why choose a standard glass cleaner that contains VOCs which adversely impact the air quality and the health of our lungs? 

Those who are drawn to cleaning products with ‘delicious’ fragrances should be made aware that these scents are created through the use of noxious chemicals.  These synthetic fragrances conceal under their sweet scent a slew of toxic agents that have been linked to cancer, birth defects, nervous-system disorders, and severe allergens.  Allergy sufferers often find that their symptoms become much worse with the use of these synthetic scents.  Why not use essential oils instead?  Essential oils have been known to boost the immune system, balance out hormone levels, heal digestive disorders, and dramatically reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.  The choice is clear!

There are a few more toxic ingredients found in common household products that everyone should be aware of.  Chlorine bleach, which is probably the most common one, can bring severe irritation to the lungs and eyes.  Ammonia can burn the skin on contact and is poisonous when swallowed.  Sodium hydroxide, which is often found in drain, metal, and oven cleaners, can also burn the skin on contact, and is extremely irritating to the eyes, ears, nose, and throat.  Sodium lauryl sulfate, a common ingredient in many personal care items, has been linked to cancer, neurotoxins, skin irritation, and organ toxicity. 

The list doesn’t stop there,but goes on and on.  The only way to be entirely safe is to reduce your exposure to these dangerous toxins, and to commit fully to using green products.  For a list of IJCSA green-certified professional cleaners, please visit the directory below:

https://ijcsa.org/Green-Cleaning-Services

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