International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association

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Featured member

Featured member

Chemically Dangerous Clean

08 Mar 2020 5:41 PM | Nichole Graham-Treston

It is time to change the way we clean. The toxic levels of many of the traditionally used products in our homes and offices are overwhelming. Our health, environment, our expenses are battling from the effects of these harmful chemicals. But what is green cleaning, is it necessary, should we consider the change? While many may not see the need to abandon the traditional toxic chemicals they are used to, they do have harmful effects that we cannot deny. 

One such chemical is Chlorine. Commonly found in laundry bleach, dishwasher detergent and tile cleaner, chlorine has a direct toxic effect on living organism which can create extremely dangerous reproductive, endocrine and immune system disorders. Bleach is highly irritating and corrosive to the skin, lungs, and eyes. Fumes from bleach are very potent, as you can tell by the smell, and when inhaled they can cause a wide variety of health problems. Alternately, baking soda is a mineral that is full of many cleaning attributes. It acts as a cleaning agent because it is a mild alkali and can cause dirt and grease to dissolve easily in water for effective removal. It can be used as a non-abrasive cleaner for kitchen counter, tubs, sinks and fiberglass. The IJCSA certified members provide green cleaning services, and are able to inform their clients on the many green options that are available to give an affordable and effective clean. Click this link to find certified green cleaning services professionals

Another chemical that is generally found in oven-cleaners, detergents and furniture polish is benzene. This chemical found in crude oil and forms a major part of gasoline often exposes users to the risk of developing cancers such as leukemia and other blood disorders.  On the other hand, white vinegar carries many helpful uses with little or no effect on the user or the environment. It can be used to cut grease, remove wax build-up and stains. It can kill many harmful bacteria remove grease, grime, dirt, and other debris on surfaces.

For our environment and ourselves will ensure that we maintain safe practices not only in the use of naturally derived chemicals but also for the easy disposal of the products. The use of vinegar and olive oil can be used to wipe down furniture. Also a combination of liquid soap, baking soda and water can be used to clean the toilet bowl and bathtub. These and other do-it-yourself solutions provide great economic relief and substitute for harsh chemical use. Compared to other cleaning products homemade alternatives reduce chemical consumption and improves the environmental sustainability such as improved air quality and recycling.

The reduction of airborne dust and chemical gases are vital to not only staff but to our clients as well. Many of the commercial chemicals used causes irritation to the user and those who come in contact with it. According to the it states that, “The specific chemicals in these ingredients include ammonia, ethylene glycol monobutyl acetate, sodium hypochlorite and/or trisodium phosphate. Depending on the ingredients used, all-purpose cleaners can irritate the skin, eyes, nose and throat. They can be highly poisonous to both humans and animals if swallowed.”1

While many manufacturers don’t publish all the chemicals due to their harmful nature, we will ensure that we support the ones who do; as these are the ones who use ingredients more naturally derived. This research and validation method will support the drive for a cleaner, healthier environment. In a article it stated, “VOCs and other chemicals released when using cleaning supplies contribute to chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions and headaches. Studies are underway to assess how these chemicals affect people who have asthma and other respiratory illnesses.”2

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