On many occasions we hear that cleaning chemicals are harmful to health. Some items like the chloroform, formaldehyde or phthalate can cause serious illness in children, adults and even pets. Next, we will see a list of the most harmful ones and how to replace them.
The scientific data is concrete and categorical: more than half of what is offered in supermarkets and shops contains harmful ingredients. Especially allergies and respiratory problems are the consequence of its continuous exposure.
Cleaning chemicals according to science
In 2012 the Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted an analysis cleaning liquids and products more common in homes. The results were alarming. Almost 65 highly toxic substances were found which are frequently associated with infertility, endocrine disorders, general malaise or neurotoxic diseases.
In Norway, the Department of Clinical Sciences at the University of Bergen conducted research based on the follow-up of 6,000 people who used chemical cleaning products daily. In this case, it was done emphasis on damage to the respiratory system in people exposed to these toxic elements.
For its part, the study Nature Climate change of Harvard University focused on the harm that these substances means for the environment all in all. Population symptoms such as anemia or iron deficiency would result from contamination from cleaning chemicals.
Added to this aspect is the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The establishment mentions the chilling number of 150,000 highly harmful synthetic substances that people live with on a daily basis.
Toxic substances present in cleaning chemicals
- Phthalates: they make cleaning products with synthetic fragrances and their main risk is to be endocrine disruptors. They can be found in dishwashers, floor and furniture cleaners, toilet paper, and even personal hygiene items.
- Perchlorethylene: present in those “dry cleaning” products. This component can cause dizziness, irritation of the respiratory tract and eyes, as it is considered a neurotoxic agent. Occasionally, it complements carpet cleaners, stain removers, etc.
- triclosan: characteristic of dishwashers, it is banned in the United States for breeding antibiotic-resistant bacteria. On the other hand, it is extremely harmful to natural ecosystems.
- Quaternary ammonium compounds (QAC): like triclosan, it is presented on labels as an ‘antibacterial’. The truth is that its prolonged use can be responsible for conditions such as dermatitis and respiratory allergies. We find it in various softeners and disinfectants.
- butoxyethanol: of the family of solvents, it is presented as a highly effective multipurpose cleaner. Basically, its daily use affects everything from lungs to liver and kidneys.
Safe cleaning alternatives
First, you need to delete all cleaners in spray and ventilate the house for a long time after cleaning. Gloves and masks are, on the other hand, essential to avoid being poisoned.
All precautions apply to prevent polluted air from entering the lungs or coming into contact with the skin. Let’s not forget that there are many effective tricks to apply when cleaning the house.
Cleaning chemicals can be replaced without affecting the cleanliness of the home. Actually, the best option are those eco-friendly, toxin-free alternatives that you make at home. If the intention is to purchase chemical-free cleaning supplies, perhaps a larger investment should be discussed.
Moreovermost of the job can be done with a clean rag, water and a little soap. If they cannot be avoided, it is essential to remember not to use chemical cleaning products around children, the elderly or vulnerable people, such as pregnant women.
In conclusion, cleaning chemicals enter the body mainly through the respiratory tract, skin and eyes. Therefore its consumption must be responsible, being essential to keep informed about its components. The final tip: read labels and keep health in mind.
The post Are cleaning chemicals harmful? first appeared on research-school