How To Identify Top 11 Toxic Cleaning Chemicals At Your Home Or Work Premises
While trying to give your home or office that clean and cute look, ensure the environment is safe and free of toxic cleaning chemicals. A great percentage of cleaning agents sold in the market contain toxic chemicals, and these days it’s becoming increasingly difficult to identify all-natural cleaning ingredients that are harmful.
While trying to choose an organic cleaner for your cleaning project, check out the customer reviews, the type of ingredients used in making the product, and the pricing. I recommend you opt for products manufactured by recognized brands because most recognized brands only sell government-approved/regulated products. And no big brand would want to distribute products that can inflict harm on their consumers. However, some recognized brands still include some toxic-ridden ingredients in their products.
The best and easy way to avoid harmful cleaning chemicals is by reviewing the ingredient label. You can identify the non-toxic chemicals by checking the terms used to describe the product on the label. “Not tested on animals” shows that the chemicals are natural and cruelty-free.
The ingredients listed below are unhealthy and should be avoided.
- Petroleum solvents
- Butyl glycol
- Ethylene glycol
- Butyl cellosolve
- Alkylphenol surfactants
- Synthetic fragrances
- Synthetic dyes
Top 11 Toxic Cleaning Chemicals or Ingredients to Avoid
- Phthalates: This fragrance is considered an endocrine disruptor, and it is used in making cleaning agents. This substance is known as a highly toxic fragrance and can endanger the human body. Exposure to the substance can lead to health conditions such as asthma, autism spectrum disorder, breast cancer, low IQ, type II diabetes, etc.
- Phosphates: phosphate has a low toxicity level but can potentially cause mild irritation. The effect may not be as severe as most chemicals found in some cleaning agents, but due to the sign of irritation, phosphate is considered a harmful substance and is currently banned in some countries, including the European Union.
- Petroleum Solvent: Petroleum solvents have the potential to harm the human body. The solvent can cause nausea or headache when inhaled in a large amount. Ironically, its toxicity makes it an effective cleaning agent. Petroleum solvents are pretty expensive to get rid of. However, the toxicity level is lesser compared to other cleaning solutions.
- Butyl glycol: This substance is commonly used in the production of liquid-based paints. They are equally used in ink making, and in the production of some household cleaning agents. The substance is considered toxic and can cause severe liver and kidney issues. This substance is equally associated with Health conditions such as narcosis and pulmonary edema and can lead to skin and eye irritation when inhaled. However, long-term exposure can lead to chronic conditions such as nausea, fatigue, tremor, and anemia.
- Ethylene glycol: the substance is known for having a sweet taste. However, when it penetrates into the human body it can destroy the tissues or organs. Due to the toxic nature of the substance, some of the body organs like the heart, and the kidney can be seriously endangered. Scenarios where this substance accidentally enters the body are considered an emergency situation and can lead to death if not handled properly.
- Butyl Cellosolve is a common detergent ingredient that is found in most cleaning products, this substance is used in making cleaning products for wiping the class, polishing the floor, degreasing, disinfecting the toilet and bathroom, and for grout removal. The substance is toxic because it causes irritation when inhaled, it can equally lead to tissue damage. The substance is otherwise known as butyl glycol, and it’s also classified as toxic cleaning chemicals.
- Ammonia: Ammonia is an effective cleaning agent, but can not be categorized under the all-natural cleaning chemicals due to its toxicity. Ammonia has the potential to cause skin irritation, and people suffering from asthma, or respiratory conditions should avoid the chemical entirely because the fumes can endanger the human organs.
- Alkylphenols: these are synthetic surfactants that are used in creating home/domestic products in the market. The by-products of Alkylphenols include pesticides, detergents, antistatic agents, hair care products, lubricants, solubilizers, etc. Despite widespread usefulness, they are powerfully toxic and can affect aquatic organisms. This chemical has been identified as an endocrine disruptor and is known for affecting animal organs by mimicking the behavior of the body’s hormones.
- Synthetic Fragrance: Due to the petroleum affiliation most synthetic fragrances have, they are considered dangerous even though they help to enhance the scent of cleaning products. Some of these chemicals found in fragrances are cancer-causing chemicals. They also have the potential to affect the endocrine in the body. Similarly, some people (even children) are allergic to fragrance chemicals.
- Synthetic dyes: these are formed out of organic molecules but some of them are highly toxic. Some synthetic dyes are cancer-causing agents. When they make contact with the skin, they release dangerous substances that can harm the body. They can also pollute the water and terminate living organisms.
- VOCs: VOCs are toxic pollutants that escape into the air as a result of cleaning chemicals used, for example, air fresheners. These pollutants are particularly harmful to the human body and can cause terrible health conditions such as eczema, cancer, asthma, and reduced fertility.
It is quite tough to find cleaning supply that is void of toxic cleaning chemicals, but we recommend you choose products that are fragrance-free, dye-free, and without preservatives. Products like bleach and quats should be strictly avoided, you can settle for a product with simple and less harmful ingredients.