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It really is all about our health. Our health is the most precious thing that we too often take for granted. No matter what we do, it is much easier to enjoy a great life when we are healthy. There are many health risks associated with the conventional cleaning products that we became familiar with in our youth. Most of the time the conventional cleaning product products contain ingredients linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, hormone disruption, neurotoxicity and other health effects.
Baby & Pet Friendly
Children and pets who are accidentally exposed to harsh, corrosive cleaners can suffer burns to skin and eyes, lung damage from inhaling the fumes, or other consequences. Even worse, in some cases toxic chemicals have a sweet taste, for example ethylene glycol. Once children or pets start to drink a product with ethylene glycol, they like the sweet flavor and inadvertently poison themselves! Even if you do not have a baby, kids or pets in your home, why expose yourself to things that are not good for you?
Asthma and Allergies
It seems that the number of people with allergies is on a steady increase. More and more people are developing allergies to more and more things. If you and your family are not allergic, consider yourself one of the fortunate few. It has been found that people who use or are around cleaning products at home may increase their risk of triggering asthma attacks, or worse developing asthma that was not previously present.
Bioaccumulation is a big word that refers to the progressive increase in the amount of a substance in a body because the rate of increase exceeds the body’s ability to remove the substance. Thus exposure to low levels of these chemicals over a lifetime may increase the risk of developing serious health conditions such as cancer or reproductive issues.
Benefit from the Newest Technologies
Unlike in the past when green cleaning products first came on the market, they are continually being developed and today are the cleaners that are on the cutting edge. As a result of new findings, the formulations are always being improved to take advantage of these new technologies. Consequently, when buying green cleaning products you will find they are more effective than the traditional products that seem to often be focusing more on improving their brand recognition and marketing efforts instead of their cleaning ability.
Of the estimated 85,000 chemicals in the U.S. marketplace that the average person is exposed to in their daily life, sadly, only a small fraction of them have ever been tested for their chronic impacts to human health. While Europe has banned 1,100 chemicals from use in products, the US has banned fewer than 10. This concern increases when it takes as little as 26 seconds for a toxic chemical to get into our body. These chemicals enter into our body through inhalation, ingestion and/or absorption.
Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are common in cleaning products. As well as acute health effects, VOC’s affect indoor air quality leading to long term consequences while also contributing to smog formation in outdoor air.
Additionally most cleaning products sport a “clean and fresh” smell. Many consumers like the way their cleaning products smell, but they may not know that fragrance can contain highly toxic substances. Although this sounds benign, in fact the fragrances can be the most toxic aspect of the cleaning product formulation. Fragrances are only a smidgen of the total ingredients, but they have been found to be more toxic than other ingredient … even in minute amounts.
Furthermore, cleaning chemicals have been found in those dust bunnies lurking around in the corners. The Safer Products Project (2005) found household dust have shown high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), asthmagens and other toxic chemicals.
There is a real toll on human health from cleaning, data from Washington State show that about six percent of janitors experience a job-related injury from chemical exposure related to cleaning products every year.
The damage extends to the environment resulting from the use of cleaning products through evaporation of volatile components as well as that rinsed down the drain of residual product from cleaned surfaces, mops, and sponges.
Like the hazards experienced by exposed humans, there is also acute and chronic toxicity to aquatic species in waters receiving inadequately treated wastes. For example, if an ingredient is harmful to humans (such as alkylphenol ethoxylates, a common surfactant ingredient in cleaners and a known endocrine disrupter) the same adverse reproductive effects can be seen in wildlife exposed to polluted waters.
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