Unfortunately, cleaning product manufacturers are not required to disclose their ingredients on the product. There are tens of thousands chemicals that can be included in these products, and only a small percentage have been tested for safety to humans. Many cleaning ingredients are petroleum-based and contain harsh and harmful chemicals that impact our health!
Because we touch, breathe in, and ingest small amounts of several different chemicals that we spray and spread around our homes to clean, we experience long-term, additive exposure to dangerous toxins. Mounting evidence links chemical exposure to rising levels of chronic health problems, and release of these chemicals into the environment can negatively affect waterways and ecosystems.
Cleaning products can contain toxins, carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, asthmagens, and allergens. These chemicals can be undisclosed or hidden in trade secret recipes for synthetic scents called "fragrance" or "parfum."
Think you’re disinfecting your home from viruses, bacteria, flu, and other unseen harms? In 2005 the US market for household cleaning products was $14.5 billion, including a rapid increase in disinfectant products. Advertisers and the media appear to be sharing a common objective by alarming the public of the unseen dangers lurking in every nook and cranny. However, the overuse of antimicrobials/antibacterials may be adding to the increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which provides the public with fewer tools to fight infectious disease.
Rinsing these chemicals down our drain is also negatively impacting our environment. A 2002 United States Geologic Survey determined that 70% of streams contained detergents and 66% contained disinfectants. Many of these cleaning products contain chemicals that act as endocrine (hormone) disruptors with possible negative impacts for our health and the aquatic ecosystem.
Without up-to-date laws in place to regulate the safety of these products, the responsibility falls to the consumer to choose safe and healthy cleaning supplies for the home. Here's what you can do to promote "green" cleaning in the home:
Look for safer cleaning products:
These are made with same ingredients our grandparents used... baking soda, vinegar, salt, lemon, and more. Simple substances like these are much safer and healthier than conventional cleaning chemicals. These natural cleaners, along with helpful tools like microfiber cloths and mops, are the best way to guarantee a "green" home for you and your family.
Push for proper regulation: