When we grab for our all-purpose cleaner to clean up a mess, most of us never consider that the chemicals in the spray may be causing more harm than good. Conventional all-purpose cleaners may get rid of the mess, but they leave behind toxic chemicals that are harmful to your health and the environment.
Conventional cleaners fail to get the job done without harm
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) routinely evaluates and rates cleaning products. Its analysis of hundreds of all-purpose cleaners found that more than 60 percent of them earn a D or F rating—yikes!
Cleaning product companies are not required to disclose the chemicals in their products because the government considers chemical compounds trade secrets. Some companies disclose a limited list of ingredients, while others make it impossible to find data on their products.
Six of the worst offenders
The EWG’s latest analysis found 75 percent of cleaning products contained chemicals that cause respiratory irritation and distress. All-purpose sprays were the major offenders of this group. Other products contained chemicals linked to cancer.
Here’s a list of the most common harmful chemicals in your conventional cleaning products.
|Benzene||Exposure to benzene can cause dizziness, irregular heartbeat, eye and skin irritation, and a decrease in red blood cells leading to anemia.|
|Disinfectants||Ethanolamine and quaternary ammonium compounds are common disinfectants and can trigger and even cause new cases of asthma.|
|Formaldehyde||A common chemical in cleaners and detergents, formaldehyde is linked to cancer, irritation of the eyes, nose, and skin, asthma, and COPD.|
|Fragrance||Chemically, the word “fragrance” in an ingredient list can mean anything. Studies have linked fragrances to allergies, immune system effects, and respiratory irritation.|
|Solvents||The solvent 2-butoxyethanol is an ingredient found in all-purpose sprays, including some “green” sprays, and can cause damage to red blood cells and eye irritation.|
|Surfactants||Alcohol ethoxylate surfactants are banned in the EU for their poor health effects, but not in the United States.|
A better choice for a greener clean
Fortunately, you have better options for an all-purpose cleaner. Environmentally friendly, all-natural sprays powerfully clean up your worst messes without hazardous chemicals. My Earth’s Natural All-Purpose Cleaner uses thymol and citric acid, two plant-derived, all-natural ingredients that will wipe out your mess without making you and your employees sick.
To learn more about the hazardous chemicals in your commercial cleaner or to switch to a greener clean, contact me today.
Here’s to breathing easy and living life to the fullest!
Gene Wood, Life’s Pure Balance