Did you know that a good number of household cleaners contain toxic ingredients that can be harmful to you and your family? Many conventional products use powerful toxic ingredients which are carcinogens and endocrine disrupters. Natural cleaning products can clean as effectively as their petrochemical counterparts without polluting your home as well as the environment. So, next time you shop cleaning products, check all ingredients on the labels and make sure they do not include any of these 5 cleaning agents to keep away from your home.
1. Ammonia: found in bathroom cleaners, polish products for sinks and jewelry, as well as in glass cleaners, ammonia is a powerful irritant that can develop serious health issues such as chronic bronchitis and asthma. Ammonia is also known to cause irritation to eyes and mucous membranes, breathing difficulty, wheezing, chest pains, pulmonary edema, and skin burns. High exposure can lead to blindness, lung damage, heart attack or death.
2. Phthalates: air fresheners, dish soap, toilet paper, and other fragranced cleaners may contain this dangerous ingredient. If you see the word “fragrance” on a label, there’s a good chance phthalates are present because, by law, companies do not have to disclose what’s in their scents. Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors. Although exposure to phthalates mainly occurs through inhalation, it can also happen through skin contact with scented soaps or other personal care products.
3. Phenols: found in toilet bowl cleaners, disinfectants, and other household products, phenols are toxic to respiratory and circulatory systems. This chemical is still used in the United States but because of the threat posed to the environment by nonyl phenols, the European Union has banned this harmful ingredient from all cleaning products manufactured or used in the EU.
4. 2-Butoxyethanol: commonly found in window, kitchen, carpet, and multipurpose cleaners, 2-butoxyethanol/ ethylene glycol butyl ether can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and may cause blood disorders, as well as liver and kidney damage. May also cause reproductive damage with long-term exposure.
5. Chlorine: widely used in toilet bowl cleaners, mildew removers, laundry whiteners, and even in tap water, the health risks from chlorine can be serious. Chlorine is a respiratory irritant at an acute level and is listed as a possible human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
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