We need to keep the environments we reside in clean. It’s important for our health, whether at work, school or home. However, even though cleaning is so essential, many of the products that we use to clean could be hurting us even more than the dirty environment itself.
Often, cleaning products such as sprays, soaps, and polishes, contain dangerous chemicals. Even products marketed as “green” or “natural” may contain harmful ingredients. What’s more, some cleaning supplies can be corrosive or flammable. Toxic cleaning products can cause severe health problems, but fortunately, you can reduce your risk of suffering severe health problems by following some essential steps.
How Do Cleaning Products Effect Health?
Various cleaning and household products can irritate the eyes or throat, headaches, or other health issues, including particularly those with conditions that lead to compromised immune systems. Some products release volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Aside from ammonia and bleach, other harmful ingredients are also present. Natural fragrances such as citrus can even produce dangers when used indoors or in poorly ventilated spaces. This is problematic, as many people think that fragrances labeled as “natural” can’t possibly be harmful to health. However, they can cause health problems, and many people develop sensitivities to fragrances over time if exposed to them regularly. Chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and headaches are caused by VOCs and other chemicals released by cleaning supplies. In fact, the problems can be so severe that numerous studies are looking specifically at asthma and other respiratory diseases and how cleaning products can negatively impact them. Past research has even linked occupational asthma and other respiratory disorders to chemicals found in cleaning supplies.
Many people are under the impression that only professional-grade cleaning products are harmful since they tend to be much stronger than the average cleaning supplies. However, several common household cleaning products contain VOCs and other toxic substances, including:
- · Chlorine bleach.
- · Aerosol spray products, including health, beauty, and cleaning products.
- · Air fresheners.
- · Oven cleaners.
- · Detergent and dishwashing liquid.
- · Rug and upholstery cleaners.
- · Furniture and floor polish.
- · Dry cleaning chemicals.
What’s more, mixing bleach or any products that contain bleach with any cleaner that contains ammonia is very dangerous. It is possible to develop chronic breathing issues and in rare cases such chemical combinations within confined spaces have led to accidental deaths
The ozone emitted from some cleaning products can even react with some natural fragrances, forming formaldehyde, a human carcinogen, and dangerous fine particles indoors. Asthma and other lung diseases are aggravated by ozone, an invisible gas that damages the lungs. The particles found in contaminated air can also worsen asthma and other lung diseases, as well as a result in heart attacks and strokes. Particles and ozone can both be fatal in some cases.
How To Protect Yourself Against Cleaning Chemicals
Before you buy cleaning supplies and household products, be sure to read all the labels. You should also make sure to choose products that contain no or low amounts of VOCs, fragrances, irritants, or flammable ingredients. Avoid using air fresheners as much as possible.
Unfortunately, U.S. law does not require manufacturers to list all the ingredients in their products. So, if you’re unsure about the safety of a product, check out reliable sources to find more information. They often have a customer contact number on the label or a contact/FAQ section on their websites. Remember, products labeled “green” are not necessarily safer than other products. There are sources available online that list the cleaners that meet the standards of the US Environmental Protection Agency.
If you’re concerned about any chemicals, particularly if you already have underlying health problems such as asthma or lung disease, warm water and soap work best at home as a cleaner alternative. Baking soda can also be used as a scrubbing agent, and glass can be cleaned with vinegar and water. Be sure to ventilate any room you’re in when using cleaning or household products. A window or door should be open, and never use cleaning products in an enclosed space.
To ensure you’re fully protected from the dangers of chemicals, it’s best to use a professional-grade air purifier. The Filtr Revolution features not only a cleanroom grade HEPA filter but also a pre-filter and a bi-polar ionizer. This ensures that the Filtr Revolution has a total system efficiency of 99.995%. What’s more, the carbon filter removes odors and volatile organic compounds to help indoor areas be further free of contaminants, thus making the air you breathe as fresh and clean as possible.