The average home contains gallons of toxic materials hiding in common household products, most of which are in cleaners. This had led to air pollution being worse inside our homes than outside. Some ingredients in these products are as dangerous as smoking. Always be on the lookout for these dangerous chemicals in your products, and rest assured knowing that Sun & Earth will never use any of them.
Some examples of chemicals to avoid at all costs include the following:
- Ammonia – irritant to the eyes and mucous membranes. Breathing difficulty, wheezing, chest pains, pulmonary edema, skin burns. High exposure can lead to blindness, lung damage, heart attack and death.
- Benzisothiazolinone -known as a human immune system toxicant. It is widely used in laundry detergents and cleaning products and a dizzying amount of other products including paint, solvents, stain removers, dish detergents, and stainless steel cleaners. It acts as an antimicrobial (killing off beneficial microorganisms) and a preservative.
- Bleach – when mixed with acids commonly found in toilet bowl cleaners, it reacts with them to form chlorine gas. When mixed with ammonia, it can create chloramine gas, another toxic compound that stay in the environment.
- Butyl Cellosolve – common in window and other type cleaners. It damages bone marrow, the nerves system, kidneys and liver.
- 2-Butoxyethanol – used as a solvent in carpet cleaners, specialty cleaning products and deodorizing products. 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.
- Chlorine Phenols – commonly used in toilet bowl cleaners are toxic to respiratory and circulatory system.
- Diethylene Glycol – found in window cleaners depresses the nervous system
- Formaldehyde – a respiratory irritant and suspected carcinogen found in spray deodorizers.
- Naphthalene – used in mothballs and listed as a substance known to cause cancer
- Perchloroethylene – Found in spot removers, causing liver and kidney damage.
- Petroleum Solvents – Found in floor cleaners, causing damage to mucous membranes.
- Phenols – Found in disinfectants, toxic to respiratory and circulatory systems.
- Phosphates – Manufactures have reduced or eliminated phosphates from laundry detergents, but no action has been taken on dishwasher detergents. Most of the products available from major manufactures contain 30-40 percent phosphates. Some also contain high levels of chlorine-based sanitizing ingredients that end up in our water supply and have to be bleached out.
- Silica – Silica is a carcinogenic. It is found in abrasive cleaners, which are often used on a regular basis around the home.
- Toluene – It is a potent reproductive toxin. It is used as a solvent in a number of products, including paint. Pregnant women should avoid products containing toluene.
- Trisodium Nitrilotriacetate (NTA) – Listed by International Research on Cancer as a possible human carcinogen. It is used as a builder in laundry detergents.
- Xylene – Another extremely toxic ingredient often found in scuff removers, spray paints and some adhesives. It is also a neurotoxicant that can cause memory loss and repeated exposure.
There are few laws that protect consumer safety, and many laws protecting company trade secrets. Since consumer safety isn’t enforced by law you need to do your own research to find products that are safe for your family. Toxic products come in many forms: glue, spray paint, toilet bowl cleaners, stain removers, drain cleaners, mothballs, and many others. Be sure to read the ingredients to make sure you’re keeping your family safe.
A great resource that can help filter through all the products on the market is the Environmental Working Group. Their website gives products ratings based on health and environmental impacts. Be sure to visit them if you’re not sure what an ingredient is or if it is safe to use.