Chemicals are everywhere. It’s a simple fact of life. Whether for good or bad, modern society has embraced the use of sometimes toxic chemicals in an attempt to keep the items and places they come in contact with most clean and free of germs.
To a large degree, it has worked. Modern society is one of the healthiest, most long-lived. Thanks in large part to the increase in cleanliness provided by the chemicals in question. And while the short-term effects of those chemicals are fairly obvious, the long-term effects are only now becoming visible.
These chemicals found in toilet bowl cleaners are toxic to both respiratory and circulatory systems. Have you ever been spraying toilet bowl cleaner on the applicable surface only to get a whiff of that familiar chemical smell? No doubt you have. And no doubt you’ve felt a slight burning in your throat or sinuses for a few moments after. That’s the chlorinated phenols irritating the soft tissue in your respiratory system. Given enough exposure, these chemicals can be absorbed into your blood stream and cause even further damage.
Just like their relatives described above, regular phenols are toxic to your respiratory and circulatory system. Most common disinfectants contain phenols. Phenols – like their chlorinated brethren – can cause irritation to sinuses, throat, lungs, and given enough exposure to the circulatory system.
This chemical, found in most window cleaners, suppresses the nervous system. It does this by inhibiting brain activity. The decreased brain activity suppresses the effectiveness of the nervous system which can lead to decreased rate of breathing, decreased heart rate, and loss of consciousness possibly leading to coma or death.
Yes, this is the same chemical with which they embalm dead people. The amount found in spray and wick deodorizers is substantially less concentrated but it is still known to be a respiratory irritant and possible carcinogen (meaning cancer-causer).
Boy those phenols, huh? This variation of phenol is a common detergent found in laundry soap and all-purpose cleaners. It’s harmful effects are similar to the other phenols listed above though the concentration is not quite as high in nonylphenol ethoxylate as it is in the others. This chemical has even been shown to degrade into even more toxic compounds. It’s bad enough that nonylphenol ethoxylate is banned in most European countries.
Perchloroethylene is found in many spot removers but has been shown to cause liver and kidney damage in high enough quantities.
This chemical is common in many all-purpose cleaners, window cleaners, and others. It has been shown to cause damage to a whole list of organs and systems including bone marrow, the nervous system, kidneys, and liver.
Sounds pretty bad doesn’t it? But don’t despair. You can rid your home of these toxic chemicals and replace them with environmentally-friendly (and human-friendly) products that do the job just as well.
First, pull all of your cleaning supplies out of the closet and read the label on the back (or wherever it might be found). If it contains any of the chemicals discussed above, get rid of it. Then replace those items with a nontoxic or biodegradable alternative. These natural cleaning products are formulated to clean just as well as their petrochemical cousins but won’t harm you or the environment.
You can also make your own effective cleaners out of common, non-toxic, household items such as lemon juice, vegetable oil, baking soda, salt, and vinegar. A quick internet search will reveal a whole host of natural alternatives to the hoard of chemicals currently cluttering you closet.
HouseMaids is proud to offer eco-friendly, human-friendly, and pet friendly cleaning solutions for residential, business, and commercial establishments in Longboat Key. Their services are also available in Bradenton, Sarasota, and surrounding areas.