How Toxic Are Your Cleaning Products? The Dirty Truth About Cleaning Products.

updated: August 26, 2019

Whether it be Clorox wipes or Dawn every household has different cleaning chemicals in their home that will get used up and bought again no questions asked, after all being clean is a necessity. But with the benefits of going green, problems with increasing damage to the environment, and the peoples long term health and wellness, the issue of if chemical companies should work towards the goal of manufacturing only non toxic products is a clear answer of yes they most definitely should. The world is going green consumers are looking for safer options and big business should follow that for better profit.

Toxic Cleaning Products

The idea of going green is becoming more and more popular in modern society.

United States Environmental Protection Agency

People are beginning to see through big business and delve into the world of their own products often finding that some of the most popular products that they put on their skin, clothes and around their home have harmful ingredients. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency or EPA, Choosing less hazardous products that have positive environmental attributes like biodegradability, low toxicity, low volatile organic compound content, reduced packaging, low life cycle energy use, and taking steps to reduce exposure can minimize harmful impacts.

Overall air quality indoors and being released outdoors is improved, there is a safer product in the house, and effective cleaning is still taking place. Another huge benefit of going green is when it comes to disposing of a product or leftover cleaner properly it is less costly to dispose of an organic product rather than one with harmful chemicals.

Some might argue that organic or environmentally friendly products are too costly but a lot of advertised green products are not actually that green at all, it is important for consumers to look for the Safer Choice approval and for companies to get their products tested by the Safer Choice team before getting them on the shelves. Again more and more people are looking at the ingredients in their products as should businesses because overtime the mass of consumers are going to be looking for safer options for themselves and their environment to purchase.

Chemical businesses regulations

Our Earth is suffering at the hands of the peoples own chemical usage.

There is a hefty list of harmful effects chemicals in cleaning products are doing to the environment, to list some from the EPA, skin and eye irritation to parts of the labor force, toxicity to aquatic life, adverse reproductive effects seen in wildlife exposed to polluted waters, and smog formation. The small amount of chemical compounds that make there way through water treatment plants into our bodies of water adds up and cause widespread growth of algae and again harm to aquatic life, mainly reproductive harm.

Some may argue that this is a necessary evil to keep our homes clean but over time more regulations are being put on business and bans on certain chemicals to keep the rapidly decaying planet safe. So again chemical businesses face the threat of the people realizing the harm they are causing and have to make the decision to go green with the mass or potentially be shutout in the future.

There are many cleaning products that have been linked to cancer such as dryer sheets and air fresheners.

Chemical Danger

Chemical companies should be self aware of the long term effects of their products because they are not only endangering their consumers but their employees who work with these harmful products everyday, they also indirectly endanger people in the labor force like custodial workers. Some harmful chemicals in cleaning products are phthalates, which are found in fragranced household products an alternative for the producer is non-scented products, perchloroethylene in dry-cleaning solutions, spot removers, and carpet and upholstery cleaners an alternative is water based technology, and 2-Butoxyethanol which is found in multipurpose cleaners an alternative to this necessary product is natural ingredients such as ground feldspar and baking soda with essential oils for fragrance.

Phthalates, perchloroethylene and 2-Butoxyethanol cause problems such as low sperm count in men, dizziness and loss of coordination from “possible carcinogen”, sore throats, narcosis, pulmonary edema, and severe liver and kidney damage. There are many more products like these at the root of health problems and action is being taken California is looking to ban the use of perchloroethylene by 2023 according to Experience Life and the popular weed killer Roundup has been found guilty multiple times for causing cancer having to provide substantial compensation.

It is naive to assume there could be an overnight change in the chemical or cleaning product industry although it is clear that there is a need for change. Chemicals in cleaning products are a root cause in environmental damage, health risks for the population and more and more people are choosing to go green everyday. Chemical companies would benefit from working towards the goal of only manufacturing non toxic products because consumers would see an improvement in the environment and their own wellness and choose to spend the money and go green.

Essay: Alyssa Crowder

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