15/05/2021 Reading time: minutes remaining

How To Use Non-Toxic Safe Cleaning Products

If you want to avoid cancer, you need to use safe cleaning products. Many household cleaners are toxic and may cause cancer.

In this blog post, you will find out toxic substances to avoid and safe cleaning products to buy. You will also discover how to create natural cleaning supplies.

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Legal Notice

The information is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe treat or cure cancer.This information is not intended as medical advice, please refer to a qualified healthcare professional.

Many Cleaning Products Are Toxic And Dangerous

A clean home is vital to your health as a dirty one can cause sickness. Many scents, detergents, bleaches, and cleaners can be dangerous and toxic. You can get skin- or respiratory problems, irritated eyes, asthma, and burns. 

Many products may also be harmful to the environment. U.S. law allows manufacturers of cleaning products to use almost any ingredient they wish. Some use known carcinogens and substances that can harm fetuses.

cleaning products

Many cleaning products are toxic and harmful to our health

The most dangerous cleaning products are acid-based drain-, oven- and toilet bowl cleaners. If you look at the label, you will see "DANGER or Corrosive." Corrosive cleaners can burn your skin, eyes, and the inside of your body if swallowed. 

One of the most common toxic cleaning products used around the world is bleach. Bleach can cause many health problems. High exposure to it may cause asthma and pneumonia.

Bleach can also lead to eye irritation, chest pain, and burning skin. Another problematic substance you should avoid is borax.

Why You Should Avoid Borax, Ammonia, And Quats

Borax is common in laundry and dishwashing detergents and homemade cleaners. Some regard it as a safe cleaning product, but that isn't true.

Borax and boric acid have lasting, adverse effects on libido and fertility in both men and women. They are compounds used to stabilize enzymes in cleaning products.

Borax powder

Borax and boric acid have lasting, adverse effects on libido and fertility in both men and women

Ammonia is a toxic product often used for cleaning windows and mirrors. You can find this chemical in most Windex products, along with floor cleaners and waxes. Ammonia can cause asthma and affect the brain with high exposure.

Quaternary ammonium compounds are also called quats. They may lead to asthma. Benzalkonium chloride is among the most common quats. You can often find it in antibacterial cleaning products.

These substances are nothing compared to some cleaning products that can cause more cancer.

Toxic Substances In Cleaning Products Can Cause Cancer

Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen. It's an ingredient in dozens of cleaners. Formaldehyde may also generate from formaldehyde-releasing preservatives such as bronopol. Manufacturers do not add formaldehyde itself to the product. 

Instead, they add preservatives that release formaldehyde. You can find formaldehyde in Comet, Pine-Sol, and Simple Green cleaning products. Formaldehyde formation is worst on smoggy days when ozone levels are high.

A black woman affected by poison

Formaldehyde in some cleaning products is a known carcinogen

The EPA classifies 1,4-Dioxane as a probable human carcinogen. It is a chemical found in many brand-name liquid laundry detergents. Several animal studies found more liver tumors in animals exposed to 1,4-Dioxane. 

Women who reported using cleaning products had an increased incidence of breast cancer. Higher use of air fresheners raised the risk. 

If you're pregnant you should avoid certain detergents.

If You're Pregnant Avoid These Substances

Sodium perborate is a form of oxygen bleach found in some cleaners. It releases sodium borate during the bleaching process. The European Union considers them toxic to human reproductive systems. 

Diethylene glycol monomethyl ether is a solvent also known as DEGME or methoxydiglyco. You can find it in a few heavy-duty cleaners and degreasers. This chemical may damage fertility or the developing fetus. 

Pregnant woman and fetus

Some chemicals in cleaning products may cause fertility problems

Other chemicals in the glycol ether family may also impair fertility. Men exposed to glycol ethers on the job are more likely to have reduced sperm counts. 

Pregnant women contaminated with the same substance are more likely to have children with birth defects. These solvents absorb through the skin or via inhalation and can reach toxic levels in the body.

Cleaning products can also cause allergic reactions in people.

Regular Cleaners May Trigger Severe Allergic Reactions

Regular cleaners can cause mild to severe allergic reactions of the skin, eyes, and lungs. In rare cases, these reactions can lead to hospitalization. Some cleaning products contain chemicals that can trigger an allergy reaction by themselves.

Others have ingredients that, combined with proteins, form haptens that have the same effect. Linalool, often found in fragrances and essential oils is one hapten-forming chemical. 

Woman sneezing

Regular cleaners can cause mild to severe allergic reactions of the skin, eyes, and lungs

Many preservatives, fragrances, solvents, and surfactants are skin allergens or irritants. Some respiratory allergens and irritants can cause asthma or make asthma symptoms worse.

Chlorine bleach causes respiratory damage and wheezing as well as nose and eye irritation. Bleach fumes consist of a mixture of toxic, carcinogenic, and irritating gases. 

One problem often found in cleaners is the fragrances.

Fragrances In Cleaners Can Spark Asthma Attacks

Fragrances can trigger asthma attacks. Researchers at the Universities of Washington and West Georgia surveyed everyday Americans. 

They asked the participants about their experiences with fragranced cleaning supplies. One in five suffered headaches, breathing difficulties, or other problems. 

Symbol

Meaning

Health hazard symbol

Health hazard: This symbol is common for household items, such as bleach, washing detergent, and toilet cleaner. Products with this symbol can also cause severe environmental damage if not disposed of properly. It can irritate the skin, eye, or respiratory tract.

Flammable symbol

Flammable: Products with this symbol can easily set on fire. Keep the material away from sources of heat and direct sunlight.

Oxidation symbol

Oxidizing: Oxidizing products may cause fires or explosions. Oxygen tanks and some household cleaners, such as bleach and turpentine, will bear this symbol. You need protective gear such as gloves and eyewear.

Corrosive: Corrosive material can damage your skin and some types of metal. Some cleaners and acids commonly used in schools are corrosive, such as hydrochloric acid and ammonia. Corrosive materials can react with water and cause burns. Therefore you need to use non-reactive protection gear.

Acute toxicity symbol

Acute toxicity: Products wearing this symbol can be fatal if they touch your skin or if you inhale or ingest it. Typical products bearing this symbol include biocides and pesticides.

Anything with this symbol can cause instant death in some and a few symptoms in others. Anyone exposed to toxic chemicals should wash themselves to get rid of any trace amounts of the toxin.

Environment hazard symbol

Hazardous to the environment: Products with this symbol are bad for the environment and are difficult to clean up. They can have long lasting effects on the animal population. Pesticides and biocides often have this symbol.

Enzymes in laundry and dishwashing detergents break down and remove soils and stains. Detergent enzymes may create symptoms of sneezing, itchy nose, rhinitis, and wheezing.

Corrosive products are something you should avoid if you don't want to burn your skin or eyes.

Corrosive Products Can Cause Painful Burns To The Skin And Eyes

Cleaning products are either acidic or alkaline. They can also contain corrosive ingredients. This substance can cause painful burns to the skin and eyes.

Corrosive agents may also cause permanent tissue damage or scarring. Inhaling fumes from these products can harm the lungs. Cleaning professionals can suffer serious chemical injuries on the job.

Gases produced from cleaning products can cause serious problems. Bleach-based products pose the greatest hazard.

Skin affected by acid

Corrosive ingredients in cleaning products can cause painful burns to the skin and eyes.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers' does an annual report. In 2019 2148141 humans got exposed to toxins. 

Household cleaning substances were behind 7.13% of the cases. In children age five years or less, cleaning products injured 10.5% of the kids.

Bleach is a common cause of poisoning or injury. Spray bottles of cleaners are the most common means of exposure.

The best way to avoid toxic substances is to find safe products. So how do you do that?

How To Find Safe Cleaning Products

There are safer cleaning products on the market. Like all ingredients, it's essential to be aware of what you're using, even if it's considered safe. 

The easiest way to find out what's in cleaning products is to check the labels. But most products only display directions or warning messages. At best, they will only mention a few components. 

Cleaning products in a box

Companies that make cleaning products are not required to list the ingredients, picture by freeimageslive

Companies that make cleaning products are not required to list the ingredients. This lack of disclosure makes it almost impossible to find the healthiest products.

One way around this problem is to visit the Environmental Working Group's website.

EWG's Website Provides Safety Ratings Of Thousands Of Products

EWG's mission is to protect human health and the environment. EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning gives tips on how to avoid harmful chemicals.

This database lists more than 2000 products, 197 brands, and 1000 ingredients. The website looks for toxic substances and the credibility of the cleaner. It also examines certified green cleaning products. 

EWG created a scoring system from A to F. An "A" indicates little harm to our health and the environment. And "F" means the product is extremely toxic and provides little ingredient disclosure. 

EWG website

EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning gives tips on how to avoid harmful chemicals

The EWG tells us to avoid highly toxic oven- and drain cleaners. Instead, we should use a drain snake or plunger in drains and baking soda and water for the stove. Check out the EWG website and buy products with A ratings. 

Another way to avoid toxic products is to make your household cleaners.

Natural Substances You Can Use Clean Your Home

Vinegar is an excellent cleanser and can even be used to help unclog drains. It's great at lifting stains, freshening laundry, cleaning windows, and much more.

Plus, it's inexpensive and often on hand. But vinegar is also acidic, which means it can majorly damage some materials. 

Baking soda isn't only for baking, it's also a great home cleaning agent. You can even use it to remove burned foods from surfaces. Baking soda can also replace your fluoride toothpaste. I use it every day to brush my teeth.

Vinegar in a plastic can

Vinegar is an excellent natural cleaning agent

Essential oils have different uses and properties in natural cleaning products. Orange and lemon essential oils are great grease fighters. 

Peppermint essential oil is a good disinfectant and deters insects. Lavender is an excellent disinfectant. 

Castile soap is a vegetable-based soap with different scents. You can use it to make natural dish liquid, dish tablets, laundry soap, and hand soap. You can also use a little castile soap and use it for your face and body as well.

Other great natural cleaning ingredients are washing soda and lemons.

Washing Soda And Lemons Are Great Safe Cleaning Products

Washing soda is a great cleaning agent that you can buy in the store or make yourself. You can use it to make homemade laundry detergents. 

Washing soda is also great for cleaning hard water stains in toilets and anywhere else. The alkaline property in washing soda breaks down hard water and minerals with ease. 

Lemons and lemon juice are other great natural cleaning agents. The acidity in lemons removes stains and disinfects surfaces and grease.

Lemon in front of a blue background

Lemons and lemon juice are other great natural cleaning agents

Citric acid is an ingredient usually used for canning fruits and vegetables. But it also has great cleaning properties.

When mixed with other natural cleaning ingredients, it can cause a fizzing action. You can use it to help lift stains from dishes, toilets, and drains too.

Kosher salt is not limited to cooking and seasoning food. It also makes a great scrubbing agent mixed with oil and lemon juice. 

To learn how to make natural safe cleaning products, download our guide below.

Summary

The most dangerous cleaning products are acid-based drain-, oven- and toilet bowl cleaners.

Borax and boric acid have lasting, adverse effects on libido and fertility in both men and women.

Ammonia is a toxic product often used for cleaning windows and mirrors.

Quaternary ammonium compounds or quats may lead to asthma.

Formaldehyde is an ingredient in dozens of cleaners and is a known human carcinogen.

1,4-Dioxane is a chemical found in many brand-name liquid laundry detergents and may cause cancer.

Some cleaning products can impair fertility in women and men.

Regular cleaners can cause mild to severe allergic reactions of the skin, eyes, and lungs.

Fragrances can trigger asthma attacks.

Corrosive cleaning products can cause painful burns to the skin and eyes and harm the lungs.

The easiest way to find out what's in cleaning products is to check the labels or visit EWG's website.

Vinegar is an excellent cleanser and can even be used to help unclog drains.

Essential oils have different uses and properties in natural cleaning products.

Lemons and lemon juice are other great natural cleaning agents.

How To Create Safe Cleaning Products

1. Avoid toxic products

2. Buy safe cleaning products with a good grade on EWG's website

3. Create natural cleaning products yourself

Action Steps

If you have cancer or want to avoid it, you must shun toxic substances in cleaning products. You should especially look out for formaldehyde and 1,4-Dioxane.

According to EWG, the most dangerous cleaning supplies are acid-based drain-, oven- and toilet bowl cleaners. So don't use them.

If you want to buy safe cleaning products, visit EWG's website. Look for cleaners with an A rating. Or you can download the Think Dirty app to find out products you shoul avoid.

An even better way to avoid toxins is to create homemade safe cleaning products. Some good ingredients include vinegar, baking soda, lemons, castile soap, and more. To learn how to make non-toxic detergents download our guide below.

Discover how to create natural cleaning products for your kitchen, bathroom, clothes, and more.

Discover How To Create Natural Cleaning Products

Download this guide to learn how to clean your kitchen, dishes, bathroom, and clothes with natural, non-toxic ingredients.

Includes 23 recipes!

Resources:


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