6 Reasons To Avoid Chemical Cleaning Products At Home
Chemical home cleaning products are readily available and cheap. But, when you buy them to save money, you pay with your and your family’s health. Read on to find out how.
By Arun Sharma • 7 min read
Every month you buy an array of home cleaning products — dishwashing detergents, kitchen cleaners, floor cleaners, surface cleaners, toilet and drain cleaners, and disinfectants. And you expect them to keep your living space clean and, more importantly, healthy! But that isn’t how things turn out to be.
On the contrary, whenever you use chemical household cleaning products, you put your family’s, especially your child’s, health at risk. Along with causing indoor air pollution, some home cleaners contain toxic ingredients which can cause or aggravate health issues. Alarming, is it not?
So, before you use your home cleaning products the next time, get to know how these could be affecting you and your child.
6 Reasons why you should avoid toxic household cleaning products
- Damage to skin: If you have been suffering from red itchy rashes on the hands or other signs of allergy, then it’s time to study the label of your home cleaning supplies, especially the dishwashing liquid. Quite a few of them contain chemicals like various forms of formaldehyde (methyl aldehyde or methylene oxide), ammonia, sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), phosphates, and so on. These chemicals help to neutralize bacteria, soften the water, and create foam. However, prolonged contact with these chemicals can cause your skin to turn dry by leaching the body’s natural oil.
Also, bits of dishwashing soap or detergent could be left sticking to utensils if you don’t rinse them properly. And, the next time your family consumes food from these utensils, they would also ingest the chemicals. An easy way of escaping all these complications is to use quality herbal household cleaning products.
Using a herbal dishwasher liquid detergent that is non-toxic and made from plant extracts is one good way to avoid damage to your skin and your family’s health.
- Development of cancer: Settling of dust particles on the floor, furniture, or other surfaces is a big problem, especially if you live in the city or near a busy thoroughfare. And, to get rid of the dust, you’ll need regular cleaning with floor cleaners and surface cleaners. However, chemical floor cleaners and surface cleaners in themselves are a health hazard.
The presence of chemicals such as SLES, triclosan, and phthalates in home cleaners can cause cancer and reproductive and developmental disorders. After you use your floor or surface cleaner, the residue of these chemicals is left behind on the floor. And, can you guess who in your family is most exposed to these residues? It’s your child. Yes, we are right. Since your child does most of her activities on the floor — from crawling to playing to just lying down to relax—she is the one who is most exposed to these chemicals. So, replacing chemical-laden floor cleaning and surface cleaning liquids with baby-safe natural/herbal home cleaners is a wise idea.
These herbal home cleaners are safe for you and your family but also for your pets who are on the floor most of the time. Additionally, these herbal floor cleaners are biodegradable that makes them environment-friendly and the leftover water when using a herbal cleaner can be utilized to water the plants as it is free from chemicals and therefore, safe to use on plants. This can also save precious water.
- Injury to eyes and lungs: Using toilet cleaners and drain cleaners to clean toilets and to unclog the drains is a regular affair in most households. But what you probably don’t know is that most chemical toilet cleaners contain muriatic acid, which is a form of hydrochloric acid. It can pose many health risks – momentary skin exposure can cause severe burns while inhaling the fumes of muriatic acid can burn the nose and lung lining. Sodium hypochlorite and cetrimonium chloride are other dangerous chemicals that may be present in your toilet cleaner.
So, every time you use your chemical toilet cleaner, you and your family are exposed to these chemicals. Tests show that coming into contact with these chemicals (even for a short duration) can cause damage to the skin and eyes. Inhaling the acid fumes can even cause nasal ulcers and damage to the lungs.
Most chemical drain cleaners contain sodium hydroxide, a poisonous ingredient. Swallowing drain cleaner or breathing in its fumes can cause symptoms like intense abdominal pain, breathing difficulty, and a drop in blood pressure. If you have kids at home, you need to be very careful about using the chemical toilet and drain cleaners. Allowing your child to immediately enter the toilet after you have used a toilet cleaner can expose her to its toxic fumes.
Similarly, if you have used a drain cleaner, ensure that your child stays away from that particular drain hole. But there is an easy way of keeping your child and yourself safe from these hazards. All that you have to do is go for a non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaner made from natural ingredients.
- Hazardous reaction with other cleaning products: We use disinfectants regularly to rid our homes of germs and viruses. However, most chemical disinfecting agents contain bleach or chlorine. Beach can react with ammonia/acids present in other home cleaning products and release toxic chloramine gas. This can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs.
If you have a child at home, you have to take the precaution of keeping chemical home cleaning products out of your little one’s reach. For if she lays her hands on these products and tries to use them, she may suffer undesirable health effects. Herbal disinfectants are the best when it comes to sanitizing your home. Not only are these non-toxic and child-safe but also gentle on your skin.
- Damage to furniture and fittings: Chemical home cleaning products aren’t just damaging to your health but also to furniture and fittings. Regularly wiping the kitchen slab and fittings with chemical home cleaning products can wear them down. Also, using cleaners on furniture can strip them of paint and sealants and expose them to moisture, leading to decay. This, in turn, leads to unnecessary expenditure.
- Harm to Mother Nature: If you think that damage by chemical home cleaning products is limited to your family and home, then you are wrong. Once the wastewater from your home enters the sewage system, these harmful chemicals find their way into lakes and rivers eventually polluting the environment. People who use this contaminated water fall prey to the ill-effects of the harmful chemicals present in home cleaning products.
The use of chemical home cleaning supplies can cause damage to our bodies and cause irreparable damage to the environment. To safeguard our family from diseases as well as to protect the environment, it’s high time that we switch from chemical-laced cleaning products to eco-friendly alternatives such as herbal home cleaning products.
We hope the above reasons are powerful enough to help you stop and contemplate before you reach out for a home cleaning product the next time you are at the store.
About the author:
Written by Arun Sharma on March 22, 2021.
The author was associated with the healthcare industry before becoming a full-time writer and editor. A doting father to two preteens, he believes in experiential learning for his children. Also, he loves mountain trekking and nature trips.
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