Is your green cleaning products safe for BOTH the environment and human health? You might be surprised to learn that 98 percent of the so called green or eco friendly cleaning products still contain toxic and dangerous substances. This applies to both green home cleaning products and green janitorial supplies and chemicals.
Understanding the makeup of your green cleaning products is important to protect the health of your baby and pets. It is even valuable as your begin to appreciate the impact long term exposure to the green janitorial chemicals can have on your employees.
With a little bit of research you can find the ingredients in the green cleaning products and green janitorial chemicals. Unfortunately unlike the nutrition information required on food products, currently cleaners are not required to list the ingredients on the product labels. If the ingredient information is not the label, you can learn if your green cleaning products are safe by reading the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations require Section 2 of the MSDS list the product’s individual hazardous chemicals and their relative percentages. The manufacturer has several options as to how the ingredients may be listed, but he active ingredients regulated under Federal, state, or local regulations must be listed.
Here is a list of some of the ingredients you should be on the lookout for and why.
Basically this is antifreeze. Exposure to lower amounts of ethylene glycol can cause nausea, vomiting, weakness, bloody or no urine, rapid breathing, hypothermia, facial paralysis, dizziness, blue lips and fingernails, low or high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, headaches, slurred speech, disorientation, feeling intoxicated, and irritated skin, eyes, nose, and throat. For example, check out the Windex Multi-Surface Cleaner with Vinegar MSDS.
This is another term for motor fuel. Ethanol is classified as a teratogen that causes birth defects. Hypoglycemia and respiratory depression are the 2 most immediate life-threatening complications that result from ethanol intoxication in children. For instance, check out the MSDS for Green Works All Purpose Cleaner
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
A study at the Medical College of Georgia, indicated that SLS penetrated into the eyes as well as brain, heart, liver, etc., and showed long-term retention in the tissues. The study also indicated that SLS penetrated young children’s eyes and prevented them from developing properly and caused cataracts to develop in adults. Unfortunately this is found in many products, as illustrated in the Seventh Generation Liquid Dish Soap MSDS.
2 Butoxy Ethanol
This chemical is known to be a cancer and reproductive hazard. It breaks down red blood cells. In the short term it is also a respiratory, eye, nose, and throat irritant. For example, check out the Simple Green All Purpose Cleaner MSDS.
This is known for its toxicity to babies, even to humans, including carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and acute toxicity. Not only is this toxic to aquatic organisms, it will also negatively impact your pets. For example, check out the product ingredient disclosures for Arm & Hammer Essentials Liquid Laundry Concentrate.
There is additional information that can be extracted from the MSDS as outlined in the primer. This is important to protect your baby, kids and pets from harmful ingredients that may impact them on the short term and/or long term. The internet has made it so much easier to find the MSDS for the product for which you are seeking information. Additionally to help us the US Department of Health & Human Services has develop the Household Products Database listing health and safety information on household products, including cleaning products
For a line of green cleaning products and janitorial cleaning chemicals that are free of ALL of these toxic substances AND are sustainable and green, check Green Cleaning Products have products that are for residential and commercial applications. These are products formulated from the CleanGredient list which is a part of the US EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Safer Chemistry Program.