by: Sarah Zitin

Why Use Organic Cleaning Products?

We use lots of cleaning products every day. Organic cleaning products for the conscious home is a must, especially if you have children. Babies crawl on floors that have been cleaned with chemicals, and so do your pets. We inhale the  fumes from the cleaning products which are unhealthy for our lungs, eyes and skin, so why not buy organic cleaning products for a safe and healthy home?

If you ever read the list of chemicals and things you can’t even pronounce on cleaning products, you’d think again before buying them. You can’t always rely on the FDA or other federal agencies because their idea of clean products and ours is very different.

Here is a list of some of the ingredients in your cleaning products:

  • Phthalates; Found in many fragranced household products, such as air fresheners, dish soap, even toilet paper; Health Risk: Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors. Men with higher phthalate compounds in their blood had reduced sperm counts, according to a 2003 study conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Harvard School of Public Health.* Although exposure mainly occurs through inhalation, it can also  enter through the skin  with scented soaps. Absorbed chemicals go straight to organs from the skin.
  • Perchloroethylene or “PERC”; Health Risk: Perc is a neurotoxin, according to the chief scientist of environmental protection for the New York Attorney General’s office. And the EPA classifies perc as a “possible carcinogen” as well. People who live in residential buildings where dry cleaners are located have reported dizziness, loss of coordination and other symptoms.
  • Triclosan; Health Risk: Triclosan is an aggressive antibacterial agent that can promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. That’s how microbes develop resistance, and not just to these [household antibacterials], but also to real antibiotics that we need. The EPA is currently investigating whether triclosan may also disrupt endocrine (hormonal) function. It is a probable carcinogen. 
  • Quarternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS;Health Risk: Quats are another type of antimicrobial, and thus pose the same problem as triclosan by creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They’re also a skin irritant; one 10-year study of contact dermatitis found quats to be one of the leading causes. They’re also suspected as a culprit for respiratory disorders.
  • 2-Butoxyethanol; Health Risk: 2-butoxyethanol is the key ingredient in many window cleaners and gives them their sweet smell. It belongs in the category of “glycol ethers,” a set of powerful solvents that don’t mess around. Law does not require 2-butoxyethanol to be listed on a product’s label. According to the EPA’s Web site, in addition to causing sore throats when inhaled, at high levels glycol ethers can also contribute to narcosis, pulmonary edema, and severe liver and kidney damage. 
  • Ammonia; Health Risk: Ammonia is a powerful irritant. The people who will be really affected are those who have asthma, and elderly people with lung issues and breathing problems. It’s almost always inhaled. People who get a lot of ammonia exposure, like housekeepers, will often develop chronic bronchitis and asthma. Ammonia can also create a poisonous gas if it’s mixed with bleach.
  • Chlorine; Health Risk: With chlorine you’re exposed through fumes and possibly through skin when you clean with it, but because it’s also in city water to get rid of bacteria, you’re also getting exposed when you take a shower or bath. The health risks from chlorine can be acute, and they can be chronic; It may be a serious thyroid disruptor.
  • Sodium Hydroxide; Health Risk: Otherwise known as lye, sodium hydroxide is extremely corrosive. If it touches your skin or gets in your eyes, it can cause severe burns. Routes of exposure are skin contact and inhalation. Inhaling sodium hydroxide can cause a sore throat that lasts for days.

Have you had your fill of toxic chemicals in your everyday products? Now that you know better, surely you can buy organic cleaning products, particularly for the little ones in the home. It’s not a crime to read labels, so every time you reach for a cleaning product, read the ingredients. Avoid the above ingredients like the plague, as the accumulation of any of these toxic chemicals can cause irreparable physical damage to humans and pets.

Organic Cleaning Products for the Conscious Home

Here is a list of safe  organic cleaning products for your conscious home:

Deluxe Dish SoapDeluxe Dish Soap is a plant derived formula that works on grease with no streaks. Pure essential oils. No synthetic fragrances.

Multi-Purpose Cleaning Pods Cleans most non porous surfaces including counters, vinyl car interior, tile, stone, wood and windows. Vegan, made with soybean oil ink and sugarcane adhesive. Natural ingredients and compostable packaging, toxic chemicals and plastic removed.

All Purpose Spray –  All Purpose Spray is a plant derived formula. Works on any surface. Great for countertops, appliances and tile. Pure essential oil, no synthetic fragrances.

Jasmine Scented Candle – This soothing Jasmine Scent raises funds for Puerto Rico Relief needed from recent earthquakes and Hurricanes Irma & Maria. These 12 oz. candles have a 60 hour burn time and are hand poured into recycled glass jars and made of a blend of local beeswax / U.S. grown eco soy. Why is it considered a cleaning product? It cleans the air while it smells great! 

Organic cleaning products are definitely the way to go on your next shopping trek. In almost all markets there is an organic section of cleaning products, and there are plenty of them. Read labels, become a conscious consumer, and help make the environment a better place!