Cleaning products and the selection has never been as important as it is today. With so much awareness being brought to all the dangers of radical chemicals, company’s are being directed to disclose ingredients but consumers are still missing many of the facts. 
Did you know A family is exposed to over 80,000 new chemicals each year? That’s a lot of toxins. We can’t write an article on all 80,000 toxins, so we picked the top chemicals in the most common areas of your home, and broke down those areas. Chemicals and its dangers are not only in your home but in our waterways. Plastic isn't being discarded properly and remnants are ending up in the water, and the stomachs of marine life.

Another strain on our waters is all the chemicals we wash out of our home and drain back into the waterways. How do these chemicals get broken down? With more chemicals? There are larger doses of chlorine (and other things) being added to cleanse the water, to emit toxins, and turbidity in the drinking water, and water we use to clean our home, clothing, and maintain our personal hygiene. By doing our part we can stop using consumable products, reduce the soaps and fabric softeners we use to clean our clothes, and above all else, we need to become aware of the chemicals we are using, and sustainable chemical-free alternatives.

 

In this article, we are going to share what chemicals you want to avoid and some of the health risks associated with its use. ASQHS INC is talking to families about these dangers and showing you that there is a sustainable, affordable solution. We have been striving to show you these solutions and implement a few new tools to get the chore done without the risks.

Harmful Household Cleaning Products

Phthalates are found in fragranced household products like dish soap, feminine products, and even toilet paper. Because of proprietary laws, companies don’t have to disclose what’s in their scents, so you won’t find phthalates on a label. A little tip, If you see the word “fragrance” on a label, chances are phthalates are present.

A few health risks with Phthalates

  • Men with higher Phthalates are at risk of a lower sperm count according to many studies.
  • Exposure to phthalates is usually through inhalation or through the skin with scented soaps. This is a significant problem. The skin has no safeguards or "filters" against the chemicals allowing them to go straight to the organs.

Perchloroethylene or “PERC” is found in dry cleaning solutions, spot removers, and upholstery cleaners.

A few health risks with Perchloroethylene

  • PERC is a neurotoxin
  • It’s classified as a carcinogen
  • Symptoms include dizziness or loss of coordination.

A safer alternative to dry cleaning clothing, drapery, or linens would be using the dry clean setting on your washing machine. You no longer need to bring your clothes to the dry cleaner nor do you have to expose yourself or family to these nasty chemicals.

Triclosan

Triclosan is found is dishwashing detergent and handwashing soap labeled as “anti-bacterial”.

Health Risks

Triclosan is an aggressive antibacterial agent that promotes the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. Over-using triclosan can cause uncertain health ailments. Shy away from soaps and cleaners that are stated to be anti-bacterial and instead choose something without all the toxins. By choosing products with shorter ingredient lists you’re more likely able to avoid these radical chemicals.

Quarternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS”

Quarternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS” are found in fabric softeners and fabric sheets.

Health Risks

  • QUATS is a microbial that you want to avoid. It’s similar to triclosan in that it helps breed resistant antibiotic bacteria.
  • It is known to cause dermatitis
  • Respiratory culprit and prolonged used is said to have effects on chronic asthma

Healthier choices could include omitting fabric softeners and fabric sheets and use a safer alternative like wool dryer balls to remove the static. Microfibre and water are a safe alternative for removing all the bacteria, fungi and chemicals from washrooms, floors or in the kitchen.

Butoxyethanol

Butoxyethanol is found in window solvents, kitchen solvents, and multipurpose cleaners. This stuff is BAD. FOR. YOU. High levels of 2-butoxyethanol can cause severe damage to the kidneys and liver, so if you’re using this at home, vent your washroom or it could result in high levels of 2-butoxyethanol and often the level is higher than the levels permitted in a workplace.

Healthier choices would be microfibre to clean the windows, kitchen and any other area needing multipurpose cleaners and window solvents. Look for solutions that avoid bleach and fragrance and find solutions that include water as much as possible. Chemical build up or body burden pollutes our body with accumulated contaminants and struggles to rid the unwanted trespassers.

Ammonia

Many of us know ammonia is in cat urine and has a very strong scent. Ammonia is very hard on the lungs, skin and all fixtures like chrome and glass. In some residential cleaners, ammonia, and bleach are combined to create a chemical reaction to remove the soap scum. However, if you’re bathing in this tub it’s highly recommended you find alternative solutions.

A solution to glass, mirrors, chrome, jewelry, and silver is a good microfibre cloth for polishing and removing finger stains. Silver is less likely to tarnish if the right microfibre is used for cleaning or polishing.

Chlorine

Hard to believe that in 2020, chlorine is still being used to clean drinking water, among many other things. Chlorine can be found in kitchen and washroom cleaners, toilet bowl cleaner, and laundry whiteners.

The health risk is essentially overexposure and ingestion. We get exposed to chlorine through fumes, city water when drinking it, taking a shower or washing our hands. The health risks can be acute to chronic with varying degrees of side effects and we all have varying sensitivities. To reduce the exposure in your water, add a filter to cleanse your water and omit the toxins.

Sodium Hydroxide

Sodium Hydroxide is found in oven cleaners and drain openers

Also known as lye, Sodium Hydroxide is extremely corrosive. If it touches the skin or eyes, it can cause serious burns. Imagine what it does to the inside of the drain?! Or how dangerous it could be if it wasn’t all washed out of the oven or off the wire racks and you cook chicken fingers in those fumes. YIKES!!

If you need to decongest your drains, a safe alternative is vinegar and baking soda. It causes a mild chemical reaction in the drain, freeing debris or scum from the drain and sink stopper. Repeat this step a few times for full results.

Beware of Greenwashing! If a product at the grocery store states it’s “green,” “natural” or “biodegradable,” it doesn’t mean it’s nontoxic. Many make claims that may be true but have no importance. For example, a product will say free of CFC’s but these chemicals are banned by law. A consumer wouldn’t know it’s banned as this isn’t always common knowledge making it a deceptive way to advertise “green” cleaners.  When looking for biodegradable solutions look for things like 'this solution is biodegradable in 3-5 days or weeks'.

Finding natural, safe, green cleaners takes a little more thought than just reading the “green” label. Unfortunately, there are many products on the market delivering misleading testimony, in effort to get you to use their crappy products. It’s our hope that with this information, you’re able to put a little more caution into what you're using to clean your home and what products and tools are the best.

ASQHS INC wants all of you to have a positive and safe cleaning experience when cleaning your home. After using many different cleaning products over the years, we have carefully decided on what’s best for us to recommend to all of our clients and visitors. We have taken the time and used consideration before presenting solutions that were good for our planet and safe for its users.

ASQHS INC prefers to use sustainable and durable products that will last your household for years to come. We want your home to be chemical-free at the same time as meeting your standard of clean which is why we recommend Norwex and their cleaning systems to maintain your home.

Norwex cleans up to 99% of bacteria, fungi or mold with microfibre and water! It’s time to kick the chemicals and toxins to the curb, reduce your cleaning bill, reduce your cleaning time, get rid of ALL. THE. PLASTIC. and improve your cleaning results. Sounds good, doesn’t it?!

Let me tell you a little how the enviro cloth works. The Norwex enviro cloth is tightly woven microfibre the would stretch from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. That’s 10 million feet or 3 million meters. What this means for the consumer is the cloth is designed to last and work without the cleaning solvents. With so much microfibre the enviro cloth will never disappoint when you’re using it to clean everything from the washrooms to light switch covers.

For Best Results, How To Use The Enviro Cloth

  • When you’re using the cloth, clean in 1/4 to maximize your cleaning surfaces. This will give you 8 clean cleaning sides.
  • Use the cloth wet or dry. If using it to clean a wet area get the cloth nice and wet for the best results. The cloth will hold 7 times its weight in water allowing you to clean the dirtier areas a lot easier.
  • The cloth works with capillary action. So as you’re cleaning, the enviro cloth is acting as a "suction cup"  picking up the dirt and trapping it within the microfibres vs transferring it back on the surface.
  • Many of Norwex’s cloths have BacLock technology. This silver technology is an antibacterial technology that self purifies the cloth when they’re hung up to dry. BacLock is there to help reduce odors, work without needing cleaning chemicals and offer you peace of mind that you’re mechanically cleaning vs chemically cleaning. It’s important you and your family getaway from those antimicrobial chemicals and the enviro cloth is that solution.

It’s important to understand what not to use to clean the shower and tub, in order for you to understand what to use in place of all those soapy, toxic solvents that cause build-up and really don’t work.

Norwex has an entire line of quality cleaning solutions that are affordable and sustainable. The enviro cloth is our flagship everything cloth that will replace all your all-purpose cleaners, washroom cleaners, disinfectant wipes, window solvents and more. The enviro cloth comes with a 2-year microfibre warranty and in varying colors to allow you to color-code each job in the house. Imagine saying goodbye to ALL THOSE BOTTLES and replacing it with a couple of convenient hooks.

We hope we have helped you understand what chemicals you should be avoiding and why. We trust you see the value of cleaning with just water and microfibre and hope you tune in to our next article on the top 5 Norwex items we recommend most, and why. ASQHS INC is doing its part by maintaining relationships with many partnering companies that want to help our community reduce the use of chemicals and the waste going into our landfills.

Do you have a cleaning question? We would love to hear your struggle or product question. We feature many of your questions on our social mediums and offer you tips and solutions on our blog. Feel free to include your name and contact info if you’d like to have your question featured. Thanks for listening to our Dirty Lil Secrets. Safe cleaning, until next time.