Cleaning ingredients vary in the type of health hazard they pose. Some cause acute, or immediate, hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns, while others are associated with chronic, or long-term, effects such as cancer.
Found in: many fragranced household products, such as air fresheners, dish soap, even toilet paper.
Health Risks: endocrine disruptors. Although exposure to phthalates mainly occurs through inhalation, it can also happen through skin contact with scented soaps, which is a significant problem. Unlike the digestive system, the skin has no safeguards against toxins. Absorbed chemicals go straight to organs and can lead to asthma, ADHD, breast cancer, obesity and type II diabetes.
Found in: window, kitchen and multipurpose cleaners.
Health Risks: 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.
Found in: polishing agents for bathroom fixtures, sinks and jewelry; also in glass cleaner.
Health risks: 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.
Found in: toilet bowl cleaners, automatic dishwashing detergents, chlorine bleach, chlorinated disinfectant cleaners and mildew removers.
Health risks: risks from chlorine can be acute, and they can be chronic; it’s a respiratory irritant at an acute level. But the chronic effects are what people don’t realize: It may be a serious thyroid disrupter.
VERY HARMFUL TO YOU, YOUR FAMILY, PETS OR THE ENVIRONMENT