Let us learn about the hidden dangers of cleaning products
The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) has recorded many instances of health problems which were caused by the household cleaning materials and the problems were serious enough to require treatment by doctor. According to the AAPCC the highest number of cases of poisoning in 1993 was caused due to cleaning products such as drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, bleach, soaps and detergents.
In Canada, around one million cases of poisoning are due to household leaning material consumption, every year. Some of these cases have been fatal. Every year, thousands of children and adults are being permanently disfigured or injured as a result of contact with chemicals in the household products.
Our pet animals are also at the risk of consuming this chemical. Animals that don’t get clean water for drinking are more likely to drink water from puddles, gutters, toilet bowls, or any old container left sitting around with a liquid in it. Although I provide fresh and clean water to my cats but they seem to be more interested in the toilet, the sink, the bathtub, or even a basin with cleaning solution in it.
Listed below is the alphabetical list of some of the most hazardous cleansers found around the house:
AIR FRESHENERS: You try out to interfere with your smelling ability by releasing nerve-deadening agents or by coating your nasal passages with an oil film, usually methoxychlor, and a pesticide that accumulates in fat cells. Some of the common toxic chemicals found in an air freshener are formaldehyde, a highly toxic, known carcinogen, and phenol. In case the skin comes in contact with the phenol, it may result in swelling, burns, peeling of skin, and break out in hives.
AMMONIA: Ammonia is a highly volatile chemical and can damage your eyes, respiratory tract and skin.
ANTIBACTERIAL CLEANERS: Antibacterial cleaners have triclosan, which is absorbed through the skin and cause damage to your lever.
BLEACH: Bleach is a very strong corrosive. In case you come in contact with this it will irritate or burn the skin, eyes and respiratory tract. It may cause pulmonary edema or vomiting and coma if ingested. You should never, try to mix bleach with acid toilet bowl cleaners or ammonia. These mixtures can produce fumes which can be considered DEADLY.
CARPET AND UPHOLSTERY SHAMPOO: Most of shampoos of this type are designed to remove the stain itself; they can completely remove the stain but not without using highly toxic substances. Some of these shampoos include perchlorethylene, a known carcinogen which can damage liver, kidney and nervous system; and ammonium hydroxide, a corrosive, which is very irritating to eyes, skin and respiratory passages.
CHLORINE: Chlorine was the first agent of chemical warfare. This was used during world war-II and this war ended with an abundance of this cheap chemical. On the name of great benefits it was mixed with our water supply and many other products. The main cause of breast cancer is the chlorine and it can prove very lethal. At all costs scientists won’t handle chlorine without protective gloves, facemasks, and ventilation. But still this can be found in most of the cleaning agents, including dishwasher detergents. The deadly effects of chlorine get enhanced when the fumes are being heated, as is the case in a shower. Chlorine can be found in our drinking water, swimming pools, Jacuzzis, and more.
DISHWASHER DETERGENTS: Many of the products have dry chlorine and that to with a very high percentage. The number one cause of household poisoning is dish detergent. Most of the dishwashing liquids label has the warning written on them as” harmful if swallowed.” The residue of dishwashing agent keeps on piling up on the dishes with each wash. Your food also gets their share of these residue particles, especially if your meal is hot when you eat it.
FURNITURE POLISH: Most of the furniture polishes contain petroleum distillates, which are highly flammable. These polishes can cause damage skin and lung cancer. These polishes also contain nitrobenzene, which is extremely toxic and can be easily absorbed through the skin.
LAUNDRY ROOM PRODUCTS: Phosphorus, enzymes, ammonia, naphthalene, phenol, sodium nitilotriacetate and countless other chemicals are the main contents of the laundry cleaning materials. These materials are very harmful and may cause rashes, itches, allergies, sinus problems and more. These detergents leave their residue your clothes, bed sheets, etc. and can be absorbed by your skin.
OVEN CLEANER: Oven cleaner is one of the most toxic agents used in household. These cleaners contain lye and ammonia, which can eat out the skin and the fumes, can damage the respiratory system. Every cleaning leaves some residue on the oven which gets intensified the next time you turn your oven on. You can use sea salt and baking soda instead of cleaning agent.
TOILET BOWL CLEANERS: Generally toilet bowl cleaners contain hydrochloric acid and hypochlorite bleach. Hydrochloric acid is highly corrosive and can irritation to skin and eyes and may damage kidneys and liver. Hypochlorite bleach is also very corrosive and can burn eyes, skin and respiratory tract. This type of cleaning agents may also cause pulmonary edema, vomiting or coma if ingested. If the se cleaners come in contact with other type of cleaners may produce chlorine which is very fatal.
Think once again if you assume that whatever is sold to is very safe and can not be harmful. Some 80,000 synthetic chemicals have been invented since the world war-II. Most of these are obtained from petroleum and coal tar for the purposes of chemical warfare. The sad part of the story is that most of these chemicals have never been tested for safety, but have been added to our food, water and cleaning products without even asking us and often without any warnings of danger. Nowadays there is lot of intentional pressure on this industry which invents about 1000 new products every year.
More than 80% of the chemicals which are used in everyday-use product provide no toxic information, as per the National Research Council. On the test front, less than 20% have been tested for acute effects and less than 10% have been tested for chronic, reproductive or mutagenic effects. Most of the chemicals have not been tested for combined or accumulated effects, or for their effects on unborn children.
What sort of steps you can take to protect your loved ones from chemical injury and poisoning, in this scenario.
The very first thing you can do is to get enough education and information on the products and look for the more safe options.
The second thing you can do is to cut down on the use of harsh chemicals. Immediately clean spills and stains, throw away the food waste promptly, keep home moisture/humidity down to 30-50%, and use entry way mats at all entrances.
The third thing you can do is to store all cleaning agents in their original containers out of the reach of children. Strictly follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and also adhere to the quantity recommended. Read labels, follow safety precautions and contact the manufacturer if you have questions.
If you go by the definition of the cleaning which means that we clean our homes to reduce damage or harm to human and pet health, and to protect our valued possessions. So, be careful and do not make the solutions worse than the problem itself.