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Chemicals are a part of life. Knowing what chemicals are better or safer to use can be really hard to know.
Manufactures of cleaning products use fancy labeling to make it look like it’s a safe option to use, but sometimes it is not very safe at all.
Here are some ways of knowing what cleaning products are good and bad to use.
Cleaning Products with VOCs
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a group of carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperature. Many common household materials and products, such as paints and cleaning products, give off VOCs.
Common VOCs include:
- ethylene glycol
- methylene chloride
Different VOCs have different health effects, and range from those that are highly toxic to those with no known health effect.
Breathing in low levels of VOCs for long periods of time may increase some people’s risk of health problems.
Studies suggest that exposure to VOCs may make symptoms worse in people who have asthma or are particularly sensitive to chemicals. VOCs particularly affect indoor air quality—concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to 10 times higher) than outdoors.
Sources of VOCs
Household products, including:
- paints, paint strippers and other solvents
- wood preservatives
- aerosol sprays
- cleansers and disinfectants
- moth repellents and air fresheners
- stored fuels and automotive products
- hobby supplies
- dry-cleaned clothing
Other products, including:
- building materials and furnishings
- office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper
- graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers and photographic solutions.
Health effects may include:
- Eye, nose and throat irritation
- Headaches, loss of coordination and nausea
- Damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system
- Some organics can cause cancer in animals, some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.
Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include:
- conjunctival irritation
- nose and throat discomfort
- allergic skin reaction
- declines in serum cholinesterase levels
Steps to Reduce Exposure
- Increase ventilation when using products that emit VOCs.
- Use household products according to manufacturer’s directions. (Always read the back of the bottle)
- Make sure you provide plenty of fresh air when using these products.
- Keep out of reach of children and pets.
- Never mix household care products unless directed on the label.
Safer Cleaning Products
My recommended safer cleaning products are from a company called OzKleen.
OzKleen products are free from chlorine, ammonia and phosphates, OzKleen’s range covers the entire house.