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A great deal of cleaning goes on in most homes.  We wash, scrub, vacuum, spray, and polish so that our homes stay clean and neat.  Strange as it may seem, some of these cleaners also can cause pollution, both indoors and outdoors.  How green are your cleaning supplies?

1.  Laundry detergent:  Your washer sends a lot of dirty water down the drain.  Besides dirt, what is in that water?  Many detergents contain phosphates, chemicals that help get clothes clean.  When phosphates get into waste water, they speed the growth of algae, which can kill fish and plants that live in the water.

     Besides phosphates, some detergents contain concentrated chemicals, like surfactants (which help with cleaning) and bleach (which removes stains).  Surfactants are made from petroleum, the nonrenewable source from which oil and gasoline are made.  Most bleach contains cancer-causing chlorine.

     Some detergents claim to be "biological", meaning that they contain enzymes to help dissolve stains and make the detergent work in cooler water.  Some detergents claim to be "biodegradable", which means that the detergent breaks down and becomes harmless in the waste system.  But this doesn't always happen. 

2.  All -purpose cleaners may contain ammonia, which can be harmful to your lungs, and chlorine, which can form cancer-causing compounds when released into the environment.

3.  Drain Cleaners contain very strong chemicals such as lye and hydrochloric and sulfuric acids.  These can burn your skin and can cause blindness if they get into your eyes.

4.  Flea and tick control products contain ingredients that have never been adequately tested for safety.  While not intended for use on people, they can rub off your pet onto furniture, exposing you to the risk of cancer and other diseases.  

5.  Floor and furniture polishes contain phenol, which causes cancer in laboratory animals.

6.  Metal polishes contain ammonia, phosphoric, and sulfuric acids, which are not healthy to breathe.

7.  Mothballs contain p-dichlorobenzene, which causes cancer.

8.  Oven cleaners contain lye, a powerful chemical that can burn your skin and lungs or cause blindness if splashed in your eyes.

9.  Toilet cleaners contain chlorine and hydrochloric acid, which can burn your skin and eyes.

   Take a good look at the cleaning products you use to clean your home with.  Note which ingredients they contain that may be harmful.  Why expose your family to all these toxic chemicals?  Help save the planet and keep your family healthy br green cleaning your home.    

Maid Brigade House Cleaning Services cares about the health of you and your family.  For more information on healthy green living and green cleaning, please log on to http://greencleancertified.com and http://maidbrigade.com.  To learn more about the asthma and allergy triggers in your home, or to learn more about household products and breast cancer, please log on to http://www.greencleancertified.com/greentv.

Marie Stegner

Meet Marie Stegner

Marie Stegner has written 730 posts in this blog.

Marie Stegner, Consumer Health Advocate for Maid Brigade, is a nationally recognized healthy living and green cleaning expert. She writes for this blog so that consumers can understand how harsh chemicals and unhealthy practices can negatively affect them physically and mentally, with the hope that they will be able to make informed decisions and pursue a more green and healthy lifestyle.