Sparkle & Smile

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Green Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Are Your Cleaning Products Safe?

Almost every item in your home could be hazardous to your family’s health.  However, for every toxic product in your home, there is a safe alternative.

Most of us believe that the government has laws that protect us from harmful products, but they do not protect us as well as they should.  

Unfortunately, many products are assumed to be safe and are allowed to be sold in the market place without adequate testing.  Of the 17,000 chemicals that appear in common household products, only 30% have been adequately tested for their negative effects on our health.  Less than 10% have been tested for their effect on the nervous system.  And, nothing is known about the combined effects of these chemicals when mixed within our bodies.  

Cleaning products are among the most hazardous substances you will find in your home.  They are so toxic that they are the only household products regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Unfortunately, there is no federal law requiring pre-market safety testing by the manufacturer, so the hazards of some products have not been revealed until after consumers have been injured.  

While children are not usually the ones doing the cleaning, preschool-age children are often near a caregiver who is using chemical cleaning products.  Some of the dangers associated with common household cleaning products are:

Air fresheners can cause cancer; irritate nose, throat, and lungs.
All purpose cleaners 
cause eye damage; irritate nose, throat, and lungs.
Bleach is toxic if swallowed; vapors are harmful; causes central nervous system disorders.
Carpet shampoo may cause cancer; causes central nervous system and liver damage.
Dishwasher detergent can
cause eye injuries; damage to mucous membranes and throat.
Dishwashing liquid is
harmful if swallowed; irritates the skin.
Disinfectants are
very toxic; cause skin, throat, and lung burns; causes coma.
Drain cleaners cause skin burns; cause liver and kidney damage.
Fabric softeners may cause cancer; cause central nervous system disorders; cause liver damage.
Floor/furniture polish can cause central nervous system disorders; may cause lung cancer.
Laundry detergents can irritate the skin and lungs.
Oven cleaners can cause skin, throat, and lung burns.
Chloronated scouring powder is
highly irritating to nose, throat, and lungs.
Spot and stain removers may cause cancer; causes liver damage; vapors can be fatal.
Toilet bowl cleaners are very toxic; causes skin, nose, throat, and lung burns.
Window cleaners can cause central nervous system disorders; causes liver and kidney disorders.

Manufacturers of these hazardous products are not required to list exact ingredients on the label.  For example, you cannot look at a label and be sure that a mold and mildew cleaner doesn’t contain pentachlorophenol, a substance that can kill.  

Most products can be harmful during use, even when following the instructions, and mention of this danger isn’t required by law.  Labeling only considers danger of ingestion.  Inhaling toxic fumes from these products may produce reactions such as headaches, fatigue, burning eyes, and runny noses.  Allowing cleaning products to touch bare skin on your hands not only produces skin rashes, it allows the toxic chemicals to go straight into your bloodstream.  Even if you don’t have immediate symptoms, years later you or your children may suddenly get cancer, heart disease, lung problems, or damage to the liver or immune system, etc.

Maid Brigade House Cleaning Services cares about our environment and health of you and your family.  For more information on healthy green living and green cleaning, please log on to and  Watch our video on achieving work/life balance at  To learn more about the hidden allergy and asthma triggers in your home, log on to

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