Many household cleaners contribute to indoor air pollution because cleaners contain petrochemicals solvents that help dissolve dirt. The petrochemical solvents fill the air with fumes. And, believe it or not, there is still no law that requires manufacturers of cleaning products to list ingredients on labels OR to test their products for safety.
The list of toxic chemicals found in household cleaners is long. Here are just a few:
Formaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen and respiratory irritant found in air deodorizers.
Chlorinated phenols, toxic to respiratory and circulatory systems and found in toilet bowl cleaners.
Petroleum solvents, damage mucous membranes and are found in floor cleaners.
Phenols, toxic to respiratory system and found in disinfectants.
Butyl cellosolve, can damage bone marrow, kidneys, and liver. It is found in window and all-purpose cleaners.
When buying household cleaning products, look for ones that list their ingredients on the label. stay away from products containing petroleum-based surfactants, chlorine, and/or phosphates. Look for non-toxic and biodegradable cleaners that can clean your home without polluting your indoor air in the process.
If you prefer to make your own household cleaners and skip the toxic cleaners altogether, try these recipes that will keep your home sparkling clean and smelling healthy:
Furniture polish: Combine 1 teaspoon lemon juice ans 1 pint of mineral or vegetable oil. Apply to a clean cloth and wipe wood parts of furniture.
Glass cleaner: Mix together 1 1/2 cups white vinegar, 1/2 cup water, and 10 drops of citrus essential oil in a spray bottle. Spray and wipe with a dry cloth.
Scouring powder: Combine 1 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup borax, 1/2 grated lemon peel, and 2 teaspoons cream of tarter. Mix well. Scrub with a damp sponge.
Deodorize your carpets by sprinkling baking soda on them. Wait about 15 minutes, then vacuum.