Household cleaning detergents are expected to serve their primal purpose, that is to effectively disinfect, clean grime and stains from various surfaces and kill all harmful bacteria and micro-organisms in a flash. And in fact many of them just do that. But the sad and disconcerting truth is they are not hazardous to germs only as they pose a serious threat to humans’ health as well. That’s why you should be extremely careful when choosing the detergents you clean your household with and always read the labels in order to detect the harmful agents they’re composed of. But which household cleaning chemicals should be particularly avoided as the most dangerous ones?
Phenols are among the basic components of many household disinfectants. In fact they are one of the oldest disinfectants known to man, which however doesn’t make them any less harmful, unfortunately. They’re corrosive to the skin when regularly used without gloves and even cause some serious allergic reactions in more sensitive people. However, what’s more bothering in phenols’ case is the fact they might lead to respiratory problems and even damage one’s circulatory system. A more healthy and natural alternative is to use vinegar to disinfect – it’s just as efficient as store disinfectants but far less dangerous to your health (if at all).
This chemical can by found in some dish-washing detergents as well as in most antibacterial soaps. Needless to say, it exterminates bacteria on the spot which however is not always such a good idea as it may cause bacteria to evolve and become resistant to the chemical. Just like antibiotics, these antibacterial chemicals’ overuse leads to microbes developing a resistance which, on the other hand, renders further use of these antibacterial cleaners pointless. On the other hand, triclosan is said to mess with one’s endocrine functions and some doctors believe it’s actually carcinogenic. Sounds bad, huh? Why not use regular soap and dish detergents then?
This is probably your health’s number one enemy. Have you ever wondered why bleach is that effective in removing all kinds of stains from your laundry? Its corrosive properties are notorious as it contains caustic soda – another chemical you should do your best to avoid. Bleach has the capacity of destroying stains, yes, but the same is valid for your cells’ structure. It is especially dangerous when its vapours are inhaled in which case it might cause bronchospasms and prevent enough oxygen from entering your bloodstream. Substitute it for lemon juice and baking soda – they remove stains and bad odours just as efficiently.
This is another popular cleaning agent found in many polishing products and glass detergents. Sadly it’s anything but safe for your body. It’s very popular when it comes to cleaning windows since it doesn’t leave any streaks but of coarse this comes at a big price. Ammonia vapours have the property to powerfully irritate one’s lungs and are especially dangerous when inhaled by asthmatics. The longer you’re exposed to this chemical’s inhalation, the more likely you’d develop various breathing-related problems. BestLondonCleaners SW19 are advising you to combine it with bleach and you have the perfect recipe for disaster as together they form a poisonous gas. If you want streak-free windows, you might consider wiping them with some old newspapers.
This chemical is practically everywhere – in toilet cleaners, laundry whiteners and even tap water to kill bacteria. But this by no means makes it safe. As you use tap water on daily basis when you take a shower or wash your hands, you’re already exposed to some amounts of the chemical so and so. This doesn’t mean you should allow it to enter your system by breathing it in or through your skin while cleaning, though. It irritates your lungs and disrupts your thyroid function. Use borax powder or baking soda as substitutes.
Most chemicals are toxic, that’s true – that’s why they’re called “chemicals” in the first place. This doesn’t mean you should avoid all cleaning products. All you have to do is read the labels thoroughly and avoid anything that has the words “dangerous”, “toxic” or “hazardous” written on top. Or better yet, why not go for the natural alternatives we’ve mentioned? They’re just as effective and much much safer for your health.