The Truth about Green Cleaning Products
Every time you see your bathroom looks dirty, you begin pulling out all the conventional brushes, sponges, bleaches, sprays and start the scrubbing, you also begin to expose yourself to hundreds of chemicals that have known possible toxic effects.
A lot of safe household cleaning products per se indicates natural or synthetic tags on their products.
Consumers should be cautious of the term natural when used to describe cleaning products.
All of the chemicals used to make the ingredients that go with the cleaning products are found in nature.
Very few chemicals extracted from plants or the earth are used without further processing to obtain ingredients that perform a cleaning function.
Thus, the term being used as what they call natural to describe a final product can be misleading.
Very few chemicals extracted from plants or the earth are used without further processing to obtain ingredients that perform a cleaning function. Thus, the term being used as what they call natural to describe a final product can be misleading.
Green cleaning products claim to offer a safer option for all consumers as well as an earth-friendly effect but admittedly at a higher price.
What would a concerned individual or consumer do?
According to Tom Natan, a chemical engineer with the non-profit National Environmental Trust, the use of any natural cleaning products that work whether green products or conventional synthetic ones in small amounts and with proper ventilation will most likely not have any health effects or minimal effects.
The dilemma comes in when most consumers use more than one cleaning products for the bathroom or kitchen.
There is one for the toilet, one cleaning product for the mirror, perhaps one for the walls and surfaces, another green cleaning recipes or commercial item to clean mildew from tiles and then tons of what they call specialized cleaning options.
Certain chemicals commonly found in commercial and conventional cleaning products feature known or suspected problems for the people that use them and the environment once washed down the drain.
Volatile organic compounds found in these cleaning products and utilized to enhance its performance are believed to impair neurological functions while other chemical products can act as respiratory irritants, carcinogens or reproductive toxins depending on the extent of exposure according to the National Environmental Trust and other environmental groups.
Phosphates in these cleaning products can cause eutrophication of rivers and other bodies of water which can decrease the oxygen and water quality.
Sadly, there is minimal regulation of cleaning chemicals, and there is virtually no labeling requirements to let people know what the impact are when they get exposed to these products and how the earth or environment is affected.
In reality, the lack of solid basis and studies on many chemicals makes it difficult and sometimes confusing for consumers to have a decision in the natural cleaners vs chemical cleaners cycle.
This is the venue where consumers and buyers go to the option of environmentally safe cleaning products for the home and commercial establishments.
A lot of people are gearing towards these products as they provide health benefits of green cleaning products balancing it with the cleaning effects.
Other than the benefits and efficacy, green cleaning products come with some trade-offs. They are more expensive and may require more elbow grease to achieve the same level of visual cleanliness.
Many advocates of these green cleaning products are working on the performance of their items to bring them at par with that of the conventional ones.
They continuously test their products vis-a-vis against top rated conventional brands to make sure they clean comparably and to uplift more on the benefits of using green cleaning products.
The only conventional cleansers that green products can’t completely match in terms of strength are those that contain chlorine, such as bleach. In those cases, the green cleaners take a little more scrubbing but can get the job done.
The largely American tendency toward germophobia has partly been fueled by advertising that promotes disinfecting cleaners that eradicate all bacteria in sight as the best way to protect your family from germs.
But you don’t really need to kill the bacteria, you just need to get them off your table. In fact, disinfectants could do more harm than good to humans.
Many groups tested one popular disinfectant spray and found that it contained a chemical known to damage the reproductive systems in the offspring of pregnant rats, even in small amounts.
To clean your house, all you really need is some baking soda and vinegar as what many family use in their homes.
For instance, a little vinegar rubbed onto glass with a wad of crumpled newsprint will give you a streak-free shine on window panes. No glass-specific cleanser needed.