Cleaning products are key components in keeping personal and commercial spaces safe. While some products contain natural ingredients, others contain harmful chemicals and toxins that can be detrimental to your health and the environment. Being aware of harmful ingredients can help you choose safe cleaning products for your business. Here are some ingredients to avoid when purchasing bulk cleaning supplies:
Phthalates are endocrine disruptors used in cleaning products as artificial fragrances. They are also used for their ability to soften various materials. Phthalates can interfere with normal hormonal functions of the human body, increasing the risk of allergies and reproductive challenges. When purchasing bulk cleaning supplies, choosing phthalate-free products reduces a consumer’s exposure to adverse health consequences.
Triclosan is an artificial antibacterial agent manufactured for use in cleaning products. The ingredient’s effectiveness has waned, and triclosan is tied to developing antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Triclosan has been linked to hormonal disruption and aquatic toxicity when released into natural waterways. Look for cleaning products that use traditional cleaning and antibacterial agents, and choose triclosan-free products. Continued use of cleaning products with triclosan puts humans at risk of infections that are resistant to antibiotics.
Ammonia is commonly used in surface and glass cleaners due to its ability to break down residue and its streak-free result. Exposure to ammonia can lead to skin burns and acute eye irritation. Ammonia has the potential to react with ingredients in other cleaning products, releasing toxic gases that cause respiratory problems. Vinegar is a safer alternative to glass cleaners that use ammonia.
Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QACs)
Quaternary Ammonium compounds (QACs) are broad-spectrum disinfectants used in cleaning products. QACs biodegrade slowly when released into the environment and cause mild skin and respiratory irritations. The compound has been linked to increased congenital disabilities and fertility problems in exposed populations. Avoid products that use QACs and look for products that incorporate natural disinfectants.
Chlorine is a powerful disinfectant in many household cleaners like bleach and toilet bowl cleaners. It is highly irritating to the skin and eyes and can cause respiratory problems if inhaled. Chlorine can also react with other chemicals and cleaning products to create toxic fumes.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a harsh detergent found in soaps, shampoos, and toothpaste. It is extremely drying to the skin and scalp and can cause hair loss with prolonged exposure. SLS is a carcinogenic substance with traces of the cancer-causing chemical 1,4-dioxane.
Phosphates are found in dishwashing liquids and laundry detergents. They help soften hard water and prevent minerals in the water from interfering with the cleaning process. Phosphates damage the environment by creating a thriving environment for harmful algae in freshwater sources, which can reduce oxygen levels and threaten aquatic life. Prolonged exposure to products with phosphates can result in eye and skin irritation.
Formaldehyde is a colorless gas that has a strong, pungent odor. Its vapors irritate the eyes and nose and can cause headaches, dizziness, and respiratory problems after prolonged exposure. Commonly listed in cleaning products as formalin or urea formaldehyde, formaldehyde is a carcinogenic chemical harmful to humans.
Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that vaporize at room temperature, leading to respiratory irritations and headaches in people who inhale them. These chemicals are found in cleaning products such as aerosol sprays and carpet cleaners. Long-term exposure to VOCs can lead to chronic respiratory issues, liver damage, and other severe health problems.
Consider Safer Ingredients When Purchasing Bulk Cleaning Supplies
Knowing the ingredients to avoid in cleaning products when buying bulk cleaning supplies is key for protecting your health and the environment. Avoiding cleaning products with phthalates, triclosan, ammonia, quats, SLS, chlorine, phosphates, formaldehyde, and VOCs can reduce exposure to harmful chemicals and protect people and various ecosystems. Consider natural cleaning products or simple ingredients, like vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils, the next time you purchase bulk cleaning supplies.