Saturday, July 11, 2009

Household cleaners

We all grew up with certain cleaners that our moms used, Comet is one that comes to mind. Palmolive soap is another. While they may clean really well they aren't very good for you. Here is a little bit of info from a blog post about Comet. I hope this will inspire some of you (mom) to try using something different and a little more natural.
A woman called Sudha wrote in to ask if Comet was eco friendly and this was the response...

Sudha, unfortunately, we don't think Comet is a very healthy cleaning product. While the packaging does contain at least 75% recycled material (minimum 50% post-consumer), and it claims the surfactants are biodegradable and the product contains no phosphates, what's almost of greater concern are the potential health threats.
Most of Comet's cleaners contain some combination of sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and/or sodium hydroxide (caustic soda). According to the
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (a division of the Department of Health and Human Services), sodium hydroxide "is very corrosive and can cause severe burns in all tissues that it comes in contact with. Sodium hydroxide poses a particular threat to the eyes, since it can hydrolyze protein, leading to severe eye damage."
Inhalation of sodium hydroxide (most common when you're cleaning in small spaces like bathrooms) "is immediately irritating to the respiratory tract. Swelling or spasms of the larynx leading to upper-airway obstruction and asphyxia can occur after high-dose inhalation. Inflammation of the lungs and an accumulation of fluid in the lungs may also occur." Likewise,
regarding bleach, the "solutions and vapors are irritating and corrosive to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. Ingestion and skin contact produces injury to any exposed tissues. Exposure to gases released from hypochlorite may cause burning of the eyes, nose, and throat; cough as well as constriction and edema of the airway and lungs can occur."
So... we think there are better options.
Here are a few posts to get you started on some healthier cleaning tools and products:
Roundup: The Best Green Cleaning Tips and How-TosBest Green Cleaning Products 2009: Editor's and Reader's Home Lineups

I'll have to dig up the article I saw on why you shouldn't use Palmolive soap... for the original post on Apartment Therapy go here.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Thanks! Any "green cleaning" tips/reasons/alternative would be much appreciated!