A surprising number of the most harmful toxins ever created are found right in our own kitchen, bathroom, bedroom , and even right inside your mop closet. The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization focused on environment and public health, recently came out with their Cleaners Hall of Shame list. With products containing carcinogens, asthma instigators, and poisons, some sparkly cleaners might come at a high price.
According to the EWG study, 53 percent of cleaning products under review contained lung-harming ingredients. In addition, well-known carcinogens like formaldehyde and chloroform were found in several cleaners. Here is a list of dangerous cleaning products found in most homes.
These products contain up to 10 percent DEGBE, also called butoxydiglycol, a solvent banned in the European Union at concentrations above 3 percent in aerosol cleaners. It can irritate and inflame the lungs.
This product contains nonylphenol ethoxylate, which the state of California has banned in cleaning products manufactured after 2012. Products containing this chemical cannot be sold in the European Union. It breaks down to nonylphenol, which can disrupt the hormone system, is toxic to aquatic life and persists in the environment.
It contains perchloroethylene, a toxic solvent classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
This “Wipe & Rinse” product contains up to 7 percent thiourea, a chemical classified as a carcinogen by the state of California. The company’s technical information for workers says “prolonged or repeated exposure may cause reproductive and fetal effects.”
These chlorine-laden discs don’t harm plumbing or septic systems, but according to the label they “may be fatal if swallowed.” The boxes warn customers to wear rubber gloves when handling, hold the disc away from the face and avoid inhaling the fumes. A pet could confuse a disc with a plastic chew toy.
It contains DEGME, also called methoxydiglycol, at up to 15 times the concentration allowed in cleaners sold in the European Union. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe says DEGME is “suspected of damaging the unborn child
There’s some controversy over the effects of the coating on nonstick pans, commonly known as Teflon. The Teflon chemical, PTFE, is thought to be harmless. But non-stick pans heated past 500 degrees Fahrenheit, or that have started to flake, can emit toxic byproducts of PTFE that can cause flu-like symptoms in humans.
Phthalates are used to soften the plastic that goes into vinyl flooring and shower curtains. This chemical has been associated with causing harmful effects to growth and development in children, and impacting brain functions like learning, behavior and memory.
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