From: Sierra Club Green Home
Published March 12, 2010 09:04 AM

Green Cleaning Supplies

When we get out the rags and the wash buckets, we have the best of intentions. Cleanliness is a virtue, right? And healthy too! Well, if you use conventional cleaning products, perhaps not. Have you ever cleaned your shower or oven and then had teary eyes, burning nasal tissues, an itchy throat, a headache, or dizziness? Guess what? All of these symptoms and more could have been caused by chemicals commonly found in household cleaners.

Some cleaners even contain suspected carcinogens and reproductive and developmental poisons. Some are thought to cause asthma. According to the American Thoracic Society, using conventional household cleaning sprays once a week may increase the risk of developing adult asthma, and may be responsible for one in every seven adult asthma cases. The higher the concentration of cleaning products in indoor air, the greater the risk that a child will develop asthma.


Some conventional household cleaners also sully the environment with ingredients that can contaminate the air, water, and soil when they are manufactured, used, and thrown away. Cleaning products with phosphates, for example, can cause "dead zones" in lakes and streams. Triclosan, a chemical used in antibacterial cleaners that has been shown to interfere with thyroid function in animals, is now polluting more than 60% of U.S. streams.

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