We’ve all heard over and over again that chemicals in cleaning products are harmful, and we should buy green instead. The FTC is putting stricter regulations on what is considered “green,” (To see FTC guidelines, click here) and it seems like almost everyone is on board, from product lines claiming to want to help the environment, to health enthusiasts who know we can all do better.
But why exactly are chemicals so bad?
-Chemicals are released into the environment through evaporation and being rinsed down the drain, thus prolonging our exposure, and damaging our eco-system.
-Even mild exposure over a long period of time can be harmful, because many chemicals are “bioaccumulative,” meaning they do not exit the body for a long period of time, and can eventually build up to toxic levels.
-Chemicals cause bodily harm, ranging from mild to moderate skin and eye irritation, to an increase of allergy attacks, as well as respiratory illness and permanent nerve damage.
-It is especially harmful for children, because even though they may not directly consume the cleaners from the bottle, exposure can still do a variety of damage. Their small bodies cannot fight off the chemicals as adult’s can, so it is exactly like they are being made vulnerable to a far greater concentration of the product. Also, their hands are constantly in their mouths, so anything they touch has the potential of being consumed.
-Keep in mind, the “active ingredients” are not the only culprits. “Inactive ingredients,” a.k.a. all those extra ingredients listed that you can’t pronounce, can also contain carcinogens and neurotoxins.