Benefits of Environmentally Safe Cleaners

Did you know that general purpose cleaners are estimated to contribute about 8% of total non-vehicular VOC emissions in California? (Source: Green Seal) Here are six tips, provided by Green Seal, that show how by simply switching your current cleaner to an environmentally superior one can benefit your health and the environment.
1. Fewer adverse health effects from toxic compounds. Some cleaning products contain toxic chemicals, which may kill aquatic life and harm humans. Cleaners with sufficient concentrations of ammonia and sodium hypochlorite can irritate the lungs and are not recommended for people with heart conditions and chronic respiratory problems.2. Fewer toxic releases from manufacturing. Ingredient manufacture sometimes involves toxic releases as well. For example, petrochemical extraction and refining processes release benzene and other toxic chemicals into the environment.

3. Fewer hazards in the municipal solid waste (MSW) stream. Cleaning products containing hazardous ingredients present further hazards when disposed as MSW, because these systems are not designed to manage even minimal volumes of some hazardous chemicals.

4. Less ecosystem destruction from persistent chemicals.Components of cleaning products that break down slowly or incompletely may endanger plants, animals and microorganisms that live in water systems.5. Less smog and ozone depletion. Some components of cleaners, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), contribute to photochemical smog. The EPA has found that levels of VOCs in indoor air are up to 10 times greater than levels outdoors.

6. Less waste. Even the packaging of cleaning products has environmental impacts. For example, secondary packaging and non-refillable containers contribute unnecessary waste to landfills and incinerators.