A clean, fresh-smelling facility can do wonders for your company. As you chalk it up to your hardworking cleaning supplies, some of these may be doing more harm than good. Many cleaners on the market contain chemicals that are proven toxic with prolonged exposure. If you want to make the switch to green cleaning solutions, steer clear of the following substances.
What Cleaning Chemicals You Should Avoid
1. Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile organic compounds are released as gases from cleaners and disinfectants. When combined with certain chemicals, they produce ozone, an irritant that may cause or worsen asthma and other respiratory problems when inhaled. Terpenes, often found in pine- or citrus-scented cleaners and fresheners, react with ozone and create vapors of formaldehyde, a known carcinogenic.
Sometimes listed as formalin, this chemical is identified as harmful. Even if it’s not explicitly mentioned as an ingredient, formaldehyde is released through added antimicrobial preservatives. Upon inhalation, it can irritate the lungs and trigger symptoms of asthma or allergies.
3. Ammonia & Bleach
Corrosive chemicals like chlorine bleach and ammonia emit fumes that are highly irritating to the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause severe burns on the skin upon contact. However, combining bleach and ammonia can produce high levels of toxic chlorine gas, which can lead to asthma, chronic breathing problems, and damaged lungs. Opt for green cleaning solutions to prevent respiratory issues, allergies, and asthma attacks.
4. Borax & Boric Acid
As a naturally occurring mineral, borax is a salt of boric acid. Both compounds came from the element boron and are used to stabilize enzymes in cleaners. With chronic, high-dose exposure, these compounds are found to be harmful to the human reproductive system. Although the suspected risk from borax and boric acid remains unclear, it’s safer to limit their usage to low amounts.
5. Fragrances & Lathering Agents
Some cleaners contain fragrances to give a fresh smell. However, these chemicals can irritate and trigger severe allergic reactions, such as headaches, watery eyes, or sneezing, in sensitive individuals. Agents like diethanolamine and triethanolamine that are found in all-purpose cleaners react with nitrites. The reaction produces nitrosamines, cancer-causing substances that penetrate the skin. Switch to green cleaning solutions that contain a short list of natural ingredients, instead of all-purpose cleaners filled with hazardous chemicals.
When you’re ready to make the switch from harmful cleaning chemicals, look no further than Stratus Building Solutions. Since 2006, they have provided outstanding office maintenance services and quality green cleaning solutions throughout the Greater St. Louis, MO, area. Call (314) 548-2300 to request an estimate on eco-friendly cleaning service, or visit their website to learn more about their services.