When it comes time to clean the inside of your home, using safe sanitizing products is incredibly important to keeping you and your family in good health. With this, some may not know that most common household cleaning items can be harmful if they are not properly used and stored. But how do you know which products, and chemicals, you should be cautious when using? And now, with the novel coronavirus, it’s also smart to consider the chemicals used in our hand sanitizers. Just like with cleaning products, some chemicals found in hand sanitizers can be harmful for long term use.
Sanitizing Products: Laundry detergents
When looking at the label for laundry detergents, you want to look for the words “cationic” and “non-ionic”. These two chemicals, if ingested, can cause vomiting, convulsions, skin and eye irritation, and even a coma. It is safe to use to clean your clothes, but just make sure to keep it out of the hands of young children.
Sanitizing Products: Antibacterial cleaners
For antibacterial cleaners, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the chemicals “quaternary ammonium” or “phenolic” chemicals. If these chemicals come into direct contact with you, they can cause burning to the skin, as well as throat and eye irritation. Make sure you wear gloves if using products with these ingredients.
Sanitizing Products: Bleach
When using bleach, you should be aware of the amount of chemical in the product. On the label, you want to look for “sodium hypochlorite” with concentrations ranging from 0.7 percent to 5.25 percent. Bleach on its own can cause a myriad of illnesses, from dermatitis to esophageal injuries, but most importantly, when mixed with amonia, it can put poisonous gasses into the air that can be lethal.
Sanitizing Products: Toilet bowl cleaners
This type of product is fairly similar to bleach, so when looking at the label, you’ll want to look for the same chemical in bleach, or “hydrochloric acid”. These types of cleaners can cause eye and skin irritation, and, when mixed with other cleaners, can emit poisonous gasses into the air.
Sanitizing Products: Air fresheners
These types of products can be used safely in well-ventilated areas, but if not used properly, they can be very dangerous. Illnesses that could be caused by the ingredients in these products include skin/eye/throat irritation, brain damage, and possibly cancer. They can also be highly flammable. The chemicals in these products that you’ll want to keep an eye out for include “formaldehyde”, “petroleum distillate”, along with “aerosol propellants”.
Sanitizing Products: Hand sanitizer
Once the novel coronavirus pandemic began earlier this year, everyone was on the hunt and stocking up on hand sanitizer. Many different businesses were making their own hand sanitizer for the first time in order to keep up with the demand. With this, the FDA found that some of these hand sanitizers contain “methanol”. This chemical, which is also known as “wood alcohol”, is toxic when absorbed through the skin and can be life threatening if ingested. Another chemical that can be life threatening and has been found in hand sanitizer is 1-propanol.
Everyone wants a healthy environment to live in, and to keep our homes clean for ourselves and the ones we love. With that, it’s essential to understand what type of chemicals you’re cleaning with, so you can use them safely. With proper education and storage, most of these products are perfectly safe for everyday use, so you can feel confident in your cleaning and the environment you’re caring for.