It’s that time of the year again: time for spring cleaning! Though this certainly isn’t the most exciting annual event, it is one of the most necessary. For most people, spring cleaning is a great time to give their homes a deep clean and tackle any grimy spots that need some extra elbow grease. Kitchen cabinets, dusty vents, ovens, stove tops, windows, dishwashers, and washing machines amass dirt and grime over time, especially if those items are not a part of your weekly chores or monthly cleaning routine.
Unfortunately, the big brand name cleaning products we think we can trust are not always the best for our health, the health of our family members or pets, and the health of the environment. In fact, a study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine claimed regularly using strong, chemical-based cleaning products at home could be as detrimental for your lung health as smoking cigarettes. In addition, childhood asthma has hit an all time high due to high concentrations of these chemical irritants building in the home.
Though we can’t always control what we are exposed to on a day-to-day basis, consumers do have the ability to eliminate many harsh chemicals hiding in their household cleaners by switching to a natural, plant-based alternative like Fawn Organics Multi-Purpose Cleaner, meant to clean and protect without harsh chemicals. With our Multi-Purpose Cleaner, you can:
Avoid Toxic Preservatives
Preservatives are used in everything from food, cosmetics, medicines, personal care products, to cleaning products to prevent the growth of mold or bacteria and to extend the shelf-life of the product. The premise of preserving the quality of a product is great. However, preservatives become a problem when they include toxic chemicals that can lead to severe health issues.
Methyisothiazolinone (MIT) is an antimicrobial and common synthetic preservative used in cleaning products to extend shelf life and kill bacteria. In 1998, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found MIT to be a highly corrosive chemical that is toxic when ingested, inhaled, or applied to the skin. As a result, the EPA created safety guidelines for those working with the chemical to protect manufacturing workers, such as wearing protective clothing, eyewear, gloves, and more. However, no such guidance was issued to consumers purchasing the cleaning products that contained MIT. Benziosothiazolinone, another toxic preservative, is often used in conjunction with MIT in cleaning products. Both chemicals are linked to allergies, lung irritation, and potential neurotoxicity. In addition, both of these chemicals are still used in cleaning products to this day along with a host of other toxic preservatives.
Ditch Toxic Cleaning Agents
Ammonia and bleach are extremely common in household cleaners, and people can usually detect them by their noxious odors alone. Ammonia is a prized ingredient in household cleaners because it cleans surfaces without streaking, disinfects surfaces, and cuts through tough grime and stains. Bleach is similarly praised as a disinfectant.
However, both ammonia and bleach can burn the nose, throat, and respiratory system when inhaled. It can cause corrosive damage to the mouth, throat, and stomach if ingested, and it can severely irritate and damage the skin or eyes upon direct contact. When ammonia enters the body as result of breathing, swallowing, or absorbing it through the skin, it will react with moisture to create ammonium hydroxide, which destroys and damages cells in the body upon contact. Severe exposure to ammonia can lead to blindness, lung damage, and even death. Bleach is an equally powerful skin and lung irritant that can cause permanent tissue and vision damage. In addition, if a homeowner mistakenly mixes two cleaning products with ammonia and bleach, they can create deadly chloramine gas.
2-Butoxyethanol is also a common chemical specifically in all-purpose spray cleaners, but it also found in products like herbicides, hydraulic fluids, enamels, and paints. It can easily enter the body by breathing the vapors in or by coming into contact with the skin. Chronic exposure to 2-butoxyethanol is linked to nausea, tremors, anemia, and long-term reproductive and developmental effects.
Leave Parabens, Dyes, and Synthetic Fragrances Behind
Parabens inhibit microbial growth and, as a result, are often used as a cheap preservative to extend shelf-life in laundry detergents and other cleaning products. Numerous studies have found parabens to mimic estrogen in the human body. What does this mean? By mimicking estrogen, parabens disrupt normal hormone function and trigger an imbalance that results in the growth of tumors. Once parabens penetrate the skin, they remain within the tissue and even increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, resulting in premature ageing. The long-term effects of parabens are still being studied as well as its link to breast cancer, but it’s safe to say that people should try to avoid paraben exposure if possible.
Similarly, dyes and synthetic fragrances contain a whole host of unknown toxic chemicals. Both dyes and synthetic fragrances are often unnecessary additions to cleaning products as they add no real cleaning power. Synthetic fragrances and dyes are often hidden under a “proprietary” blend of chemicals, usually tagged as “synthetic fragrance” on the label. This can lead to many unknown health effects, including skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, intense allergies, and disruption of hormones and reproductive capabilities.
Cleaning should never be a dangerous activity! With Fawn Organics Multi-Purpose Cleaner, homeowners can avoid dangerous chemicals that put their health and their family’s health at risk. Our plant-based Multi-Purpose Cleaner is gentle enough that it doesn’t damage surfaces but powerful enough to effectively remove stains, dirt, and grease from a variety of surfaces in your home.
Visit Fawn Organics’ shop to explore more safe, eco-friendly cleaning products.