There are presently no legal requirements or restrictions enforced on the kind of ingredients that cleaning product manufacturers can use in their products. Cleaning product manufacturers are also not required to correctly state the product ingredients on labels. Even if an ingredient list can be found on the label, it is often incomplete and contains terms such as “proprietary blend” or “proprietary formula”.
Many household cleaning products contain man-made or synthetic chemicals as part of their formulations. Unfortunately, some of these chemicals are known carcinogens (cancer inducing) or can cause serious health issues through long term exposure.
In the absence of a regulatory body to ensure the safety of cleaning products before they can be sold, the onus will be on ourselves to choose the right cleaning products that are family-safe.
Tip 1 – Look for the Ingredient List
If you cannot find a clear list of ingredients listed on the product label, look for another which does.
Tip 2 – Avoid Cleaners Containing Fragrances
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in US has reported that out of the roughly 3000 predominantly synthetic ingredients that are used by the fragrance industry, close to one third of these ingredients have been identified as toxic. However, under the veil of trade secrecy, the fragrance industry is not required to disclose their fragrance or perfume ingredients on product labels.
Tip 3 – Avoid Cleaners Containing Ammonia and Bleach
Ammonia (Ammonium Hydroxide) and Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite) are classified as asthmagens. Asthmagens can cause the development of asthma symptoms in otherwise healthy people.
Tip 4 – Avoid Cleaners Containing Formaldehyde and 1,4-Dioxane
Formaldehyde is classified by World Health Organization as a known human carcinogen while 1,4-Dioxane is classified as a probable human carcinogen.