DIY





Using Safe Green Cleaning Products

Claire Anderson explains the need for safe green cleaning products, includes green cleaning product recipes.

| February/March 2003

The Green Gazette shares information on safe green cleaning products.

All winter long, they've been multiplying. Dust bunnies beneath your bed, behind your dresser, on top of the refrigerator. Mud-encrusted mukluks and wet Wellingtons have left their dirty footprints in your foyer and down the cellar stairs. And don't even consider what's been lurking under the living room rug these few months.

After a season of hibernation, it's no wonder that when the first breath of spring arrives, we pry creaky windows open, fling back the curtains with wild abandon and swing the doors wide open to sweep out winter's accumulation of dirt and grime.

But before you break out that bucket and mop to usher in a new, fresh season, take a moment to consider what you're cleaning with. The "biodegradable," "nontoxic" product you plucked from the supermarket shelves may not be as benign as its label proclaims. The Federal Hazardous Substances Labeling Act stipulates that manufacturers must disclose active ingredients that are acutely hazardous, but inert ingredients that may produce chronic effects do not have to be labeled at all.



Many cleaning products contain chlorine, petroleum-based surfactants and distillates, formaldehyde and germicides — many of which are potent poisons. As well as being environmentally harmful especially in aquatic systems, sodium hypochlorite (bleach) is a eye and lung irritant, and can cause burns. Nitrobenzenes found in many furniture and floor polishes have been associated with cancer and birth defects. Formaldehyde a common preservative in many household products, has been classified as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA reports that an "average" household contains anywhere from three to 25 gallons of toxic materials, most of which are cleaners. A 15-year study conducted in Oregon found a correlation between chronic exposure to cleaning products and an increased cancer rate in women who worked at home. Clearly, it's sanitary insanity to clean with products that pollute our homes, our bodies and our planet, but what's a neat freak to do?






mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard