Cleaning products are more dangerous than you think. You may think that these widely available products that keep your house clean and fresh-smelling would be safe, but a word of caution is advised. You need to know what substances you are using because when you use them, you are exposing your whole family to them.
Here is a list of ingredients that are dangerous or at least worrisome that are commonly found in household products:
- Ammonium hydroxide
- Hydrochloric acid
- Hydrochlroic bleachff
- Petroleum distillates
- Propylene glycol
- Sodium laurel sulfate
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates volatile organic compounds or VOCs. VOCs are airborne chemicals that are known to be harmful to the health. According to the EPA, VOC concentrations are consistently higher indoors than outdoors and sometimes are as much as 10 times higher inside than outside.
The idea here is that many of the products we use to clean our floors, dishes, clothes, furniture, and so on (along with paints, chemicals, hobby products, carpeting, adhesives, and so on) cause dangerous chemicals to enter the air inside our homes.
So what can you do to reduce the air pollution in your own house?
- Stop it at the source. Be mindful of the substances in use in your house and limit or eliminate those that may contain dangerous substances
- Open the windows or otherwise increase ventilation in your house. Window or attic fans and fans in bathroom and kitchen can remove inside air and help increase the ventilation rate.
- Certain types of air cleaners may be useful but not all air filtration systems reduce VOC. You can check out what the EPA has to say here [LINK: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/aircleaners/index.html]
- Some people believe that houseplants can help clean the indoor air. While there is no hard scientific evidence to confirm that houseplants can undo a lot of VOC damage, plants may be at least somewhat beneficial.