Did you know that there is a difference between Green Cleaning Products and Natural Cleaning Supplies?
In fact, the differences can make a big impact on chemically sensitive people and even to people who have slight sensitivities to chemicals. Why is this? Well it is actually because of what exactly green products are and why they are considered “green.” Because green living is really taking on a lot of momentum these days, many companies are doing their best to capitalize off of these consumers looking for a healthier, safer alternative to the products they are currently using. There are certification programs for green cleaners, but they are private companies so there really are not standardized regulations to call your product “green.”
There are some ingredients that you can look out for, however:
Ammonia – found in glass cleaners, floor or bathroom cleaners. Poisonous when swallowed and a big irritant to the skin or when inhaled.
Diethylene Glycol – found in glass and bathroom cleaners. Poisonous when swallowed and irritating to the lungs.
Chlorine Bleach – found in a variety of cleaners or by itself. Very irritating to eyes and skin and is an environmental hazard.
Triclosan – found in antibacterial cleaners and thought to be contributing to antibiotic resistant bacteria.
DEA and TEA – found in many products and used as preservatives. When combined with nitrosomes can produce carcinogens.
Petroleum based ingredients – all kinds of cleaners. These are products that are no friend to the environment.
Fragrance – air freshener and almost all cleaners. usually contains phthalates used to stabilize synthetic scents and a known carcinogen. Fragrance is frequent cause of allergens in products.
1,4-dioxane – found in dish washing and other household cleaners. Has been found to be a cancer causing ingredient.
Formaldehyde – found in a variety of cleaners. It is a known carcinogen
Many “green” cleaning products actually contain some of the ingredients above. Many products are labeled as being green, just because they are safer compared to the other traditional products in that category. Some people even discredit Green Seal for their licensing practices, saying that they aren’t stringent enough with their licensing requirements. They have their own licensing guidelines and of course, many of us would prefer those guidelines to be stricter. You must keep in mind that there is a wide spectrum of “green.” One other widely respected licensing organization that is picking up a lot of momentum is the EPA’s own program called Design for the Environment (DfE). These companies are recognized as taking alternative manufacturing routes to create effective products while being safe for us and the environment.
So how do all natural products differ from green products? Well, they are all natural!!! Natural cleaning products are produced from all naturally occurring, easily replenished, ingredients. These products are completely biodegradable and 100% non-toxic. You can be completely sure that you are taking the safe route with a natural cleaning product. Why even risk it with a “green” product when you basically have to be a chemist to understand how green the product really is.
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