Green Cleaning Supplies
Toxic cleaner usage in bathrooms around the country has harmed our environment for decades. Respiratory irritants in conventional bathroom cleaners increase air pollution. Toxic chemicals in cleaners, personal hygiene products and pharmaceuticals are washed down the drains of American homes and contaminate our drinking water. These cleaners impact not only those who obtain their drinking water from a government-regulated source, but also the 15% of our population who use unregulated, private wells. The environment would greatly benefit from green cleaning supplies.
What Chemicals from Cleaning Supplies Are in Our Water?
The EPA has created a list of contaminates that includes every known substance found in drinking water and how much of these substances we can safely consume. Many of these contaminants enter the water system via improper disposal, but others enter through unsafe cleaning products. Using green cleaning supplies is the best way to ensure safe, clean drinking water. Phosphorus and nitrogen are two of the top contaminates found in drinking water. According to the American Water Works Association, higher levels of these substances in water can be attributed partly to toxic bathroom cleaners. Green cleaning supplies avoid using these chemicals in order to reduce the impact of household chemicals on the environment.
What Are the Consequences of Cleaning Supplies’ Chemicals?
Pollutants found in drinking water can cause a multitude of diseases, including nervous disorders and some types of cancer. Airborne particles released by traditional cleaning products cause or aggravate respiratory diseases like asthma.
What Can We Do?
Purchase green cleaning supplies from health markets or make green cleaning supplies at home using common household ingredients. These green cleaning supplies effectively disinfect bathrooms. Commercial green cleaning supplies offer non-toxic substances in recyclable packaging, further reducing their environmental impact. There are endless recipes for homemade green cleaning supplies, and though the results may vary from batch to batch, all are generally effective.
Watch Out for “Green-Washing”
Many companies are “green-washing” their products to seem more environmentally friendly than they actually are. Always read the ingredient and warning labels found on any products that are sold as green cleaning supplies. Many so-called green cleaning supplies merely change the proper names of toxic chemicals to less offensive-sounding titles. Greenpeace has investigated many of these faux-environmentalist companies’ and found that they touted their products with false information to make their products seem eco-friendly.