Sometimes we take it for granted that products we use every day are safe – but it’s not necessarily the case. With issues such as skin allergies and asthma on the rise, it could be the case that bathroom-cleaning products are at least partly to blame.
Of course cleaning products need to be powerful in order to sanitise the house and kill harmful bacteria and viruses. But are these bathroom cleaners becoming so toxic that they are they are a danger to our health?
Let’s have a look at what using modern cleaning products could be doing to us, with the help of The Bathroom Discount Centre, a bathroom specialist serving clients in London and the UK for the past 35 years.
You only need to look at the label of everyday household cleaners to understand how toxic they are. Have a browse of the labels of the popular brands in your cupboard and you’ll probably find they are marked as being hazardous to human health. Of course we are aware of the caustic nature of products such as bleach and understand the dangers of getting these sorts of substances on the skin or in the eyes. But how many of us really understand the meaning of the chemical names that are scattered throughout the list of ingredients?
Dangerous chemicals including 2-Butoxyethanol, Triclosan and Chlorine are commonplace are can be responsible for everything from mild skin irritation and stinging eyes to kidney damage and liver problems. Some are even carcinogenic.
Which products are bad for your health?
There are a huge range of products that can be dangerous for you and sometimes the only way to really know is to check the label. We might think that is the products that have the most overwhelming chemical smell that are most dangerous, but this isn’t always the case. In fact cleaners that use artificial fragrances can actually be far worse. These fragrances are often extremely potent and can be very unpleasant. What’s even more frustrating is that the chemical make-up of these fragrances are often trade secrets, so the full extent of the ingredients are not disclosed.
Corrosive drain cleaners and oven cleaners are another product that can cause burns to the skin and eyes. Even the fumes can be dangerous if inhaled. It’s also true that ingredients of some shampoos, bubble baths and shower gels have been shown to be carcinogenic.
Bad for the environment
So clearly for our own health it’s important that we take more care to understand the risks of these products. If that’s not a good enough reason already, it’s also worth pointing out that reducing our dependence on these sorts of chemical is good for the environment as well. It’s easy to think that using, for example, harsh chemicals to unblock a sink is a quick and easy solution, but these chemicals can be enormously harmful when there are usually far better options available.
‘Natural’ store bought products may be no better
It may be the case that you believe that you are getting around your dependence on using dangerous chemicals if you opt for products that are labelled ‘natural’. Unfortunately while some of these products may have safer credentials than traditional products, there is no guarantee. In fact, just because a chemical is ‘natural’ it doesn’t mean that it is not harmful to humans. There are plenty of examples of chemicals that go into such products that occur naturally. Often you are effectively paying double the price for products that say ‘natural’ on the label, but as just as bad for you.
Many home-made alternatives are better, cheaper and not harmful
Did you know that there are many household items that provide very similar cleaning benefits to those of harmful cleaners? In fact, many of them are cheaper and actually do a better job of cleaning than the store-bought alternatives. Vinegar, baking soda and citric acid (found in plentiful quantities in citrus fruits) all have fantastic cleaning properties and can usually be substituted to clean everything from the bath to the sink. Even if you don’t think you could make the switch, it’s worth trialling it to see if you notice the difference.