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The Green on Clean

Info about health and cleaning products.

From laundry detergent and dish soap to floor cleaner and air freshener, all the chemicals we use in our home find their way back into the ground and ultimately into our oceans. Many of these products give off harmful VOC emissions (volatile organic compound emissions). VOCs are usually carcinogenic, aka cancer-causing agents.  See VOCs. Other VOC containing household items? The list goes on and on, but they are primarily found in synthetic materials like those found in carpets, furniture, and laminates. VOCs contaminate air, and when a house has many VOC contributors, the inhabitants are in danger of experiencing sick building syndrome due to poor indoor air quality. In Chicago alone, 20 tons of VOCs are released into the air from cleaning products alone per day! To give you another example, Greg Norris, a professor at Harvard's School of Public Health says, "The amount of VOCs from a single waxing of a floor can equal or exceed the VOCs emitted from the flooring materials over the life of those flooring materials." Imagine how much better off we'd be if we all started using low- or no-VOC cleaners. Call some product info hotlines that you find on your cleaning product bottles and do some research for yourself. Tell them you have questions about the ingredients in your product, and want to know if it contains VOCs when you purchase it and if the product breaks down over time to produce more VOCs.