• 07.15.08

The Green on Clean

Info about health and cleaning products.

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.