Can Cleaning Products Make You Sick?
If you were wondering can cleaning products make you sick, this post will go over everything you need to know. Cleaning products can impact your health in different ways. However, being informed on what to look out for when choosing the right product is key to keeping health risks at bay. Let’s dig a little deeper.
Cleaning Products And Your Health
Over the years, people have become accustomed to using cleaning products in their homes and businesses. So used to them; in fact, many may not know that cleaning products can make you sick. This is especially true for those who work in an environment where cleaning products are used constantly.
Whether you are doing floor cleaning or cleaning an office, you will encounter a vast array of cleaning products. Let’s discuss how exposure to cleaning products can make us sick and what you can do about it.
What Are Cleaning Products?
We know cleaning products by brand names and the advertisements we have seen on TV. But what are we really talking about when we discuss cleaning products. Below is a list of cleaners that you probably know from a brand name.
- VOCs (volatile organic compounds): These are any cleaners that release hazardous compounds that can affect a person by contributing to chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and even headaches.
- Other natural fragrances such as citrus-based cleaners
Types of Cleaners
All of these base chemicals can be used in different ways for various residential and commercial cleaning applications. From window washing to floor waxing, the options are endless and each type of task will require a different base cleanser.
Let’s look at the different applications for these cleaners.
- Upholstery and Carpet Cleaners
- Chlorine bleach for laundry and wiping down counters and appliances
- Detergent and Dishwashing Liquids
- Furniture Polish
- Oven Cleaners
- Glass and Window Cleaners
- Toilet and Bathroom Cleaners
- Air Fresheners
How Cleaning Products Can Make You Sick
As we have been raised around cleaning products, it is only natural that we look at them as being safe. For the most part, they are but remember, most of them are chemicals. As such, they all have some type of reaction with humans over time. Here are some things to watch for when using cleaning products.
- Frequency of Using: A study of six thousand participants found that people using spray cleaning products at least once a week saw a reduction in lung function over time. The study was completed over two decades, so the results appear to be gradual. It shows that those who work with chemical cleaners frequently may have a faster reaction.
- Mixing of Cleaners: Another issue that could cause sickness is the mixing of chemical cleaners. For most cleaners, SDS (safety data sheets) will have a statement not to mix products. This is because the chemicals in two or more products can create a chemical reaction and be caustic to your lungs.
- Using the Wrong Cleaner for the Job: Some cleaners are volatile or caustic. Take an oven cleaner, for instance. Designed to be used inside a sealed oven, this cleaner may cause issues if used to clean in an open sink.
- Have an Underlying Condition: For those that have an underlying condition, cleaners may exacerbate the condition. For example, someone with asthma may have a negative reaction when chemical cleaners are used that have a high fragrance value.
How to Reduce the Health Risks of Cleaning Products
Now that we know cleaning products can affect us and even make us sick, what can we do about it? The answer is that there are several ways to reduce your risk of sickness when it comes to cleaning products.
Use Natural Products
Although natural products are not completely safe in themselves, they can be a safer alternative. Cleaning with everyday natural ingredients are less caustic and present less of a danger over time. A few natural ingredients that make good cleaners are mentioned below.
- Vinegar and Water
- Lemon Juice or a Lemon Juice and Vinegar Mix
- Baking Soda and Water
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Essential Oils
- Natural Soaps
All of these ingredients can be mixed to provide different combinations for the best cleaning results without the worry of causing chemical reactions. These natural solutions are also inexpensive compared to chemical brands
Use Better Cleaning Tools
When using the correct tools for the job, harsh cleaning products are less important. For example, cleaning with paper towels and bleach may not be effective. Cleaning with bleach and a rough sponge will probably be more inclined to clean without using extra bleach. Scrub brushes with stiff bristles, cleaning stones, scouring pads, and even toothbrushes can reduce your dependency on cleaning products.
Clean More Frequently with Less Chemical Cleaning Products
By increasing the frequency of cleaning, you may be able to cut down on the use of cleaning products. The more buildup of dirt and grime you have the more caustic products you will have to use to clean. Using natural products with the frequency increase may be even better.
Wear Personal Protective Equipment
Using personal protective equipment while you clean is always a good idea. Most cleaners are a natural degreaser, so wearing protection will prevent skin irritations, like dryness. When using cleaning products frequently, think of using a face mask to help reduce the fumes of the chemicals you are cleaning with. In the same respect, using safety glasses or goggles can prevent irritation or burning of the eyes.
Professional Cleaning Companies
Using a Professional Company
One way to reduce health issues with cleaning products is to let the experts do the work for you. Professional cleaning services are well aware of any dangers that cleaning products can cause. Employees of these companies are trained in the best and safest practices when cleaning homes or businesses.
Not only will they know how to be safer around cleaning products, but they can have your property cleaned in a short amount of time. Check into using a professional company. You may be surprised at the cost compared to how much time you spend cleaning yourself. This will also reduce the risk to you and your family from exposure to cleaning products.
Used moderately cleaning products are safe in the short term. Studies do show, however, that long-term exposure could have an effect on lungs and other health conditions. Although we are used to using cleaning products, they are chemical and should be treated as such. There are steps you can take to remediate the risks of using cleaning products. By reducing your exposure, using more natural cleaners, using the correct tools, or by hiring someone to clean, you can reduce your exposure.
You should now have a grasp on the questions can cleaning products make you sick and we hope you learned a lot!