Why Choose Nontoxic Cleaning Products?
While there are many effective household cleaning products available in your local supermarket or discount store, you may see some surprising ingredients if you read the label closely.
Many of these products contain harmful chemicals such as chlorine bleach, ammonia, petrochemicals, and VOC's. It is risky to have these chemicals in your home in the case of accidental ingestion or physical contact. Breathing the fumes of some chemicals, especially over time, can be damaging to your health. In addition, small amounts of residual product can be left on surfaces or in the air following cleaning, adversely affecting your home's air quality.
Important reasons to consider using nontoxic cleaning products such as those available from Natural Choices:
- Protect children & pets from accidental poisoning
- Protect yourself (or the primary cleaner of the house) from contact with these ingredients
- Protect your home's indoor air quality
- Protect the environment and water table
It is important to properly dispose of any leftover toxic cleaning products after switching to nontoxic. Improper disposal, such as pouring them down the drain, on the ground outside, into storm sewers, or throwing them out in the trash can pollute the environment and pose a threat to human health. Many communities across the country offer options for safely disposing of toxic cleaning products, known also as "household hazardous waste." Check with your local environmental, health, or solid waste agency for information.
The EPA suggests the following options for disposing of your toxic cleaning products:
- See if your community has a facility that collects household hazardous waste year-round.
- Check if there are designated days in your area for collecting solid waste at a central location.
- You may be able to drop off certain products at local businesses for recycling or proper disposal.
- Always read product labels for proper disposal instructions.
For more information on disposing household hazardous waste, visit the EPA's website.
Below are some links if you're interested in learning more about your nontoxic options.
Using Cleaning Products Safely (Oklahoma State University) Guidelines on corrosive cleaning products and warnings to avoid mixing chemicals
Toxicity of Commercial Cleaning Products Chemicals to be avoided in cleaning products; Natural Choices' products do not contain any of these ingredients.
Environmentally Preferred Products (Commonwealth of Massachusetts) Chemicals to be avoided in cleaning products
Healthy Clean Buildings Tons of articles on why you should avoid toxic chemicals in cleaning products
Facts on Carcinogens At Home (University of Illinois Medical Center) Contains facts and Safety Guidelines for Avoiding Carcinogens At home
Hazardous Ingredients in Household Products (Cancer Prevention Coalition) Contains list of ingredients to avoid when purchasing household products Indoor Air Pollution (Cancer Prevention Coalition) Recommends common cleaners to avoid and safer alternatives
Indoor Air Pollution Fact Sheet - Household Products (American Lung Association) Contains a chart listing the health effects and presents some possible solutions to the problems posed by a few common household products
Sources of Indoor Air Pollution (EPA) Summarizes the sources of indoor air pollution, the possible health effects and steps to reduce exposure
Top Ten Tips for a Healthy Home (American Lung Association) Lists tips for avoiding indoor air hazards. Tip #7 relates to cleaning products.
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (National Institutes of Health) Gives common-sense approach in a Q&A format about chemical toxicity and cleaning products.
Products Database - Health & Safety Information on Household Products
(National Institutes of Health)
What's under your kitchen sink, in your garage, in your bathroom, and on the shelves in your laundry room? Learn more about what's in these products, about potential health effects, and about safety and handling. Information in the Household Products Database is taken from a variety of publicly available sources, including brand-specific labels and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) prepared by manufacturers. Fact Sheet: Safe Substitutes at Home: Non-toxic Household Products (EPA) A helpful Fact Sheet organized by rooms in your home to help with identification of and substitution for toxic cleaning products. Reducing Hazardous Products in Your Home (North Carolina State University) ; Contains tips on reducing the amount of hazardous products in your home and information on warning label system for cleaning products.
Fast Facts on Household Cleaners (Environmental Media Services) This page, maintained as a resource for journalists, contains interesting statistics on the use of hazardous household products and the potential health effects. Also contains links to "Hazardous Household Products", "Four to Avoid", and "Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Commercial Products" pages.
Your Home Environment More Healthy (Environmental Health Center
A Division of the National Safety Council) This article categorizes three main types of pollutants and lists safer alternatives.
How to Safely Choose and Use Household Products (Montana State University) Information presented in a Q&A format relating to identifying hazardous products and minimizing potential health problems.
Safer Cleaning Products (Washington Toxics Coalition) Fact Sheet by Philip Dickey containing the following subheadings: Health Hazards, Environmental Hazards, and Buying Safer.
Protect Your Child from Poisons in the Home (Food & Drug Administration) ; Basic information about common poisons found in the home, how to prevent poisoning, and what to do if you suspect poisoning.