We recently shared a list of hazard symbols to look out for on your cleaning products. These warning signs are issued on cleaners to help protect you and your family from injuries. However, there is one thing that isn’t always listed on the bottle: product ingredients.
The Federal Hazardous Substances Act does not require household products to include a list of contents. The manufacturer is just responsible for labeling their product if it is caustic, toxic, an eye irritant or if the chemical make-up of the product could pose such a hazard.
So what does this all mean? Well, consumers may be cleaning their homes with chemicals they wouldn't normally use. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck when it comes to giving your home a good scrub without exposing yourself to problem ingredients. If you visit the National Institute of Health's Household Products Database, you can search for the name of the product you’re using and read all about its health and safety information. According to The Record, the American Lung Association at lung.org, suggests consumers should choose products that don't contain (or, at the very least, have reduced amounts of) volatile organic compounds (VOCS), fragrances, irritants and flammable materials.
You can also switch to "green" cleaners which are becoming more and more popular. Many swear by natural solutions made from baking soda, white vinegar and water. "I always use a combination of white vinegar, water (1 part each) and rubbing alcohol and it cleans nearly everything. [It's] totally green and very safe to use. If you are cleaning wood, I'd omit the alcohol. White vinegar cleans everything. Floors, glass, tables, counters, coffee pots, tiles, bathrooms, you name it,” New Jersey homeowner Erika Haedo told The Record.
Watch the video above to see how you can clean using homemade solutions and click through the slideshow below to see the Environmental Work Group’s list of Cleaners Hall Of Shame.
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