One everyday product that greatly impacts the environment is (ironically) cleaning products. Conventional, non-green cleaning products for the home and business can be hazardous in many ways. Many of these products contain toxic and potent chemicals such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ammonia, methyl chloride, and more- aside from the possibility of acquiring long-term sickness, they can aggravate asthma, cause burns, or be harmful if ingested. Not only are they harmful to an individual’s health, cleaning products have a wide range of environmental effects. The chemicals in cleaning products are often washed into streams and rivers, which pollute water bodies and aquatic life as well- making its way into the food chain. Cleaning chemicals containing volatile organic compounds (VOC) can degrade interior air quality and contribute to air pollution.
It’s not just cleaning, but how we choose to clean that matters. One of the most effective strategies to counteract environmental damage is to switch to as many eco-friendly cleaning products as possible- and we at PureCult take this matter very seriously. Our products are safe not just for the family, but for pets, and for the environment as a whole too.
How do we achieve this? It’s simple:
By Being a ZeroHero.
PureCult has a driving vision: to create cleaning products that contain no toxic and dangerous compounds. We achieve this vision by making certain that all our cleaning products are chemical-free and safe.
At PureCult, we believe in blending science with nature: to use safe and natural substances that are effective in small amounts, to achieve cleanliness using the minimum amount of ingredients necessary, so we minimise waste and maximise safety. Many laboratories throughout the world are attempting to develop non-toxic, environmentally friendly substances, and we believe we should take advantage of this opportunity. Our products are produced with natural components and blended with essential oils to combine cleansing and therapeutic capabilities.
It isn’t enough to merely add green ingredients, while continuing to use other harmful ingredients. This is why we do not use any harmful chemicals, artificial colour or fragrance in our products. Our products contain Zero Sulphates, Zero Phosphates, Zero Bleach, Zero Artificial Colour, Zero Artificial Fragrance, and Zero Harmful Acids. They are made with Zero Animal Testing, and are completely safe for babies and pets, and even the most sensitive of skin. This is what makes us a ZeroHero: having zero space for toxins, allergens, or environmentally damaging chemicals. The ingredients we avoid include:
A colourless gas with a distinct odour, ammonia can cause skin and eye irritation, coughing, nose and throat irritation. It is highly caustic and can pollute water bodies and aquatic life, causing ammonia toxicity and eventual death.
An antibacterial and antimicrobial agent that can impact the nervous system in humans, causing dysfunction in brain and motor behaviours. It can also interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland, and long term exposure can cause skin cancer and other skin issues. Triclosan is also dangerous when washed into water bodies since it is converted into dioxin- a highly toxic compound, when exposed the sunlight in an aqueous environment. Triclosan can also combine with chlorine in tap water to form chloroform, which is listed as a probable human carcinogen. Triclosan has been found to be highly toxic to different types of algae, keystone organisms for complex aquatic ecosystems, and has been detected at high concentration in earthworms.
The main use for SLS and SLES in products is to create lather, giving a stronger impression of cleaning power. SLS and SLES can irritate eyes, skin, and lungs, especially with long-term use. SLES may also be contaminated with a substance called 1,4-dioxane, which is known to cause cancer in laboratory animals. This contamination occurs during the manufacturing process. Products with sulphates that get washed down the drain may also be toxic to aquatic animals. Many products with sulphates are tested on animals to measure the level of irritation to people’s skin, lungs, and eyes.
Some types of phthalates have affected the reproductive system in animals- they are endocrine disruptors, which means they can interfere with your natural hormones. Research also indicates that they can damage the liver, kidneys, and lungs, and can interfere with a child's healthy development. Phthalates can also accumulate in the environment such as water bodies and in aquatic life, which can disrupt endocrine systems in fish, birds and mammals.
TSP is actually strictly regulated owing to its environmental impact: Phosphate runoff into lakes and rivers was found to trigger algae overgrowth, depleting oxygen in the water and endangering fish, animals, and aquatic plants by causing endocrine disruption in them. TSP is also an endocrine disruptor and can cause early sexual maturation, as well as fertility problems.
Phosphates carry into waste systems and are hard to break down by ordinary wastewater processing systems. As they carry into streams, lakes and rivers, they increase algae growth and subsequently decrease the oxygen that is needed for healthy aquatic life, and contribute to the pollution of water bodies.
Toilet cleaners, pool chemicals, and some fertilisers are common household sources of hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid is corrosive to the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes. Chemical burns on your skin can be mild or severe depending on how much the acid is diluted and how long the acid is in contact with your skin. Hydrogen chloride released into the atmosphere as a gas will be readily incorporated into cloud, rain, and fog water. It thus forms a component of acid rain.
Toxins from bleach can cause drastic long and short-term respiratory problems upon inhalation. When it is inhaled, it is very irritating and corrosive to the skin, lungs and eyes. The fumes from the bleach can also cause migraines, muscle weakness, abdominal discomfort, esophageal perforation, nausea and damage to the nervous system. When it is in the water, the chlorine mixes with other minerals and elements already in the water. This process creates new toxins called “persistent organic pollutants” named as such because they stay in water and can take a few years until they completely disappear. The bleach’s by-products in the air eventually reach the Earth’s atmosphere and ozone layer as well, causing global warming.
A highly corrosive acid, sulfuric acid can cause severe skin burns, can irritate the nose and throat and cause difficulties breathing if inhaled. Sulfuric acid in rain contributes to the formation of acid rain. Its corrosive nature means that it can also burn and harm any terrestrial life, such as animals and birds exposed to it.
2-Butoxyethanol is a colourless liquid with a mild odour. It can harm the eyes, skin, kidneys, and blood. It can also contaminate the air and water bodies, causing great harm to the environment.
Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) has been linked to allergic reactions, lung toxicity, and neurotoxicity. The European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety has declared that there is no safe concentration of MIT in leave-on products. In Canada, it has been banned from use in cosmetics. Health issues commonly linked to MIT include: skin reactions (it is a contact allergen), skin sensitization, painful rashes, inhalation toxicity, organ toxicity, neurotoxicity (based on lab studies on the brand cells of mammals).
Widely recognized for extreme aquatic toxicity to fish and wildlife, NPEs and NP may also threaten the health of the developing foetus and young children. They also cause endocrine disruptions in functioning, skin and eye irritations, and are bioaccumulative- meaning that over time, they can accumulate in an organism at faster rates leading to toxicity.
Bleach (Liquid Sodium Hypochlorite)
Various health effects occur after exposure to sodium hypochlorite. People are exposed to sodium hypochlorite by inhalation of aerosols. This causes coughing and a sore throat. After swallowing sodium hypochlorite the effects are stomach ache, a burning sensation, coughing, diarrhoea, a sore throat and vomiting. Sodium hypochlorite on skin or eyes causes redness and pain. After prolonged exposure, the skin can become sensitive. Sodium hypochlorite is poisonous for water organisms.
Quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) or phenolic chemicals
Some QACs can cause allergic skin rashes even with very limited exposure. Eye contact with QACs can cause burning of the eyes. Breathing in QACs can cause irritation of the nose and throat. They are also linked to fertility problems and disrupting cellular processes.
Perchloroethylene, naphthalene and ammonium hydroxide
Perchloroethylene (PCE) is widely used for dry-cleaning fabrics. Inhalation of the fumes can cause irritation of the upper respiratory tract and eyes, kidney dysfunction, and neurological effects, impaired coordination, dizziness, and headaches. They have also been identified as carcinogenic to humans. PCE will evaporate fairly rapidly into the atmosphere. It can leach rapidly through soil and therefore may reach groundwater.
Long-term effects from repeated exposure may cause dermatitis. Continuous usage of the chemical as a disinfectant can lead to bacteria developing resistance against the chemical- meaning that stronger, more corrosive chemicals may be needed in the future to kill germs.
Going green is more than just recycling a few times a year; it's a way of life. It's about thinking about how your choices as a customer and as a person on this planet affect the environment around you. The cycle spirals beyond formulation, to packaging and even transport. Regular cleaners contribute greatly to pollution in the form of packaging and transportation, which uses great amounts of resources. One of the biggest, most indirect contributors to pollution is packaging and transport. Most cleaning containers aren't manufactured out of recyclable materials, which results in empty bottles and packaging frequently winding up in landfills.
Purchasing products in bulk greatly minimises resources on many levels- the product packaging waste is minimised, packaging and shipping resources are minimised over one trip as compared to multiple trips, and the long shelf life of non-perishable goods means that they can be stored over long periods of time. We offer our ZeroHero army a chance to further minimise their carbon footprint through our subscription service, which provides free shipping with no delivery charges, and fully customisable options to choose which product combinations you’d like to subscribe to. Many people assume that going green is expensive, which is not true- in fact, you can save up to 40% with a six-month subscription, and 50% with a year-long subscription. What's more, subscription members get access to exclusive perks such as free samples of newly launched products and year-round savings- no need to wait for a sale to save!
When it comes to the environment, change cannot be reactive- it must be proactive. Join the movement towards a greener tomorrow. Come join us, and be part of the ZeroHero Army.