Cleanliness of the floor is one of the first things that gets noticed - be it your own home or someone else's. A well mopped floor not only looks clean but also maintains the hygiene of your home. But do you know that prolonged use of toxic floor cleaners is not only harmful to you but also to your pets and environment too? A proper home cleaning has its long term benefits, hence, the market is flooded with many brands promising 100% hygiene with spotless cleanliness with their products. Still it is hard to come by with cleaners that do not constitute any toxic ingredients or harmful chemicals in varying percentages. Let’s understand the widely used toxins present in some of the best floor cleaners too.
Benzalkonium Chloride (BAC)
It is recognised as an organic salt that can be used as cleaning agents/detergent. It is a widely used disinfectant/preservative. Prolonged respiratory exposure to this is reported to be highly toxic. As per one of the leading publications in the field of toxicology, Particle and Fiber Toxicology states that anything more than 0.05% of BAC is harmful. Even frequent use of BAC-containing products has been classified as dangerous by the Korea Institute of Disease Control. There is also the fear of bacteria developing resistance to Benzalkonium Chloride and thus developing tolerance and being able to survive in increasing dosage levels.This would make them resistant to antibiotics.
Phthalates are a type of industrial chemical which is largely used in household cleaners, cosmetics, fragrances etc. as a binding agent. You can find it in almost every product you use from lotions, soaps, makeup, nail polish, hair sprays, perfumes, after shave lotions. scented cleaning products, laundry detergents, and synthetic cleaning products. Phthalates can seep into water bodies and affect marine life. They may interfere with normal endocrine system function, reproduction, and development. As per this published research, our everyday exposure to Phthalates is at an all time high.
Triclosan is another widely used ingredient that is used in many products to regulate/prevent bacterial contamination. It is added to many personal care products such as soaps and body washes, toothpastes, and cosmetics. It can also be found in clothing, kitchenware, furniture, and toys. In home care Triclosan can be found in dish wash liquids. The federal US agency, Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has recognised Triclosan intended for use in health care settings as not safe and effective. It can alter hormone regulation in animals (pets), active triclosan can affect the immune system and last but not the least it can contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant germs.
Phosphates is a natural form of Phosphorus. It can also be turned into phosphoric acid which is then utilised in a variety of products, including food, cosmetics, animal feed, and electronics.The use of phosphate in home care is banned in many countries. Phosphate based products we use at home end up in the water system through our city wastewater systems. When the level of phosphates is too high it causes havoc on the water bodies, drastically affecting marine life.
Many synthetic scent ingredients are generated from petrochemicals (petroleum-based chemicals) and can be detrimental to human health. Almost every product comes with added fragrance, be it your body wash, soap, and most home cleaning products including even some of the best floor cleaners have toxic artificial fragrances in them. While fragrance and smells are an important sensory requirement for humans and animals, it is important to choose fragrances which are hypoallergenic and natural essential oils based. Some of the toxic artificial fragrance side effects range from increased hormonal activity, reduced fertility in both men & women, nervous inflammation in animals to name a few.
The list of ingredients used by various floor cleaners isn't restricted to the few mentioned above, there are a lot more! So it's important for us to understand what all chemicals and other constituents go into it. Whether it's listed among India’s best floor cleaners or new brands claiming to have non toxic ingredients, it's pertinent for us to understand whether they contain harmful chemicals and how it affects our health in both the short and long term.
Harmful effects of Floor Cleaners
Household cleansers are prepared with very powerful and chemical substances, ensuring that your home is spotless. A prolonged exposure to any toxic floor cleaners can cause various health issues. Some of them are listed below:
Human skin is sensitive and is the first part of our body that comes in touch with all kinds of surfaces. Eczema is the most common type of skin issue that gets developed with long exposure to such cleaners.
Even some of the best floor cleaners release toxins in the air to kill off the bacteria and germs but in the process we inhale them. It is especially dangerous for babies and pets. Allergies, asthma, wheezing, and coughing are just a few of the respiratory problems that can get triggered.
Irritation in Eyes
Eyes are most sensitive when it comes to any harmful chemicals. You might waive it off as a slight irritation, redness or watery eyes but if ignored for long, it can cause serious damage to your vision.
Allergy in Kids
According to some studies, such toxic ingredients can cause allergies in youngsters over time. When children are exposed to pathogens, they acquire an inability to tolerate or deal. With time kids' immune system becomes more and more sensitive, thus over-reactive to minor/common allergies too.
Other Health Effects
The fragrance in most household cleansers is made up of phthalates and other chemicals. Phthalates are linked to hormone imbalances, according to various studies. Some toxic vapour immediately affects eyes, lungs and skin immediately.
How to choose the best floor cleaners?
Now that you are aware about the harmful effects of chemical based floor cleaners, you should keep track of the following points before buying your next floor cleaners:
- Read the label and the ingredients used to create the products while purchasing household supplies.
- Explore all natural/organic floor cleaners range
- Alternate your cleaning schedule with natural homemade DIY cleaners
- Look out for any kind of allergy after the first time using floor cleaners. Be sure to check your pets for allergies.
- Maintaining your floor clean will cut down on the amount of cleaner you use. This will help to keep your home's overall toxicity low.
We at Purecult take pride in our clean alternative products. As much as cleaning matters, how you clean matters! Our Floor cleaners are made without any harmful effects on the environment, humans and animals alike. No sulphates, no phosphates, no artificial fragrance, only pure natural goodness for your home.