We're often asked about the connection between cleaning products and indoor air quality. Most questions come from people concerned about their home, but we also receive questions from hotels, dental offices, restaurants, daycare centers, and schools where poor indoor air quality has been linked to impaired learning.
But for now, let’s talk about your home.
It seems absurd to think that cleaning products can be harmful to your health. After all, most of us grew up believing the smell of bleach and a clean home are synonymous with each other, and that air quality issues are tied to the outside—pollution from car- and truck-choked freeways, for example.
It may surprise you, then, to learn that science says indoor air can be deadlier than outdoor air. That’s true even in the largest and most industrialized cities. And those chemical-based cleaners and air fresheners sold at the supermarket are partly to blame.
Don’t kid yourself, this is something to be concerned about.
Short-term problems from chemical cleaners include asthma attacks, headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea, and fatigue. Long-term problems include asthma, cancer, even heart disease and death.
Worse, expecting parents must deal with this hard to swallow pill: Science says that the air you breathe is particularly important during pregnancy. According to a 2016 study in Environmental Health Perspectives, in just a single year air pollution was the cause of 16,000 premature births in the U.S.
Unfortunately, a growing body of evidence indicates the problem is worse today than before. That’s because our homes are tighter as we strive to build energy-efficient structures.
But it’s also worse because of misinformation.
Terms like green, eco-friendly, and organic are marketing terms with no legal definition. So most people don’t know what’s lurking in the cleaning products hiding under their kitchen sink.
Despite colorful labels with pictures of green fields and yellow flowers, most home cleaning products that line supermarket shelves are in fact chemical cocktails. That’s because, in part, there are no federal laws regulating cleaning products.
Although some manufacturers are transparent about their ingredients, they are not required to list everything. So most don’t.
But the hard truth is that some household cleaners conceal some scary stuff that is banned in other countries. Isn’t it best to use cleaning products that list all ingredients?
Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner, for example, lists 99.7250% of ingredients as “other.”
The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC, reviews more than 2,000 household cleaning products. Reading about the contents in some of these cleaners is enough to make your skin crawl.
Think about it for a second. If you’re an average American, and chances are that you are, you spend about 90 percent of your time indoors where studies by the EPA say pollutants may be 2 to 5 times—and occasionally more than 100 times—higher than outdoor pollutant levels.
We know, we know. Most of us understand that indoor air pollution is caused by many things, including smoking, malfunctioning gas stoves and furnaces, space heaters, and the use of solvents in hobby activities.
But one smart way to start reducing the problem is to swap out those toxic household cleaning products you’re using for a Ladybug® steam cleaner from Advap.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control, steam cleaners equipped with Advap’s proprietary TANCS® technology kill more germ colonies in 3 seconds than a 20-minute exposure to bleach.
Click here to watch a video that explains the science behind TANCS®. Then go take a look at what’s going on in the cabinet under your kitchen sink.
Is it clean and organized? Or is it an area cluttered with dried out sponges and rusty cans labeled Danger, Warning, Caution, and Poison?
It only makes good sense to ditch products that contain ingredients unsafe for your health and the health of your family and switch to products that can help you achieve a happy and healthy home without the toxic side effects.
So, what’s under your kitchen sink?