Happy hump day, Moppers! We hope your week has been fantastic so far, and you’re fixing to sail through until Friday with nothing but clear skies on the horizon.
It’s been busy here on the ol’ Mop Up Your Mess homestead. We’ve been cleaning our little butts off, making sure all our clients are satisfied beyond their wildest dreams, and in the process we’ve been devoting some more thought to all those chemicals found in everyday cleaning supplies.
We’ve talked about them before here on the blog, but mostly just in general terms. Today we’d like to delve a little deeper and tackle a big issue surrounding all those chemicals, so you can have a better understanding of where we’re coming from, and why this is such an important topic for us.
Today’s word of the day is asthma, and here’s how all those cleaning products you’ve been using can have an affect on your respiratory system.
1. It’s Not Just for Kids
When we think of asthma, we tend to think of it as something that develops in children, but a growing list of studies are finding that regular household cleaning supplies are causing asthma to develop in otherwise healthy adults.
This is thanks to spray products such as glass cleaners, air fresheners, and furniture polish; most of which contain ingredients that can worsen, or cause, asthma. In a study of more than 3,500 people over the course of 9 years, it was found that those who used spray cleaners at least once a week had a 30 to 50 percent chance of developing asthma, where before there was zero. Of course this risk increased the more times people used spray cleaners, and increased further depending on the number of different cleaners used.
2. Industrial Strength Risks
Custodians, teachers, health care workers…these are all people that are exposed daily to cleaning supplies, and thus are afflicted by work-related asthma.
Chlorine bleach, spray cleaners, drain cleaners, disinfectants, carpet cleaners…the list goes on as to the number of products workers are subjected to. Studies have shown a direct connection between on-the-job exposure to these products, and the development of asthma, where before there were no previous traces of the disease.
Keep in mind that kids in school are also exposed to these products every single day while learning. Exposure over time can cause their already present asthma symptoms to worsen, or they could even be the cause of the disease.
3. The Culprits
There are a number of ingredients in cleaning supplies that are known asthmagens. These ingredients can either cause, or worsen asthma:
- Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride
- Alkyl Dimethyl Ethylbenzyl Ammonium Chloride
- Didecyldimethylammonium Chloride
- Dioctyl Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride
- Distearyldimonium Chloride
- Monoethanolamine Citrate
- Sodium Hypochlorite (Bleach)
- Sulfuric Acid
Ingredients that pose the biggest threat include:
- Bleach and Ammonia.
- Quaternary ammonium compounds like benzalkonium chloride, which are added to antibacterial cleaning supplies, disinfectant air fresheners, and fabric softeners.
- Ethanolamines, which are included as detergents in many supplies, but are more commonly used to control the acidity level (pH balance) in cleaning supplies.
These ingredients found in everyday cleaners work to cause asthma through frequent, long-term exposure, so while you may not notice the symptoms right away, if you’re using these on a daily, or even weekly basis to clean your home, chances are you’re going to develop problems over time.
We know this is a lot to digest, and while it may not always be the easiest information to understand, the harsh truth remains that household cleaners have a direct impact on your health thanks to all those chemicals found in them.
Asthma is just one of the leading consequences, but these chemicals have also been linked to cancer, as well as birth defects in babies.
If you’re unsure of what’s in your cleaning supplies, it’s best to just stick to something all natural, like the products we use here at Mop Up Your Mess, or take the time to make your own. They’ll be safer for the environment, and your health.
Enjoy the rest of your week, Moppers. We’ll talk to you again on Friday!