How Safe are your Cleaning Supplies?
You may recall a story in the news about Tide Pods, the colorful, single-load packets of laundry detergent that were available between 2012 through the end of 2013. During that time, more than 17,000 children under age 6 ate or inhaled the contents or squirted concentrated liquid from a packet into their eyes, according to the New York Times.
It’s reminder that the products we use daily and deem as safe could actually be hazardous and cause serious injury. With spring-cleaning in full force, it’s important to stop and think about the household products you’re using. Could they actually be a danger to you or your family?
Consumer Reports recommends avoiding antibacterial such as dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, which may help promote antibiotic-resistant bacteria. That harsh chemical can be found in several cleaners including Scrubbing Bubbles Heavy Duty All Purpose Cleaner and some types of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes.
Better choices include Clorox Green Works All-Purpose Cleaner, which did well in Consumer Reports’ tough mess test. Also, consider Clorox Healthcare Bleach Germicidal Wipes, a good option for occasional disinfecting, like when someone has a cold or flu.
As for your bathroom, be aware that toilet-bowl cleaners can harbor some of the most dangerous chemicals in your house. Products such as Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner Complete Clean contain hydrochloric acid, which can burn your eyes and skin. For a safer option, select a cleaner without hydrochloric acid, such as Seventh Generation Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner, which did well in Consumer Reports’ tests.
Spring-cleaning also means washing windows and making glass sparkle, but be careful with ammonia. It can potentially damage your eyes or lungs. Instead, try a glass cleaner that’s ammonia-free—such as Staples’ Sustainable Earth Glass Cleaner. Another option is to dilute ammonia: Use a half-cup in four cups of water.
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