It’s time to do a little spring cleaning. Be careful – cleaning products are actually among the most significant sources of exposure to toxic chemicals in the home. They can contribute to indoor air pollution, and can be poisonous if ingested or even touched. According to the U.S. Poison Control Center, household cleaners are responsible for about 10% of all toxic exposures. So how do you know if that “natural” cleaner really is free of harmful toxins? Here are some quick tips to clean your way to a safe and healthy home:
- Watch for generic terms such as “fragrance”, which can conceal ingredients that may cause allergies and other health effects.
- Consult GoodGuide to see if your product of choice contains any chemicals of high risk, such as triclosan, alkyl phenol ethoxylates or ammonium quaternary compounds.
- Choose products that are efficiently packaged in recyclable containers.
- Look for cleaning products whose formulations have been certified by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice Certification program.
- You can always make your own cleaners. For example, vinegar and baking soda will unclog a drain.