Eco-Friendly House Cleaning
|Posted on August 21, 2016 at 6:15 PM||comments (0)|
The end of the 2016 beach season is coming to a close. It has been a great summer for all of us at Green Cleaning Services, Inc. We have been busy and look forward to a Saturday off. A great big thank you to all the team members who supported our mission this summer. Looking forward to marketing and building our residential and commercial divisions.
|Posted on June 13, 2016 at 11:35 PM||comments (0)|
After months of work, we are now a certified Minority Business Enterprise. We are hoping to bid painting and post construction cleaning for general contractors. Please let us know if we can get on bid lists. In addition to our MBE, we are now a licensed Maryland Home Improvment Contractor (MHIC). We are able to do remodels, bathrooms, kitchens, and interior painting to residential homes.
|Posted on March 16, 2015 at 7:50 PM||comments (0)|
EWG Finds Carcinogen in Febreze
The EWG evaluated Febreze in 2009 to determine its safety as a school cleaning supply. Results showed that the product (Hawaiian Aloha option) released 89 air contaminants, including one carcinogen. Yet the manufacturer discloses only three of those ingredients.
This was a particularly high number—the third highest released by any product tested. According to the label, the air freshener contains only an odor eliminator, water, fragrance, non-flammable natural propellant, and quality control ingredients.
Could they get any more vague?
Here’s more on the chemicals the EWG found:
Acetaldehyde: on California’s Prop 65 list for cancer and reproductive toxicity.
Ethyl Acetate: a chemical toxic to the brain and nervous system.
BHT: linked with neurotoxicity, hormone disruption, allergies, and irritation to the skin, eyes, or lungs.
Propylene glycol: linked with allergies and skin and eye irritation.
1,3-dichloro-2-propanol: also used in flame retardants, resins, plastics, and rubber; has been linked with cancer in animal studies, according to the California Environmental Protection Agency.
|Posted on January 28, 2015 at 9:05 PM||comments (0)|
Nothing like mopping your floors, scrubbing your counters and cleaning your shower with hazardous waste. That’s essentially what you’re doing if you use many name-brand household cleaners to get your home spic-and-span. But you eco-conscious clean freaks probably already knew that.
If you’re concerned about your health and helping the environment, your toxic household cleaners were likely the first to go. And for good reason. The household cleaning industry is largely unregulated and companies aren’t required to include ingredient lists for cleaning products, like they are for food, drugs and personal care products.
Companies take advantage of that lack of regulation to make bogus claims about their cleaning products and to include toxic chemicals in their products without letting consumers know. Hidden behind vague terms or not stated at all, it’s hard to know just how bad these chemical concoctions really are for your health and for the environment.
That’s why the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit research organization known for its personal care product database, has created a new database that includes more than 2,000 household cleaners. The EWG ranked the cleaners based on how hazardous their ingredients are and how much information they include on their labels.
The EWG plans to debut its EWG Cleaners Database in September 2012. In the meantime, the non-profit released a list of cleaners for its Hall of Shame. Take a look at some of the worst offenders the EWG has uncovered—so far.
Simple Green Concentrated All-Purpose Cleaner
Perhaps one of the worst because it undeservedly boasts the title “green”, this all-purpose cleaner from Simple Green contains 2-butoxyethanol, a solvent known to damage red blood cells and irritate eyes. Despite its “non-toxic” claims on its labeling, this all-purpose cleaner also contains a secret blend of alcohol ethoxylate surfactants; some chemicals in this family are banned in the European Union.
Even worse, the EWG notes that the company website instructs the user to significantly dilute this product when cleaning. Actually, Simple Green calls it “custom dilute,” as if it’s some fabulous product feature. Yet, the cleaner is packaged in a spray bottle that implies it can be used full strength, which means possible higher exposure to the toxic chemicals in this product. Awful.
Scrubbing Bubbles – Antibacterial Bathroom Cleaner & Extend-A-Clean Mega Shower Foamer
Despite its cheery cartoon scrub brush mascot, Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom and shower cleaners should do anything but bring a smile to your eco-loving face. These products contain chemicals banned in the European Union including DEGBE, which can irritate and inflame the lungs. The European Union bans this chemical in household cleaners in concentrations above 3 percent. These products contain up to 10 percent.
EASY-OFF Heavy Duty Oven Cleaner Aerosol Spray
Besides dissolving the gunk in your oven, the chemicals in this cleaner can also burn your skin and eyes. The label says as much. It advises users to avoid eyes, skin, mucous membranes and clothing. On top of that you should also wear long gloves when using it, avoid breathing in the mist, use only with adequate ventilation and do not ingest it. Something so dangerous has no place in the your eco-home.
Target’s Up & Up Cleaners
Unlike food, cosmetics and drugs, ingredient labels are not required for cleaning products. Some companies choose to include their ingredients because of consumer pressure—others do not, including, Target’s Up & Up brand cleaners. This brand’s toilet bowl cleaner and glass and surface wipes list no ingredients whatsoever. Other cleaners in its line of products list only one or two ingredients, or use vague terms. Hiding something, eh?
Lysol Disinfectant Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Lime & Rust Remover
You know many household cleaners on the market pose serious health hazards, but what about death? This toilet bowl cleaner from Lysol even states on the label that it is “harmful or fatal if swallowed”. The label also suggests wearing safety goggles as a bit of this acidic concoction can cause “irreversible damage” to eyes. So not worth a clean toilet.
Ajax, Dynamo and Fab Ultra Liquid Laundry Detergents
How does mixing in a little formaldehyde into your washer full of laundry sound? That’s what you do if you use any of these Phoenix Brands detergents. As a known human carcinogen at its worst, formaldehyde has also been found to cause asthma and allergies. The company only lists this information on the product as a technical disclosure for workers.
Comet Disinfectant Cleanser Powder
One hundred forty-six: that’s the number of chemicals the EWG found in this common household toilet cleaner. Some of the chemicals are known to cause cancer, asthma and reproductive disorders. The most toxic of the chemicals found, including formaldehyde, benzene, chloroform and toluene, are not listed on the label. The EWG states that little is known about the health hazards of most of the hidden chemicals.
Citra-Solv Cleaner & Degreaser
Even though some cleaners contain ingredients derived from plants instead of petroleum, that doesn’t mean they’re safe. Case in point: this cleaner and degreaser is made from d-limonene and orange oils from citrus peels. Sounds innocent, but when sprayed into the air these oils can react with trace levels of ozone air pollution to form ultra-fine particles that can penetrate deep into the lungs.
Clorox, Fantastik, Febreze, Formula 409, Easy-Off, Lysol, Mr. Clean and Spic and Span
Many of these brand name spray cleaners are laced with ingredients that cause asthma, including quaternary ammonium compounds or ethanolamine. These chemicals can trigger asthma attacks and even cause new cases of the disease. These products essentially spray these dangerous chemicals directly into your home’s air.
DampRid Mildew Stain Remover Plus Blocker
This bathroom cleaner contains up to 10 percent of a toxic solvent called 2-butoxyethanol. Canada only allows this chemical’s use in non-aerosol cleaners up to 6 percent. As if that wasn’t enough of a hazardous toxin for one cleaning product, this product also includes nonylphenol ethoxylate, a chemical prohibited in cleaners in the European Union.
|Posted on November 22, 2014 at 10:40 AM||comments (0)|
What you put on your skin goes directly into your body. Indeed, human autopsy studies have shown that mineral oil widely permeates our internal organs; major moisturizer brands have been found to cause tumor formation in treated animals. All the more reason why we need healthy "food cosmetics" as alternatives to petroleum-derived body care products.
It boggles the imagination how most mass market body care products today are almost entirely composed of petroleum-derived chemicals, whose toxicity are thoroughly established. Take parabens as an example. These endocrine-disrupting, estrogen-like petrochemicals have been found at concentrations 1 million times higher than the estrogen (estradiol) levels naturally found in human breast tissue, leading to the highly concerning conclusion that human hormones are now being eclipsed by synthetic chemicals.
When we slather these chemical concoctions onto our skin, they enter directly into the lymphatic and circulatory systems, depositing in internal organs and body fat. And unlike things you ingest orally, there is no "gate keeping" liver there to protect you from these chemicals entering rapidly into your body through your skin. This is why, of course, you should never put on your body anything you can not, or would not eat.
Unfortunately, major trusted brands have been found to be just as bad as more generic, cheaper ones in this respect, making it exceedingly difficult to avoid harm unless you are already wise to the issue and using completely natural body care products.
For instance, back in 2009, the Journal of Investigative Dermatology published a highly concerning study titled "Tumorigenic effect of some commonly used moisturizing creams when applied topically to UVB-pretreated high-risk mice," wherein branded moisturizers, including Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream (Eucerin), or Vanicream, were found to increase the rate of formation and number of tumors when applied topically to UVB-pretreated high-risk mice.
Chemical industry public relations spokespersons love to point out that we are not mice, implying that preclinical research like this should not throw up a red flag. Should we be made to wait for the very industries guilty of poisoning us to voluntarily fund multi-million dollar, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials to determine whether their products are not also causing cancer in humans? Short of a legal mandate, self-incriminating research like this will never be performed, and not only because such a study would be highly unethical (i.e. intentionally poisoning trial subjects), but because it will reveal a truth fraught with immense legal and financial liabilities. Needless to say, a logical approach would be to apply the precautionary principle so that when animal toxicological risk assessments show harm, instead of extrapolating an Orwellian "acceptable level of harm" to humans, we take the sane step of avoiding human exposure altogether.
Crude Awakening: Mineral Oil Contaminates Everyone's Bodies
Sadly, the reality is that we are not only immersed in a sea of petrochemical products, but we bioaccumulate them in our bodies over the decades, carrying them with us to our early graves.
As we disclosed in a previous article titled "Crude Awakening: Mineral Oil Contaminates Everyone's Bodies," one of the only studies ever performed on the topic of petrochemical accumulation in the human body found that 48% of the livers and 46% of the spleens of the 465 autopsies analyzed showed signs of mineral-oil induced lipogranuloma (a nodule of necrotic, fatty tissue associated with granulomatous inflammation or a foreign-body reaction around a deposit of an oily substance), indicating just how widespread pathological tissue changes associated with petrochemical exposure really are.
And why should be surprised? Petroleum is everywhere. We build and power our cars from it. We implant plastic into our breasts, and we coat our vegetables with USDA/FDA-approved 'food grade petroleum.' Our entire global food system is driven by nitrogen urea based fertilizers, pesticides and related agrichemicals which are all petrochemical in origin. Oil derived hydrocarbons form the basis for the molecular building blocks of many synthetic patent medicines, and even some of our vitamins (e.g. dl-alpha tocopherol). Our foreign policy is largely based on invading countries for ostensibly political/ethical reasons who just happen to be sitting on 'our oil' (i.e. War = Resource Procurement). It is hard to imagine how we might escape our dependence on the petrochemical industrial establishment, given how vertically integrated it is into every facet of modern life, including the very fabric of our bodies.
|Posted on November 2, 2014 at 8:15 PM||comments (0)|
Mothballs emit one of the most distinctive and unpleasant household scents. Since moths will chew holes through clothing or other textiles, people pack away these stinky repellents to kill any moths that attempt to. But as they convert from a solid to a gas, you do not want to inhale too much of it. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency even requires mothball manufacturers to include a warning on packaging to "avoid breathing in the vapors."
Studies on one active ingredient in some repellents, paradichlorobenzene, found that it can cause cancer in animals [source: EPA]. Although scientists do not know if it is also a human carcinogen, the animal trials provided sufficient evidence to urge people to handle them with caution. Other types of moth balls use naphthalene, which after prolonged exposure can damage or destroy red blood cells [source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]. The chemical can also stimulate nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
If you must use mothballs, put them in a sealed container in an area with separate ventilation from the rest of your house [source: EPA]. Also, wash any clothing that has been stored with mothballs before wearing it since the vapors will have absorbed into the fibers. For a safer, natural alternative, cedar chips should work as well.
|Posted on October 11, 2014 at 11:00 PM||comments (0)|
We buy products and expect them to clean our homes and leave them fresh smelling. What we don't realize is that these products often contain toxic chemicals are harmful to both our families and our environment. We wash these products down the drain and they end up in our septic and eventually in our waterways.
Window glass cleaner that contains ammonia is irritating to the nose, throat, whiceyes and lungs and should not be used around anyone with asthma, heart or lung problems. Mixing ammonia with chlorine can cause a potentially toxic gas called chlorimine. Some window cleaners contain isopropenyl that irritates the mucus membranes in the eyes, nose, mouth and ears. If swallowed isopropenyl can cause drowiness, unconsciousness and even death.
The product that will leave your windows sparkling, water, vinegar and a few drops of castile soap, shake, spray and wipe with a microfiber towel.