SODIUM HYDROXIDE

Found in: oven cleaners, bathroom cleaners, disinfectants, drain openers, and toilet bowl cleaners Health Risks: Highly corrosive; can burn the eyes, skin and lungs and is a respiratory irritant. Long-term exposure in the air may lead to ulceration of the nasal passages and chronic skin irritation. If discharged in large quantities, sodium hydroxide can alter the pH […]

SODIUM DICHLOROISOCYANURATE DIHYDRATE

Found in: toilet bowl cleaners, deodorizers, surface cleaners, and disinfectants Health Risks: Corrosive; severe eye, skin and respiratory irritant. It can also form chlorine gas, which will burn the eyes, nose and mouth. Studies have found that high doses of this chemical cause kidney damage. In its concentrated form, this chemical is very toxic to aquatic organisms […]

SILICA POWDER

Found in: Abrasive cleaning powders. Health Risks: Rated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a known human carcinogen. This natural ingredient (made from finely ground quartz) is hazardous as a dust if inhaled.

QUATERNARY AMMONIUM COMPOUNDS (QUATS)

Found in: bathroom cleaning products, all-purpose cleaners, fabric softeners, and degreasers. Health Risks: Irritants and sensitizers that can induce an allergic response following contact with the skin. Quats are also known to cause occupational asthma in cleaning workers and preliminary evidence indicates they may cause adverse genetic and reproductive effects. Chemicals in this class are persistent in […]

PHTHALATES

Found in: Many fragranced household products, such as air fresheners, dish soap, even toilet paper. Because of proprietary laws, companies don’t have to disclose what’s in their scents, so you won’t find phthalates on a label. If you see the word “fragrance” on a label, there’s a good chance phthalates are present. Health Risks: Phthalates are known […]

PHOSPHATES

Found in: dishwasher detergents, laundry detergents, and bathroom cleaners. Health Risks: Function as a fertilizer in water. High concentrations of phosphates in bodies of water can promote harmful algal blooms and increase weed growth. This can cause oxygen levels in the water to decline, potentially killing fish. Excess algal growth a can also plug filtration devices at […]

CHLORINE

Found in: Scouring powders, toilet bowl cleaners, mildew removers, laundry whiteners, household tap water. Health Risks:  The health risks from chlorine can be acute, and they can be chronic; it’s a respiratory irritant at an acute level. But the chronic effects are what people don’t realize: It may be a serious thyroid disrupter.

BLEACH Sodium Hypochlorite

Found in: a wide range of household cleaners. Health Risks: A corrosive chemical, sodium hypochlorite is an eye, skin and respiratory irritant, as well as a sensitizer. It is especially hazardous to people with heart conditions or asthma, and can be fatal if swallowed.  It may be a neurotoxin and toxic to the liver.

AMMONIA

Found in: Polishing agents for bathroom fixtures, sinks and jewelry; also in glass cleaner. Health Risks: The people who will be really affected are those who have asthma, and elderly people with lung issues and breathing problems. It’s almost always inhaled. People who get a lot of ammonia exposure, like housekeepers, will often develop chronic bronchitis […]