The chemicals in some cleaning products can irritate the skin or cause rashes. Cleaning products that contain corrosive chemicals can cause serious burns if splashed on the skin or eyes. Products that contain bleach and ammonia can cause serious lung damage or death. Maintaining a hygienic work environment has never been more important, especially after the outbreak of COVID-19 and monkey pox.
Statistics show that proper commercial cleaning reduces the risk of employees contracting common viruses such as the flu by an impressive 80%. A number of cleaning products, including disinfectants and air fresheners, contain potentially carcinogenic compounds that could increase the risk of cancer. For example, a medical study found that women who used cleaning products regularly were twice as likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer compared to women who didn't use cleaning products. Many cleaning items or household products can irritate your eyes or throat, or cause headaches and other health problems.
Some products release hazardous chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are chemicals that vaporize at room temperature. Even natural fragrances, such as citrus fruits, can react and produce hazardous indoor pollutants. There are simple things you can do to prevent health problems.
The chemicals in certain cleaning products can also cause asthma or trigger asthma attacks, warns OSHA, adding that “some cleaning products contain dangerous chemicals that can enter the body through contact with the skin or by inhaling gases that reach the lungs. Antimicrobial chemicals are inherently toxic because they are designed to kill living microbes. While they effectively eliminate germs on surfaces, there's no evidence that killing germs (especially in a home environment) is truly effective in keeping your family healthier. The overuse (and unnecessary use) of antimicrobial chemicals can also lead to the development of stronger drug-resistant bacteria in our environment.
Ingesting cleaning products can cause confusion, nausea, vomiting, respiratory problems, and other symptoms, depending on what and how much you have ingested, says Dr. Grover, medical director of the pediatric emergency departments at the Cleveland Clinic. Cleaning products that are extremely acidic or alkaline or that contain corrosive ingredients can cause painful skin and eye burns and permanent tissue damage or scarring. Inhaling the vapors of these products can damage your lungs.
Cleaning professionals can suffer serious chemical injuries on the job. A 1999 study found that every year, for example, 6 out of 100 building janitors in Santa Clara County, California. Cleaning ingredients present acute and immediate risks for asthma or respiratory inflammation, and long-term effects, such as impaired lung function. And, certainly, keeping the environment clean has great physical and psychological benefits.
Studies have found higher rates of birth defects in the children of cleaning workers with occupational exposures to glycol ethers. Preliminary findings also suggest that fetal exposure to household cleaning items may affect respiratory health. The Environmental Protection Agency has a list of products that meet its Safer Choice requirements for cleaning and other needs. Mixtures of certain cleaners can cause dangerous reactions, such as the mixture of ammonia and bleach.
There is increasing evidence to suggest that the use of cleaning products can also cause the development of asthma in healthy people. For example, wearing a mask will help your employees avoid the unpleasant side effects of inhaling cleaning products. However, it's important to remember that cleaning products can present several health and environmental problems. A study of more than 6000 cohorts over two decades found that regular use of cleaning sprays had the same effect on lung health as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.
Exposure to irritating or allergenic cleaning ingredients can affect people who live, work, or study in buildings that are being cleaned. Investigating the full range of risks of cleaning products to public health and the environment must be an urgent priority. After damning reports about liquids, detergents and cleaning agents, specialized service providers with the knowledge to distinguish toxic-free products appear to be a glimmer of hope. .