VOCs and other chemicals released when cleaning products are used contribute to chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and headaches. Studies are being done to evaluate how these chemicals affect people who have asthma and other respiratory diseases. 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. But that strength is also why you have to be very careful with them, especially in homes with children. Many cleansers contain ingredients that can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, and throat.
They can also be poisonous if ingested, even in small doses. Professional cleaning products are mixtures of substances (arithmetic mean: 3.5±2) and more than 132 different chemicals were identified in 105 products. The main groups of chemicals were fragrances, glycol ethers, surfactants, solvents and, to a lesser extent, phosphates, salts, detergents, pH stabilizers, acids and bases. Up to 75% of the products contained substances labeled irritants (Xi), 64% harmful (Xn) and 28% corrosive (C).
Eye (59%) and skin (50%) risks and risks from ingestion (60%) were the most reported. Cleaning products can cause simultaneous exposures to different chemicals. Since professional cleaners represent a large workforce and cleaning products are widely used, better understanding these exposures is a major public health issue. The list of substances provided in this study contains important information for future occupational exposure assessment studies.
Products containing these chemicals often include the text “Danger” or “Warning” on the label because of their potential to cause serious skin burns and permanent eye damage. Inhaling fumes from products containing these chemicals can also cause respiratory irritation and respiratory problems. Product labels usually include recommendations on the use of gloves, eye protection, and sometimes respiratory masks for use of these products at home. Cleaning ingredients present acute and immediate risks for asthma or respiratory inflammation, and long-term effects, such as impaired lung function.
The severity of the poisoning depends on the substances contained, their concentration and their corrosiveness. The most dangerous ingredients are corrosive substances, alcohols, essential oils, and surfactants that are added to many detergents. Some of these are toxic when ingested, but are especially harmful if they enter the lungs. This is a particular problem for surfactants that can foam and essential oils that are viscous and can cause nausea.
Exposure to chemicals commonly used in the workplace can cause a variety of short and long-term health effects, such as poisoning, skin rashes, and lung, kidney, and liver disorders. Several studies have investigated the relationship between adverse health effects, cleaning activity, and cleaning products. Older people with reduced senses of taste or smell, and people with vision problems, are more likely to drink a toxic product by accident, especially if they are disoriented due to illness or medication, or if they lack the necessary supervision or assistance. Not only is there a wide variety of chemicals in cleaning products, but numerous companies also offer hundreds of different cleaning products, which complicates the task of evaluating the chemicals used in professional cleaning products.
Cleaning products containing at least one substance listed with corrosive, irritating and harmful symbols in the current EU classification system were counted and expressed as a percentage for each of the 10 product categories. This knowledge should help control professional cleaners and their exposure to cleaning products and substances with known health effects. The research team calculated that, with the widespread use of spray cleaners and the high level of risk of asthma, one in seven cases of asthma in adults could be attributed to the use of these products (Zock 200). Since professional cleaners represent a large workforce and cleaning products are widely used, including in private cleaning, it is of great importance for the environment and public health to better understand the exposures that may result from the use of cleaning products.
Seventy-eight percent of them reported that they associated at least one of these symptoms with the use of certain cleaning products. Cleaning products marked as being used by at least 10 cleaning companies were included in the SDS systematic analysis. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health detected toxins in one-third of the substrates used in the fragrance industry. The choice of surfactants was diverse, but they were present in 19% of the products and their concentration ranges varied a lot (from 0.1 to 30% in the products).
Upholstery cleaning: Oxford recommends that, to avoid the murky waters of commercial cleaning in the business world, you should use an experienced service provider. Glycol ether vapors have been linked to an increased risk of asthma, eczema, rhinitis (irritation and inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose), and other allergic symptoms in preschool children (Choi 20). .