3 Harmful Toxins Lurking in Your Cleaning Products

If you’re conscious about your health, you pay attention to what you put in your body and avoid the toxins present in today’s food supply, such as herbicides, pesticides and harmful food additives. And while that’s one of the best things you can do for your body, it’s equally as important to pay attention to the toxins in cleaning products that are found in your household. The dangerous chemicals in commercial household cleaning products are something we may not have on our radar, despite living a healthy lifestyle. Cleaning products such as dishwasher detergent, disinfectants, air fresheners, toilet bowl cleaners and tile cleaner contain chemicals that may do damage to the internal organs and are considered carcinogenic. What we don’t realize is that these toxins can be easily absorbed through the skin, ingested while cleaning and even while eating (such as dishwasher detergent). Here are 3 harmful yet common toxins in cleaning products that may be lurking in your home- and their safer alternatives.

1. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)

Sodium lauryl sulfate is a cleansing chemical agent that is added to products, allowing them to foam. You’re most likely to find it in your shampoo, hand soap, body wash, toothpaste and dish soap. According to The Environmental Working Group, SLS is an irritant for the lungs, skin and eyes and may be a threat to the endocrine system. Although studies haven’t yet shown the long term side effects of SLS, products containing this chemical should still be used with caution, as the body doesn’t produce enzymes to properly break down the chemical byproducts present in SLS. This may lead to an accumulation of toxic build up in the blood stream. Instead, choose a cleaning detergent that uses all-natural ingredients such as all purpose cleaning lotion.

2. 2-Butoxyethanol

2-Butoxyethanol is a solvent for liquid household cleaners that is a confirmed animal carcinogen and risk for organ damage, suggesting it may also be toxic to humans, though the impact has not yet been confirmed. According to Dr. Mercola, Environment and Health Canada has considered 2-Butoxyethanol fit for the Schedule 1 Toxic Substances list, as it may be absorbed through the skin and cause damage to the digestive organs and the blood. Instead, choose a liquid household cleaner that contains baking soda and white vinegar, neither of which will do damage to your internal organs upon contact.

3. Nonylphenol Ethoxylate (NPE)

NPE is most commonly found in laundry detergents, which may mimic estrogen in the body and therefore disrupt the endocrine system. When organs are exposed to NPE, researchers believe that the digestive organs and reproductive organs are at risk to become damaged NPE’s are currently banned in cleaning products in Canada, although this chemical is proving extremely difficult to get out of the water supply. Finding a chemical-free laundry detergent made from plant based ingredients, such as Simply Clean Laundry Detergent, will ensure your clothes and our environment has reduced exposure to hazardous toxins.