What's in Your Cleaner?


Top Hazardous Chemicals in the Home

Air Fresheners – Many contain Formaldehyde – highly toxic, known carcinogen; Phenol – skin contact can cause swelling, burning, peeling and hives, can cause cold sweats, convulsions, circulatory collapse, coma and potentially death.

Ammonia – Damaging to eyes, respiratory tract and skin.

Bleach – Very corrosive, can irritate or bun skin, eyes and respiratory tract. May cause pulmonary edema, vomiting and coma if ingested.

Carpet and Upholstery Shampoo – Some contain Percholrethylene a known carcinogen damaging to liver, kidney and nervous system. Ammonium Hydroxide – corrosive and very irritable to eyes, skin and respiratory passages. For a safer alternative, check out Formoclean's Spot & Stain Remover

Dishwasher Detergents – Most contain chlorine in dry form. #1 cause of child poisoning according to the poison control centers. Also contain phosphates which pollute ground water supplies.

Harmful cleaning products

Drain Cleaner – Most contain lye; caustic, burns skin and eyes, will damage esophagus and stomach if ingested. Hydrochloric acid – corrosive, irritant to eyes and skin, damages kidneys, liver and digestive tract. Trichloroethane – irritant

Furniture Polish – Petroleum Distillates – Highly flammable, can cause skin and lung cancer. Phenol – same as air fresheners. Nitrobenzene – easily absorbed via the skin, extremely toxic.

Mold and Mildew Cleaners – Sodium hypochlorite – corrosive, irritant/burning to skin and eyes, causes fluid in the lungs and can lead to coma or death. Formaldehyde – Highly toxic, known carcinogen, irritant to eyes, nose, throat, and skin. May cause nausea, headaches, nosebleeds, dizziness, memory loss and shortness of breath.

Oven Cleaner – Sodium Hydroxide (lye) – Caustic, strong irritant, burns skin and eyes, inhibits reflexes, will cause severe tissue damage if ingested.
For a safer alternative, check out Formoclean's Heavy Duty Degreaser

Antibacterial Cleaners – May contain Triclosan – absorption via skin can be tied to liver damage.
For a safer alternative, check out Formoclean's Multi-Surface Antimicrobial Cleaner

Laundry Products – Besides Bleach, may contain Sodium or Calcium Hypocrite – Highly corrosive, irritates or burns skin, eyes or respiratory tract. Linear alkylate sulfonate absorbed via skin. Known liver damaging agent. Sodium Tripolyphosphate – irritates skin and mucous membranes causes vomiting. Easily absorbed via skin from clothes.
For a safer alternative, check out Formoclean's Laundry Detergent

Toilet Bowl Cleaners – Hydrochloric Acid – highly corrosive, irritant to skin and eyes. Damages liver and kidneys.
For a safer alternative, check out Formoclean's Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Hypochlorite Bleach – Corrosive, irritates/burns eyes, skin and respiratory tract. May cause pulmonary edema, vomiting, or coma if ingested. Contact with other chemicals may cause chlorine fumes which can be potentially fatal.

Other Toxic items around the home

  • Pesticides
  • Flea Powders
  • Lice Shampoo
  • Car Wash and Polish
  • Tar and Bug Remover

Did you know?

  • Manufacturers of conventional household cleaners are not required by law to disclose the noxious ingredients in their products.
  • Do not be fooled by the words “non-toxic” on labels. The government does not define it so it CAN be used on toxic products.
  • Only a minute fraction of the 75,000+ chemicals registered have been tested for human health concerns. (EPA)
  • The typical American household is the number one violator of chemical waste per capita. (EPA)
  • The average American home has 3-10 gallons of hazardous materials. (Children’s Health Environmental Coalition)

Children are especially at risk to toxin exposure

Pound for pound, they breathe more air, drink more water, eat more food. When at play, they crawl and put things in their mouth (which is true also of our pets)

Natural Cleaning Alternatives

  • Choose an eco-friendly, cleaning service.
  • Do it Yourself with store bought green cleaning products.
  • Read labels of products and choose those that appear to disclose all ingredients.
  • Beware of the words caution, warning, and danger.
  • Select products made from plant-based material, eg. Oils of citrus, seed, vegetables as these should be biodegradable.
  • Choose pump spray containers over aerosols. These not only can be harmful to ozone, but also produce a finer mist more readily inhaled.

Thank you to Recently Heard for this detailed list.


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