When we buy commercial cleaning products, we expect them to do one thing: clean.
But what about the toxic ingredients in them that are poisonous if ingested, harmful if inhaled or touched, and can also contribute to indoor air pollution?
Here’s a list of some of the common chemicals found in household products and the symptoms they can cause.
1. Hydrochloric acid (HCl)
Did you know that every commercial toilet cleaner in India contains about 10 per cent HCl?
Also known as muriatic acid, Hydrochloric acid (HCl) has a corrosive effect on human tissues and can cause irreversible contact damage to the skin, eyes, lungs and other internal organs upon contact.
2. Sodium lauryl ether sulfate (or Sodium Laureth Sulfate, SLES)
With properties similar to soap, SLES is used to clean stubborn stains in the bathroom–the acid is known to reduce the surface tension of water. However, SLES is a known irritant, that much like HCl, can cause damage to eyes and the skin. It is advised to wear protective wear if you are handling the synthetic acid in a concentrated form.
3. Cetrimonium chloride (CTAC)
Another example of a chemical widely used in our toilet cleaners, Cetrimonium chloride or Cetyl trimethyl ammonium chloride can also irritate skin and eyes. Extremely dangerous if swallowed, it is recommended that you remove your contact lenses and consult your physician immediately if even a couple of droplets come in contact.
4. Sodium hydroxide (NaOH)
Sodium hydroxide is a highly corrosive acid that can cause serious burns to your body. One should always keep a safe distance from the acid and wear protective gear while handling it for NaOH is known to decompose proteins and lipids in our body tissues.
If it comes in contact with eyes, sodium chloride has the potential to blind you! And although used in trace quantities, toilet cleaners are a surefire way of letting this hazardous chemical enter our homes.
5. Sodium Hypochlorite (bleach)
The bleach comes with a clear warning to keep away from eyes, ears and nose. Of course, you won’t use sodium hypochlorite directly, but as an ingredient in your toilet cleaner, it still has the potential to severely irritate your skin and eyes. In such a case, it is best to rush to your physician and seek expert guidance.
These are only some of the chemicals found in your toilet cleaners. While they undoubtedly leave your toilets sparkling clean, it comes with a price.
You may flush out the liquid, but the traces of acid remain on the seat even after. Plus, the toxic chemicals go down the gutter and in the lakes, rivers or sea near you and pollute the water bodies, posing as a threat to the ecosystem there.
Thankfully, reliable, planet-friendly cleaners are now just a click away. Your laundry, dishwashing, floor and toilet cleaning is all set to get safe. Follow this link to know how.
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(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)