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How To Spot Toxic Ingredients On Cleaning Product Labels

Updated: Jul 31

It’s not so easy to find out what is REALLY in your cleaning products. The best place to start is by reading the ingredient labels, but oftentimes the labels only contain directions, warnings, and a few vague ingredients. Knowing what is in your cleaning products is essential for protecting your family from toxic elements.

Here is list of ingredients to steer clear of when choosing your cleaning products:


Perchloroethylene (PERC) - a potential carcinogen and neurotoxin that is found most often in fabric cleaners.


Formaldehyde - linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other nervous system damage as well as depression, mood swings, headaches, insomnia, irritability, and attention deficit. Formaldehyde is usually used in heavy-duty cleaners.


2-Butoxyethanol - can cause liver and kidney damage, narcosis, and pulmonary edema. It’s usually found in multi-purpose cleaners and window sprays.


Ammonia - is an irritant, especially for people with lung issues. Long term exposure can damage mucous membranes. Ammonia is most often used in glass cleaners.


Sodium Hydroxide -contact via skin or inhalation can cause serious burning reactions. This is often found in oven and drain cleaners.


Chlorine - can cause harm to the thyroid and irritate skin. Chlorine is usually used in toilet cleaners, mildew re movers and laundry whiteners.


Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) - can disrupt eye development and damage the skin. It’s used in dish soap, liquid laundry detergents, cleaning towelettes, and toilet bowl cleaners.


Triclosan - may interfere with hormones and contribute to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Triclosan can be found in dish soaps, disinfectants, hand washes and wipes.


Phenols - causes burns to skin, irritation of nervous and respiratory systems and damage to kidneys and the liver. It’s used in air fresheners, detergents, all-purpose cleaners and disinfectants.  


For more information on what dangerous chemicals may be in your cleaning products visit www.ewg.org.


Sources ewg.org alphazelle.com avomeen.com

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