Is Green Clean? Natural vs Chemical Cleaners

by Lawton Brothers | May 27, 2020

 

Cleaning products are necessary in a variety of settings and professional fields. Chances are, they’re vital to your business! At Lawton Brothers, we understand how important it is to maintain the health and safety of not only your customers and staff, but the environment as well. So why not clean green?

Not all cleaning products are created equal. A large portion of the cleaning industry relies on chemicals as cleaning agents. While these chemicals are effective at their primary task of cleaning, they pose quite a few negative side effects. 

HOW CLEANING PRODUCTS CAN AFFECT HEALTH

Many cleaning supplies or household products can irritate the eyes or throat and can cause headaches and even more serious conditions, including cancer. Some cleaning products can even be flammable or corrosive. In addition, certain chemical components can cause deadly reactions when mixed.

VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and other chemicals such as ammonia that are released during the use of cleaning supplies have been linked to occupational asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Recent studies have shown that cleaning work in buildings with high cleaning standards and demands for disinfection were associated with higher risk of asthma symptoms.

HOW CLEANING PRODUCTS CAN AFFECT THE ENVIRONMENT

Just as VOCs can affect indoor air quality, they contribute to smog formation outdoors. Through evaporation during normal use of cleaning products and disposal of residual product down the drain, our cleaning supplies can impact the environment in a variety of ways. One common surfactant, alkylphenol ethoxylates, causes adverse reproductive effects in wildlife when exposed to polluted waters. In most cases, standard sewage treatment can reduce or remove most of the constituents in our cleaning products, but this becomes less likely with increased usage of cleaning products. This is the case for a number of chemical cleaners and solvents used both in the home and in the workplace.

HOW TO KEEP EMPLOYEES, CUSTOMERS, AND THE ENVIRONMENT SAFE

The reality is that, unless you make a concerted effort to minimize them, chemicals from cleaning products will be present from the moment you rise from your bed to when you get back into it at night. Despite being wiped or rinsed after use, chemicals from cleaning products will stick to the items they have ‘cleaned’, impacting you in all sorts of invisible ways via touch, inhalation, ingestion, and so on. While it is impossible to completely avoid chemicals in today’s workplace, proper cleaning procedures and investing in ecological cleaners can greatly reduce exposure.

  • Read all labels and SDS sheets before using a product.
  • Never mix bleach/chlorine with any cleaner containing ammonia.
  • Be on the lookout for products containing reduced amounts or no VOCs, fragrances, and flammable ingredients.
  • Do your research on the products you are choosing. Manufacturers are not obligated by U.S. law to list all ingredients in consumer products. Check out the U.S. EPA’s list of products that are a Safer Choice.

HOW LAWTON BROTHERS CAN HELP 

At Lawton Brothers, our goal is to help you and your staff find safe and effective ways of cleaning. Whether your goals are simple and you’re looking to branch into Green Cleaning or you want to obtain a certification, we’re here to help you find the best solutions for your business needs. Allow us to conduct a facility assessment and we will personally determine the most cost-effective cleaning procedures. We will also develop an implementation plan and train your staff on your customized program. Contact Lawton Brothers to schedule a Green Cleaning audit today at: 800.432.0813 or request a free consultation.
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