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Eco-friendly Household Cleaning Products

What is a more ecologically friendly product? What is in conventional products that make them ecologically unfriendly?

Phosphates: Used as water softeners and to improve cleaning, they can stimulate excessive growth of algae in the receiving waters. These algae often grow in such great numbers that the water becomes starved of oxygen, killing fish and plant life. This condition is known as eutrophication and exists in Lake Erie. Lake Erie is practically devoid of all marine life.

E.D.T.A. (Ethylene-Diamine-Tetra-acetic Acid): This is sometimes used as a substitute for, but also in addition to, phosphates. It is a sequestering agent that attracts heavy metals such as lead and mercury, both of which have known carcinogenic properties. These heavy metals can eventually find their way back into water supplies and are extremely difficult to remove completely.

Enzymes: Enzymes are living organisms. They can and do cause severe skin irritations and asthmatic attacks. In the manufacturing process, enzymes can be genetically engineered and have been known to cause pulmonary haemorrhaging.

Optical Brighteners: Used in Laundry products to give an illusion of “whiteness”, they attach themselves to fabric to reflect “White Light”. Clothes only appear cleaner. Optical Brighteners are extremely difficult to biodegrade and can cause severe skin irritation. They can also cause mutations to micro-organisms in receiving waters.

Chlorine Bleaches: These are contained in conventional Toilet Cleaners, Sanitizers, Nappy Powders, Washing Powders and Dishwasher Detergents. During the breakdown of these types of bleach carcinogenic, toxic substances are formed.

Petroleum-derived Additive: Most conventional household cleaners contain petroleum-derived additives and detergents. These often break down incompletely and contain toxic impurities that are highly irritant, cause allergic reactions and are endangering to plant and animal life.

Chemical Plasticisers: Added to soaps to make them more malleable and easier to machine mould.

Formaldehyde: Traditionally used to preserve corpses, formaldehyde is used to prolong the life of many conventional products!

Glycerine: Unless specifically stated that it is from a vegetable source, glycerine will be obtained from the rendered carcasses of dead animals.

Lanolin: Extracted from the processed wool from both dead and live animals.

Sodium Tallowate: Made from water, caustic soda and the rendered fat from dead animals.

Synthetic Dyes: Make finished products more visually appealing.

Synthetic Perfumes: Cheap substitutes for natural oils and essences.

Titanium Di-oxide: A colouring agent that enhances the opacity of products to make them look uniformly clearer. Causes pollution in the Humber Estuary

Body Care Products and Their Ingredients

And what about body care? an awful lot has been written about Sodium Lauryl and Laureth Sulphates (SLS / SLES) and its effects on the body based around the fact that anything with a molecular weight of 75 or below is able to pass through the skin and into the blood stream Did you know that up to 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your body? For some time it has been known that the skin is not a waterproof barrier but a permeable organ absorbing thousands of substances a year directly into the bloodstream. Many people are unaware of the synthetic chemicals and harmful ingredients that they put on to their skin every day of their lives.

If this concerns you at all, you have to learn to read the ingredients listed on the label if you want natural and pure products. Below I’ve listed some of the contentious ingredients that are often added to cosmetics today. There are many others to look out for but these are said to be 10 of the worst.

10 Bodycare Ingredients best avoided

  • Imidazolidinyl Urea/ Diazolidinyl Urea
  • Methyl/Propyl/Butyl/Ethyl Paraben
  • Petrolatum
  • Propylene Glycol
  • PVP/VA Copolymer
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Laureth Sulphate
  • Stearalkonium Chloride
  • Synthetic colours
  • Synthetic fragrances
  • Triethanolamine, (TEA)
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