Found In: Cream Cleaners
Although Ammonia occurs naturally, it is usually made synthetically. It is highly soluble in water and reacts with acids to form ammonium salts.
Environmental Impact: Produced from decaying organic matter and from human and animal waste but when it enters waterways, it becomes toxic to fish and other aquatic creatures.
Health Concerns/Benefits: When using ammonia over a long period, it can cause health issues such as chronic bronchitis and asthma. It can cause eye, nose and throat irritations, and can burn skin when in direct contact.
Found In: Cream Cleaners, Toilet Cleaners, Dishwasher Tablets/Powders, Disinfecting and All Purpose Sprays.
Environmental Impact: Once it leaves your drain, it forms ‘organochlorines’ which are highly toxic to fish and aquatic life.
Health Concerns/Benefits: It can not only burn your skin but also cause damage to your lungs when inhaled and has been known be disrupt the thyroid!
Coal Tar Dyes
Found In: Cream Cleaners, Dish Soap, Glass Cleaner, Disinfecting and All Purpose Sprays.
Environmental Impact: Made from petrochemicals, which contain trace amounts of heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium and lead.
Health Concerns/Benefits: Synthetic dyes have been linked to various cancers and are known to affect the nervous system. These dyes can easily be absorbed through skin or even eaten when soap residue is left on dishes.
Found In: Pretty much everything that has a scent!
Did you know that more than 3000 chemicals are used in commercial fragrances!!
Health Concerns/Benefits: Many of these trigger allergies, migraines, and asthma attacks. Some synthetic odours can also affect the endocrine system and can interfere with hormones.
MEA (Monoethanalomine), DEA (Diethanolamine), TEA (Triethanolamine)
Found In: Glass Cleaners and Dish Soaps
Environmental Impact: Shown to harmful to fish and other aquatic life causing long-term damage to these environments.
Health Concerns/Benefits: Can have a reaction with nitrites to cause carcinogenic nitrosamines. Nitrates are present in the preservatives and can be found in some water sources. Studies in animals have shown the liver, kidney, blood, and central nervous system (CNS) are greatly affected from excess exposure to diethanolamine. These chemicals are banned in Europe.
Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs)
Found In: Toilet Cleaners, Deodorisers and Air Fresheners
Environmental Impact: Can cause adverse reproductive effects in fish and other aquatic organisms.
Health Concerns/Benefits: NPE’s degrade into other chemicals called nonylphenols (NPs), which can mimic the hormone oestrogen and has been shown to stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells.
Found In: Cream Cleaners, Dish Soaps and Dishwasher Tablets/Powders
Environmental Impact: This is actually a fertilizer when it's in water, so high levels, promote awful algal blooms and increase weed growth - clogging water treatment plant filtration systems, waterways and stifling oxygen levels which is bad news for turtles, fish and frogs.
Health Concerns/Benefits: Some kinds of algae blooms are toxic to land animals and people who drink the water.
Found In: Cream Cleaners, Dish Soaps, Dishwasher Tablets/Powders, Toilet Cleaners, Glass Cleaners, All Purpose/Disinfectant Sprays, Deodorisers and Room Sprays, Leather Cleaners
Health Concerns/Benefits: WARNING!!! Men with higher phthalate compounds found in their blood also had a reduced sperm count, according to a study conducted by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the Harvard School of Public Health. Although exposure to phthalates mainly occurs through smelling, we can also absorb them through skin via scented soaps.
Polishing Particles/Micro Beads
Found In: Cream Cleaners, Glass Cleaners
So many crème cleansers contain microplastics - they have been found in all oceans on earth and even under Arctic sea ice.
Environmental Impact: James Cook University found species of corals starving because they ate the tiny beads, which completely clogged their digestive tract. These plastics also absorb many toxic chemicals and act like sponges - so if the sponge is eaten by a small animal such a plankton, and a whale or other creature eats a million plankton, the poor whale eats tones of the stuff. It can go the whole way up the food chain and take centuries to degrade.
Quarternary Ammonium Compounds (QUATS/QAC's)
Found In: Cream Cleaners and All Purpose/Disinfectant Sprays
Environmental Impact: This chemical helps breed antibiotic resistant bacteria and is very toxic to fish. Not Biodegradable.
Health Concerns/Benefits: Products labelled 'Antibacterial' usually have Quats lurking inside them. A type of antimicrobial, the Quats help breed antibiotic resistant bacteria. Also irritates and sensitizes skin, causes allergies, and can trigger asthma.
Found In: Cream Cleaners
Health Concerns/Benefits: WARNING!!!! The International Agency for Research on Cancer has dubbed this as a proven carcinogen.
Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate Dihydrate
Found In: Cream Cleaners, Toilet Cleaners and Air Fresheners
Environmental Impact: Toxic to aquatic life and might even cause permanent damage to these ecosystems.
Health Concerns/Benefits: Severe eye soreness and repertory upsets and can burn your eyes and mouth.
Sodium Hydroxide (also known as lye and caustic soda)
Found In: Cream Cleaners and Toilet Cleaners
Environmental Impact: In 2005, a large spill of concentrated sodium hydroxide in the Cheakamus River Canyon, USA, killed virtually all the fish in the river. Sad.
Health Concerns/Benefits: Highly corrosive and can burn the eyes, skin and lungs, a bad respiratory irritant. Long-term exposure in the air can lead to ulcers up your nose!
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
Found In: Toilet Cleaners and Dish Soaps
SLS and SLES’ are surfactants added to detergents and many household products to make bubbles and foam and can be listed on labels as over 150 different names.
Environmental Impact: Not only pollutes ground water, in turn bio-accumulating in the waterways and therefore in aquatic animals, it also gets into our drinking water. Also commonly used as a pesticide and herbicide and denied use in organic farming practices do to its toxicity and environmental impact. The manufacturing of these chemicals is also highly polluting and pumps tones of particles containing other nasty chemicals such as sulphur compounds, up into the air.
Health Concerns/Benefits: Skin irritant and possible carcinogen and may also affect development. Studies by the University of Georgia have shown that SLS’ can actually permeate the brain, eyes, liver and heart!
Found In: Cream Cleaners and All Purpose/Disinfecting Sprays
Environmental Impact: Very toxic to aquatic life causing long-term damage to these ecosystems. Triclosan can react in the environment to form dioxins (A group of chemically-related compounds that are persistent environmental pollutants), which are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer. Dioxins accumulate and are a anti-microbial agent, excess use by society is actually contributing to the creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and that’s bad news.
Health Concerns/Benefits: Endocrine disrupter that can interfere with hormones and irritate skin and eyes.
2-Butoxyethanol (2-BE) and Glycol Esthers
Found In: Glass Cleaners
Environmental Impact: Can cause pulmonary adenoma, sore throats even liver and kidney damage and has been shown to cause liver cancer in some animals.
Health Concerns/Benefits: Cuts through the grease on your pots and pans and can damage the reproductive system; overexposure can cause anaemia, eye, nose and throat irritations and are also used in paint thinners.