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Decoding Green Cleaning Products

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At its most basic level, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has defined green cleaning as “products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose.”

If you’re thinking about making the switch to green cleaning products, you probably have a few questions that aren’t covered in the EPA’s definition above. So below we’ve outlined some key points to consider when making your product selection.

Skin Irritation

Traditional commercial cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that may cause redness or swelling of the skin. A less toxic cleaning solution (aka a green cleaning product) that doesn’t contain any of the following skin irritants will be safer for your cleaning staff:

  • Ammonia
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach)
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Sulfuric acid

Air Pollution Potential

Many commercial cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which emit smog-forming chemicals and have also been shown to cause irritation to the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. They may also induce severe asthma attacks. Choosing low VOC green cleaning products will:

  • Lower smog-forming emissions
  • Improve the health and safety of your cleaning staff
  • Reduce eye and respiratory irritation

Dyes & Fragrances

Dyes and fragrances are frequently added to cleaning agents to enhance the color of a product or mask offensive odors. However, these additives have little or no actual cleaning value. Avoiding unnecessary additives is a basic green cleaning principle — so if you really want to make the plunge, it’s best to avoid these unnecessary dyes and fragrances.

Packaging

Product packaging is an important component of going green. Packaging accounts for a significant amount of landfill waste and should be minimized whenever possible. The EPA recommends selecting products that use reduced packaging made from recycled materials.

Do you still have questions about green commercial cleaning products? We can help. Contact National Purity for more information.