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Why cleaning products are harmful to the environment?

Why cleaning products are harmful to the environment?

By daniele

In a circular economy worldwide, Cleaning goods are required to keep both the home and the office presentable and healthy. Cleaning is very important for maintaining a healthy interior environment since it removes dust, allergies, infectious agents, and the apparent aesthetic benefits. It’s very important to keep in mind that cleaning products can cause various health and environmental issues like they may be a reason for climate change. They could contain chemicals that irritate the eyes, skin, lungs and cause other human health problems. Furthermore, some commercial cleaning solutions’ full versions are categorized as hazardous, posing possible handling, storage, and disposal difficulties for users.

 Green cleaning products can assist in lessening the risks to human health and the environment associated with cleaning.

Environmental Consequences

Commercial cleaning chemicals impact the indoor and outdoor environment, resulting in pollution and waste.

 Water pollution 

– Cleaning products release thousands of pollutants into streams and rivers. Some get it into the food chain through surviving in the environment.

 Pollution of the Air

 – Cleaning chemicals containing volatile organic compounds (VOC) can worsen indoor air quality and contribute to smog in the outdoors. Trucks also emit carbon dioxide as a result of their transportation.


 Many containers are made of non-recyclable materials. Empty bottles and packaging frequently wind up in landfills. Hazardous materials may demand special considerations, such as the use of energy to transport and dispose of them.

Concerns about the environment and health

 Why cleaning products are harmful to the environment?

 Cleaning products are discharged into the environment during routine use by evaporating volatile components and rinsing the residual product off cleaned surfaces, sponges, and other items down the drain. Concentrated cleaning agents can be inhaled by janitorial personnel and anyone who cleans. However, with sufficient training and a Chemical Management System (a set of formal procedures to assure correct storage, handling, and use), exposure to concentrated cleaning products during handling and usage can be considerably reduced or eliminated.

  • Certain cleaning agents may cause irritation to exposed populations (e.g., skin and eye irritation in employees) or toxicity to aquatic species in waters receiving poorly treated wastes (note that standard sewage treatment effectively reduces or removes most cleaning product constituents). For example, laboratory studies have revealed that alkylphenol ethoxylates, a common surfactant ingredient in cleaners, act as an “endocrine disrupter,” generating unfavorable reproductive consequences similar to those seen in mammals exposed to contaminated waters.
  • Many traditional surfactants dissolve slowly or degrade into more hazardous, persistent, and bioaccumulative compounds, harming aquatic life.
  • Phosphorus and nitrogen-containing ingredients can contribute to nutrient overloading in water bodies, resulting in poor water quality. However, these contributions are usually minor compared to other point and non-point sources.
  • Cleaning chemicals containing volatile organic compounds (VOC) can impact interior air quality and contribute to outdoor smog development.