Top 4 Ingredient Safety Tips for Disinfecting:Not all ingredients are created equal, and even some “natural” products can pack a hefty toxic punch. As you are trying to safely clean and disinfect your workplace during this pandemic (and beyond) keep these top tips in mind.
1. Avoid The Worst of the WorstHere’s the terrible truth: companies don’t have to prove the chemicals they are using are safe before putting them into products. It’s on us as consumers to do the research and figure out what is and isn’t safe for use in our businesses. Here are some of the top terms to look out for on labels and avoid when disinfecting your business:
- Sodium Hypochlorite (Bleach): There’s a reason why the Safety Data Sheet for a bleach-based disinfectant typically tells users to wear protective gloves, protective clothing, face protection, and eye protection such as safety glasses. Bleach is a very serious chemical that must be used with extreme caution. It’s caustic to the soft tissues in our bodies, particularly our airways. It also loses efficacy overtime, so it is not as shelf-stable as consumers may think. Always check the instructions for dilution ratios and shelf life information.
- Ammonium Hydroxide (Ammonia Water, Liquid Ammonia): used often in drain and oven cleaners, toilet cleaners and other household cleaners, this chemical causes severe skin burns and eye damage and respiratory irritation.
- Fragrance: Fragrance is a proprietary term that allows manufacturers to avoid disclosing ingredients. Fragrances, even natural ones, are linked to serious respiratory symptoms including allergies and asthma.
- Phthalates: Phthalates go hand in hand with fragrance as they help fragrance stick around longer. They’re also hormone disrupting chemicals that can cause serious health effects like endocrine disruption, birth defects and developmental delays, and negative impacts on the immune system.
- Triclosan: Triclosan is an antimicrobial agent that is often used is correlated with health effects like endocrine disruption.
- Alcohol: Alcohol is drying to your skin and respiratory system and can cause skin and eye irritation, especially in babies and children. It’s also correlated with an increase in poisonings and eye injury in children under 12.