Thursday, May 6, 2010

Green vs Toxic Cleaning Ingredients

Choose It:
• Baking Soda
• Borax
• Cornstarch
• Hydrogen peroxide
• Lemon juice
• Plant essential oils
• Table salt
• Vegetable oil
• Washing soda
• White vinegar

Lose It:
• Alkylphenol Ethoxylates (APEs)
• Ammonia
• Chlorine Bleach
• Fragrance (synthetic, likely contains phthalates)
• Glycol ethers
• Lye
• Nonylphenols (NPEs)
• Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
• Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
• Terpenes
• Triclosan (antibacterial)

Excerpted from my book, Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices

For the dirt on glycol ethers in cleaing products, particularly when they react to other ingredients such as terpenes, click here.

Phthalates, suspect hormone disrupters that have been connected to reproductive system deformities in male infants and obesity in adults, have recently been linked to attention deficit disorders.

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Michael said...

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Jilynn said...

What's wrong with SLES? My Seventh Generation dishsoap contains those!

GreenFemme said...

While I list SLES as a "lose it" ingredient, ideally, you're quite right that many green cleaners, and many on my top green cleaners list, contain it. SLES is not an ingredient of topmost concern in cleaning products. In cosmetics it can be worrisome. SLES stands for sodium laureth sulfate, which is rated a #4, or moderate hazard, on a scale of 1-10 by Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database for personal care products. There is also an 88% data gap about this ingredient,meaning there's a huge unknown. It's a known irritant, so if your skin reacts, you might want to use gloves. Check it out here.

dancilhoney said...
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