e-cloth For Your Health

Things to know about Cleaning Chemicals and Additives

  1. More than half (54.6%) of all U.S. citizens test positive to one or more allergens*

  2. In a recent survey, over 50% of homes had at least six detectable allergens present.*

  3. Cleaning Chemicals significantly increase the likelihood of an allergy

  4. Fragrances in Cleaning Products may contain harmful compounds.

*American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology statistics
 

How e-cloth can help

  1. e-cloths clean with just water

  2. e-cloths are neither impregnated, nor require chemicals to clean

  3. Allergy UK has awarded E-cloth their Consumer Award
     

e-cloth is working with

  1. Asthma UK, the leading charity for help and advice for asthma sufferers. Anne Breary, Senior Corporate Development Officer at Asthma UK, said: We are excited to be working with e-cloth whose products have won many consumer awards.

  2. AllerGuard UK, who together with e-cloth help prevent and ease your allergies or asthma. AllerGuard allergen-proof bedding is designed for people with asthma and eczema.
     

"e-cloths use just water to clean hard surfaces, enabling allergy sufferers to reduce household cleaning chemical usage by up to 90%".

The air inside the typical home is on average 2-5 times more polluted than the air just outside and in extreme cases 100 times more contaminated largely because of household cleaners and pesticides. (Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Why take the risk?

We shut liquid cleaning products in cupboards, out of reach of children, because we recognise them as a potential danger. But we often do not consider what the residues left on surfaces are doing to us and our children. Nor do we consider the risks when we are actually doing the cleaning.

Fragrances are often added to cleaning products and they are not always what they appear to be. See below for further details and risks.

Cleaning triggers asthma results of a 12 week study

Reuters - Published: Monday, February 02, 2009

A warning for asthma sufferers - cleaning the house may trigger a spike in breathing problems, according to new research.

"We certainly know that cleaning as an occupation and cleaning agent exposures are major risks for asthma and asthma exacerbations," said Dr. Jonathan A. Bernstein, of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

"So we wanted to see what was going on in the general population (because) obviously people clean their homes."

In a 12-week study, Bernstein and his team compared the health effects of household cleaning among 25 asthmatic and 19 non-asthmatic women who reported that they are the primary cleaners in their homes. After cleaning, the researchers observed a statistically significant increase in the number of respiratory symptoms in asthmatic women compared with non-asthmatic women, "which indicates that these cleaning activities were aggravating their symptoms," Bernstein said.

"It was a pretty significant finding," he added.

All of the women in the study - both asthmatic and non-asthmatic women - exhibited respiratory symptoms in response to exposure to cleaning agents rated as mild in toxicity. The researchers said the finding points to a subtle but potentially important adverse health effect of long-term low-level exposure to these chemicals. Bernstein and his team think doctors should caution women with asthma about the potential respiratory health effects of cleaning activities and exposure to cleaning agents.

"Whether or not these cleaning activities will put women at risk for subsequently developing asthma - that is something that has certainly been talked about but needs to be looked at in larger studies prospectively," Bernstein, who reported the findings in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, added.

"Using chemicals whilst doing the cleaning is one particular risk, but with e-cloths, your home and your family will also benefit from using fewer chemicals and eliminating chemical residues left after cleaning."
 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The following are extracts from institutions with expertise in this area: Allergy UK, Asthma UK, US Dept of Health excerpts.

Toxic ingredients found in common household and consumer products

  1. chlorine bleach can irritate the lungs and eyes and in waterways can become toxic organochlorines

  2. Napthas and mineral spirits

  3. Phthalates (found in furniture polish)

  4. Ether-type solvents

  5. Methylene chloride

  6. Butyl cellosolve and petroleum distillates (found in oven cleaning products)

  7. Sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide (found in drain cleaning products)

  8. Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) (found in detergents and disinfectants, and are suspected hormone disruptors)

  9. Ammonia (which is poisonous when swallowed, extremely irritating to respiratory passages when inhaled and can burn the skin on contact)

  10. Indiscriminate use of antibacterial cleansers containing triclosan may be contributing to the rise of antibiotic-resistant germs

  11. Butyl cellosolve ethylene glycol monobutyl ether is poisonous when swallowed and a lung-tissue irritant

  12. Diethanolamine (DEA) (can combine with nitrosomes to produce carcinogenic nitrosamines that penetrate skin)

  13. Fragrances may contain phthalates, chemicals linked to reproductive abnormalities and liver cancer in lab animals and to asthma in children

  14. Sodium hydroxide (found in drain, metal and oven cleaners; extremely irritating to eyes, nose and throat and can burn tissues on contact

  15. Sodium lauryl sulfate (a common sudsing agent, can penetrate the skin and cause contact dermatitis).

 

Mixing green cleaning chemicals studies by the US Green Building Council have shown that nearly half of the benefits of using green cleaning products have to deal with the process in which they are manufactured and mixed. Mixology is important because that is the phase in which much of the toxicity of the chemicals becomes aerosolized. By mixing inside a negative pressured closet or outside (away from kids), this harm can be neutralized.

 

Potential adverse health effects from exposure to common household products

  1. Glass cleaners may contain Isopropyl alcohol which can irritate the skin, eyes, nose and throat, and ammonia which can irritate the skin and eyes and cause coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

  2. All-purpose cleaners may contain 2-butoxyethanol which can cause headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness and confusion, in addition to irritating the eyes, nose, throat and mouth.

  3. Bathroom cleaners may contain Sodium hypochlorite/chlorine which can severely irritate the skin; may cause eye damage, coughing or shortness of breath.

 

"e-cloths are safe for everyone. They are neither impregnated with chemicals nor require chemicals with which to clean. "