Keeping your home clean is one of the most important ways to assure healthy indoor air quality. However, the use of some cleaning products and heavy-duty removers may actually increase indoor air pollution. Fortunately, you can take simple steps to reduce or eliminate the production of these pollutants.
What Are VOCs?
Aerosol Spray Removal Products
Cleaners or removers that come in pressurized cans release tiny particles at high speed. This makes it easy to apply but also very easily absorbed by your lungs. Some more toxic VOCs found in pressurized glass and floor cleaners are toluene and formaldehyde.
An increasing number of people are reporting allergic reactions to fragrances and scents. Avoid air fresheners or heavily scented products. It's time to change our expectations of what clean smells like. A clean space shouldn't have any smell at all!
Commonly found in many brand name household products should be used with caution as they can off gas harmful chemicals. Only use in well ventilated areas and never mix bleach or any bleach-containing product with any cleaner containing ammonia. The gases created from this combination can lead to chronic breathing problems and even death.
A common toxic ingredient found in many ‘off the shelf’ oven cleaners is sodium hydroxide. The chemical more commonly known as caustic soda can cause irritation to the eyes and throat, irritate the lungs triggering an asthma attack or cause chronic asthma, and cause severe skin burns.
Furniture Refinishing Products
Furniture refinishing products commonly contain a high VOC percentage and are among the most toxic products used in homes and workshops! The active ingredients in most common refinishing products are organic solvents which may damage the skin, eyes, respiratory tract, nervous system, and internal organs. Special precautions must be taken in their use, especially if there are children present who might come in contact with either the material or its vapors. Use safer alternatives whenever possible.
The most crucial step, is always to read the label. There may be specific requirements, chemicals you cannot use alongside, or surfaces which the product may ruin if you do not read the instructions. Make more informed purchase decisions when buying cleaners and removers. Look for products marked low VOC, fragrance or bleach free, choose products devoid of irritants and flammables.
Check the Safety Data Sheet (often available with a quick online search) on any product you plan to use before you buy. Always follow safety recommendations, dispose of them appropriately and use common sense. If you are concerned because you have small children or chemical sensitivities, consider alternative products with tested and proven science to back them up.
Safe Cleaning & Removal Options
Many find making your own cleaners with varying combinations of tried and true old standards like baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, sea salt, and more are the safest cleaning alternatives. Truly safe removal alternatives are available as well. One of the safest chemicals in removal products proving to be an effective substitute in removers for refinishing and even oven cleaning is dibasic esters. They are non-flammable, water-soluble, low VOC, readily biodegradable, non-corrosive, and have a mild, fruity odor. One company that is utilizing these innovative chemicals with world-patented technology is EZ Strip.
Visit EZstrip.ca today for safe alternatives to heavy-duty removers! Your home's indoor air quality can greatly affect you and your family's health so make informed choices regarding the cleaning and refinishing products you bring into your home. Your family will thank you!