State Governing and Advocacy Association for Contractors, Distributors and Manufacturers of Cleaning and Maintenance Supplies

Cleaning Products: Dirty Secrets...

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Florida Sanitary Supply Association

Royal Palm Beach, Florida 33411

Phone: 561-907-1493


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Florida Sanitary Supply Association

Cleaning Products’ Dirty Little Secret

Sometimes information needs to get really personal before we pay attention.

Take cleaning products, for example. Every one of us uses them or breathes their fumes every day, whether we’re at work or at home.  That’s because we all want our environments to look and feel and smell clean, right?

Makes sense, but we’re paying a high price for all that cleanliness.


Because cleaners and disinfectants can be loaded with toxic chemicals.

I call it Cleaning’s Dirty Little Secret.  And it gets very, very personal.  Take a look at just a few quick facts.

>Of the 80,000 chemicals that have been introduced since WW II, only a tiny fraction have been tested for toxicity.

>Within 26 seconds of exposure to cleaners, traces of these chemicals may be found in every organ in the body. (Teresa Holler, Holler for Your Health)

>Frequent use of cleaning products and air fresheners may be linked to a higher risk of breast cancer.

>287 toxic chemicals were found in the umbilical cord blood of newborns. (Environmental Working Group)

>Children born to women who held cleaning jobs while pregnant have an elevated risk of birth defects. (NY State Dept. of Health)

>Even children whose moms frequently used cleaners in their homes while pregnant are prone to persistent wheezing throughout childhood. (University of Bristol, UK)

>The word “fragrance” hides literally hundreds of potentially toxic chemicals.

>While a single chemical may be only mildly harmful, the cumulative effect of multiple chemicals can be many times more harmful, producing toxins like formaldehyde. (CA Environmental Protection Agency)

>If it foams, fizzes or bubbles, it’s emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can harm eyes, skin, lungs, liver, kidney and central nervous system. Fumes from VOCs can contaminate the air for up to 20 minutes after use.  (Environmental Working Group)

>Our indoor environment (home or work) is two to five times more toxic than our outdoor environment.  Sometimes as much as 100 times more. (EPA)

>Just 21 school cleaning products were tested and found to release a total of 457 contaminants, some known to cause asthma, cancer, and reproductive and nervous system abnormalities. Even certified green products emitted 1/2 as many toxins as conventional products. (Environmental Working Group)

>Formaldehyde has been found in Comet, Pine-Sol and Simple Green cleaning products. (Environmental Working Group)