I hate using chemicals

Discussion in 'Cleaning' started by Superpack, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Nov 11, 2009 #1

    Superpack

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    Does anyone know of any cleaning products they can recommend that are environmentally safe. I hate using chemicals with strong smells especially around the kids.

    Regards,
     
  2. Nov 13, 2009 #2

    ahmed ragab

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    Material because it was scary
     
  3. Dec 25, 2009 #3

    stevensonjames88

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    What specifically do you want to clean? For refrigerators, tiles flooring, bathroom you could use a mixture of vinegar and water then soap and rinse with water. You could also try scrubbing a blemish area with baking soda. Would think of more and would post it here.
     
  4. Dec 28, 2009 #4

    DUNBAR

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    I'm curious to know what the long term effects are of those who are around these chemicals over a period of time.


    There is indeed other professions that are subjected to the "bad" stuff, but honestly the truth about cleaning agents is for example, house cleaners aka merry maids.

    Constant inhalation of these chemicals. Overspray, contact on the hands, arms, face, respiratory system.


    Has anyone even cared in this profession to find out if these things cause harm?



    Northern Kentucky Plumbers
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  5. Dec 30, 2009 #5

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    Dunbar:

    I probably do more cleaning than most people in here. I suppose there might be some health effects associated with frequent contact with cleaning chemicals, but I think it's like so many other things we come into contact with... if our body doesn't know what to do with a chemical, it just lets it slide on by to get pooped out the anus. And, that's true for most substances. If you swallow tomato seeds or mushrooms, (or even a button) which don't get digested in our stomachs, you end up finding them in the toilet bowl.

    So, unless a chemical is known to do harm, my feeling is that most of them don't do anything to us, but help fill the toilet bowl.

    Where you wanna be a lot more careful is when you're handling chemicals that were meant to do harm, such as spraying insecticides and herbicides. Those are chemicals that were made to interfere with the metabolism of plants and bugs (sometimes animals). In that case, then you definitely don't want to inhale the product's vapours or have it in contact with your skin.

    The difference between a "soap" and a "detergent" is that soaps are semi-natural products formed by the combination of a plant oil or animal fat with a strong alkali. Soaps aren't produced by any natural process, but they are made by a chemical reaction between two completely natural chemicals, which makes them semi-natural in my books. Detergents tend to be chemically similar to soaps in that they have a long hydrocarbon chain with an active group at one end of that chain. Soaps have been used since Roman times with no noticable health effects, and the strong chemical similarity between soaps and detergents would suggest that detergents are probably pretty benign too.

    You can learn a lot about soaps, detergents and the science behind cleaning at the Soap & Detergent Manufacturer's Association website at:
    The Soap And Detergent Association

    For example: Did you know that the reason you never get any soap scum in your kitchen sink is because you don't use bar soap in your kitchen sink. You use dish washing detergent in your kitchen sink. You use soap in your bathtub and bathroom sink, and soap scum will form in both the bathroom's tub and sink as a result of dissolved soap losing it's solubility in water because of a reaction with the hardness ions in the water. Modern detergents, like dish washing detergents, can be formulated so that their solubility in water isn't compromised by hardness ions in the water, and so they never lose their solubility in water. The result is that even though you can get soap scum rings in both your bathtub and bathroom sinks, your kitchen sink will remain soap scum free.

    And, this is just my own hypothesis, but the mildew that grows on bathroom walls (and especially bathroom grout lines) is like every other living thing in that it has to eat something to survive. It strikes me that soap is made from animal fats and/or plant oils, and both of those are high calorie foods. It would seem to make sense that the source of food for bathroom mildew is the natural plant oils in the bar soap used in the bathroom. And, that would suggest that by using a synthetic detergent in the bathroom instead of bar soaps, people could possibly eliminate the mildew from their bathrooms by starving the mildew to death. I'd certainly be interested in knowing the results if someone wanted to try using only artificial detergents exclusively in their bathroom instead of bar soap to see if it eliminated the mildew.

    PS:
    Also, our word "soap" almost certainly comes from the name of Mount Sopa near Rome. In Roman times, Mount Sopa was the place where common people would make a plea to one of their Gods. The process involved pleading for the God's personal intervention in your affairs whilst you burned the body of a small animal as a tribute and offering to that God.
    Roman women noticed that washing their clothes in the streams that flowed off of Mount Sopa after a rain would get them cleaner than washing in those same streams at other times or in other streams. Obviously, the Romans didn't understand why that might be, but we currently suspect that the fat dripping off the sacrificial animals would mix with the alkaline ashes of the fires to form a crude form of soap. The rains would then carry that soap into the streams where it would help in cleaning the clothes.
    Roman historians record that Romans made soap for use in the Roman bath houses, but how it was used isn't known. It may have been used for cleaning the same way we use soap today, or it may have been used like a skin balm or ointment, or it may have been used purely to make the water bubbly. There is no direct evidence that soap was intentionally made for cleaning purposes during Roman times.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  6. Dec 31, 2009 #6

    granite-girl

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    I know a guy who just died of lung cancer. Never smoked a day in his life, real healthy body builder type. But he owned & ran a cleaning business, like carpet cleaning, upholstery, major stain removal stuff. They say it was from all the chemicals he was around. Serious stuff !
    There are all kinds of organic, natural cleaners out there, just google it or go toyour local Target, there'e even a company like Amway or something that you can order it from, but I don't remember it's name. It's all natural more healthy living products.
     
  7. Dec 31, 2009 #7

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    The problem is that 99% of the time, the people doing the "saying" don't really know anything about the subject they're talking about. For every janitor that dies before the age of 90, there's someone saying it's because of all the chemicals they were exposed to in their job. And, most of the time the people saying that are housewives, bank tellers, insurance salesmen, factory workers, and the like who haven't got any better a clue than you or me what really caused his death, and how much effect his exposure to chemicals had.

    I know a guy who smoked all his adult life and never got lung cancer.

    If problems were as simple to diagnose as pointing a finger at the most obvious cause, then figuring out how to live safely on this good Earth would be much simpler than it seems to be. Even to this day, most people will tell you to "Put on a coat or you'll catch a cold because it's cold outside". It's only within the last generation or two that's we've come to understand that colds are caused by viruses, not exposure to cold weather, and that fact still hasn't sunk in with most people. Otherwise, everyone that went down on Flight 1259 that ditched in the Hudson River woulda got a cold, right?
     
  8. Dec 31, 2009 #8

    granite-girl

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    I think the "they" were Dr.'s but who knows.
    I know what you mean about coats & cold weather, my in-laws are notorious about that, drives me nuts!
     
  9. Jan 2, 2010 #9

    stevensonjames88

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    Great info you got there Nelson!
     
  10. Jan 2, 2010 #10

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    Thanks, Stuart. :)
     
  11. Jul 28, 2010 #11

    MarshaMarshaMarsha

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    wow. I never knew people could die from the long term effects of cleaning products. Do you think that they will have to start warning people better and start to use labels and such to protect the public?
     
  12. Jul 28, 2010 #12

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    Wow. I didn't know that until now either. But I, on the other hand, don't believe it.

    That's because of a number of reasons:

    1. That presumes that cleaning products ACCUMULATE in our bodies over the course of our lives, and that's simply not how it works.

    When you get bitten by a poisonous snake or eat the wrong kind of mushroom, you COULD die as a result. But, most of the time healthy people just get sick for a while from the encounter and then return to good health because living things have evolved ways of removing those toxins from their bodies.

    If we hadn't evolved a way to clean harmful chemicals from our bodies, then we'd keep getting progressively sicker and sicker throughout our lives as we have more and more intimate encounters with bees, wasps and hornets, poisonous spiders and snakes, poison ivy and poison oak, eat harmful mushrooms and berries, swallow alcohol, smoke cigarettes and use cleaning chemicals. The toxins would continue accumulating inside us until we were too sick to get up in the morning and go to work.

    But, that isn't what happens, is it? If we get bit by a poisonous snake, we get sick, but most of us gradually return to our normal health. So, is it reasonable to assume that our bodies can remove harmful toxins and venoms, but not cleaning chemicals?

    2. It's not reasonable to assume that just because a chemical has a name as long as a shoelace that it's unhealthy for you.

    If your digestive track doesn't know what to do with something, it doesn't do anything with it. It just lets it slide on by to eventually get pooped out your tail end into the toilet bowl. Go ahead... swallow a button made of a plastic derived from petrochemicals, and you'll find that it doesn't poison your bloodstream, or cause your brain to explode or do anything for that matter except get pooped into your toilet bowl. Your body doesn't know what to do with it, so it doesn't do anything with it.

    That is, in fact, the whole reason why companies can produce and market sugar and fat substitutes like Aspertame and Olestra. They have the right chemical structure to TASTE sweet to our taste buds and fool our brains into thinking we're eating something that's sweet and/or fattening, but because your digestive tract doesn't know what to do with those chemicals, they simply go in one end and out the other. That's supposed to be the scientific gameplan whereby you can eat foods that taste sweet and fattening, but still not get fat.

    Now, if your body doesn't know what to do with a detergent, is it going to try to digest it? Probably not. It's going to throw it into the same bag as Aspertame and Olestra and poop it out the tail end.

    3. But, notice I said "Probably not." That's cuz I'm not a doctor or lab technician or food guru, so I don't know for sure either. However, neither your government nor mine will allow a new chemical on the market that's intended to be eaten, drank, slathered all over our skin or inject into our veins without it being thoroughly tested on animals first to make sure it doesn't have unexpected side effects. So there's some lab technician somewhere that hoses down some rabbits and monkeys and rats every day with cleaning detergent to see if they get sick from the experience. Those chemicals wouldn't be allowed on the market if they make the rabbits or chimps die prematurely, or a disproportionate number of them get sick for no other apparant reason.

    So, why don't we presume that those people in the lab coats are as competent in their work as we are in ours, and that testing chemicals on rats and monkeys can actually tell us whether those chemicals are harmful to people or not.


    There's a phobia surrounding chemicals that defies logic. People presume that chemicals are inherantly harmful to us, and that's just stupid when you consider that there's chemicals we swallow that don't do anything at all, like sugar and fat substitutes. It's like our phobia of snakes and insects. The bottom line is that human beings are big animals and we're not easy to kill. Our bodies have ways of getting rid of harmful chemicals so that they DON'T accumulate, and the testing we do on animals isn't just to annoy PETA. There are safeguards in place to ensure we don't have another incident like thalidimide resulted in.

    But, we're all adults and can decide on our own what to believe.

    I for one would like to see the evidence on which someone has decided that cleaning chemicals can accumulate in our bodies over the course of our lives to eventually kill us. And, that they can somehow do that WITHOUT making us progressively sicker over the course of our lives. That just doesn't seem reasonable to me somehow.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  13. Aug 3, 2010 #13

    john4153

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    I am a new member today and a bit late coming to this thread, but a premise of this thread equating strong smelling synthetic chemicals to being bad for you caught my eye.

    As people strive to bring nature back into our lives, which is good, it is sometimes forgotten that the most poisonous substances known are from natural products -- ricin, anthrax, food poisoning, botulism, tetanus, various venoms, etc. -- are just a few examples. In addition to toxins, most allergies are to products in nature. Natural products have even been shown to cause cancer, and some are quite potent in that regard. Tobacco is a natural product, and its harmful effects can be shown whether it is eaten, chewed, or smoked.

    True, purified or synthetic chemicals can also be bad for you, but chemical manufactures try to produce chemicals that retain the good properties and limit adverse effects from their products. Nature has no such motive. Most important, when you get a pure chemical, you know what is in it and what steps must be taken to minimize risk. When you get an extract of some natural product, you do not know everything that is in it. There can easily be hundreds to thousands of chemicals present in potentially toxic amounts that are not listed on the label.

    Smell can be useful in avoiding something that you do not like. It can be a warning system, like with skunks. But, it is not very reliable as a sign that something is bad for you. Why would nature want something that is very toxic to also have a bad smell? That is to say, something may smell good or may have no smell at all and be just as toxic or more so than something that smells bad. Some smells have developed a connection with cleanliness, so they are added to many home cleaning products. I don't like them, and they make me sneeze. If the product is so good at cleaning, how come you can't wash off the smell it leaves behind? Compare the pure chemical, acetone, which leaves almost no residual smell, to Dawn, Ajax, Mr. Clean, 409, etc., which all leave odors. Unfortunately, one cannot buy Dawn without the odor, but some products are now being made without odorants. I wish more were.

    John
     
  14. Aug 4, 2010 #14

    jimmy50

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    Appreciate it Nestor
     
  15. Sep 13, 2010 #15

    Dyson

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    I hate using chemicals to clean my kitchen and my bathroom. Is it really safe to use them where I eat and bathe? Or is the dirt worse?
     
  16. Sep 14, 2010 #16

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    No one ever died from the long term effects of dirt, Dyson.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2010

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