A group called Women’s Voices for the Earth has launched an initiative to remove toxic chemicals from household cleaning products and replace them with safer alternatives. Vinegar, baking soda, and elbow grease work wonders, and it’s simply amazing what hot water can accomplish, but this group would be satisfied if we could simply dispense with chemicals like:
"Ethylene glycol butyl ether or EGBE, [which] is on
California’s list of toxic air contaminants. Some animal studies indicate that
it produces reproductive problems, such as testicular damage, reduced
fertility, death of embryos and birth defects. People exposed to high levels of
EGBE for several hours have reported nose and eye irritation, headaches,
vomiting and a metallic taste in their mouths, studies show." (link)
The chemical is found in the usual suspects like PineSol and Windex, but also Simple Green, which is, according to its website, "the leader of non-toxic, biodegradable, environmentally safer cleaning products used for household cleaning."
Until these chemicals are banned or at least disclosed on ingredient labels (and there’s a petition here), you can take this list when you go shopping, or try these ridiculously easy and cheap homemade alternatives.
Here’s a thought: Stop cleaning. Really, what’s the point?