Indoor pollution is particularly harmful to your health because just one application of a typical household cleaner can leave dangerous chemicals lingering in your indoor air for hours at a time. For people who spend a large amount of their day indoors, this can amount to a frequent chemical attacks on your lungs. Some of the ingredients in common household cleaners, laundry detergents, and even "green" cleaners that can create a toxic indoor environment include:
Glycol ethers – Widespread use in paints, perfumes, soaps, cosmetics and foods. Cause fatigue, lethargy, nausea, and possible liver and kidney damage.
Phthalates – Cause reproductive harm, endocrine disruption, cancer, organ damage.
Perfumes – Cause headaches, sinus problems, asthma, may cause intoxication and "addiction."
Phosphates - Manufacturers have reduced eliminated phosphates from laundry products, but no action has ever been taken on dishwasher detergents. Causes widespread environmental damage.
Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), a common ingredient in laundry detergents and all-purpose cleaners, is banned in Europe, and known to be a potent endocrine disrupter. It's already thought to be the cause of male fish transforming into females in waterways around the world!
Formaldehyde, found in spray and wick deodorizers, is a suspected carcinogen.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including 1,4-dichlorobenzene – Cause nose and throat irritation, dizziness, asthma.
Petroleum solvents in floor cleaners may damage mucous membranes.
Butyl cellosolve, found in many all-purpose and window cleaners. May damage your kidneys, bone marrow, liver and nervous system.
Ammonia – irritating to the skin, eyes and lungs. Chlorine – irritating to the skin, eyes and lungs.
Ethanolamines – irritating to the skin, eyes and lungs.