I am an office cleaner in Adelaide but when I came across this, I had to write about it. I just read an article (1) in the Dr Axe Food is Medicine website and it showed the dangers involved in using cleaning products in the office cleaning and home cleaning environments. In the article, the author suggests that being exposed to the household cleaning chemicals in your home could be as bad as smoking up to 20 cigarettes a day! Well the headline certainly attracted my attention. When I was a kid, my Mum and Dad were always maintaining a hygienically clean house. Our bathroom was especially clean and I would marvel at how amazing my Dad was at making the tiles and grout sparkle …I miss him. He’s been gone now for 4 years but geez that beautiful man could clean :). Mum and Dad kept the place spotless with chemicals like bleach, disinfectants and degreasers and they thought that they were keeping us safe. Well we are only just finding out that long term exposure to household cleaning chemicals increases a woman’s risk of lung damage similar to that of smoking a pack of 20 cigarettes per day.
There’s been a study conducted by Norwegian researchers and published in The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. The study investigated how cleaning products (those found in your office or in your home) could be damaging and impairing the functioning of your lungs. The findings were alarming: (2)
- The study was conducted over 20 years
- They looked at 6000 women
- The things the researchers looked at were
- Long term impacts of cleaning products on respiratory health
- Lung function decline
- Airway obstruction
- The types of cleaning that were looked at:
- Office and commercial cleaning
- Home cleaning
- A test they conducted was to see how much air you could expell out of your lungs in 1 second. This is called Forced Expiratory Volume.
- The researchers also looked at how much air you can blow out of your lungs after taking a bigger, deeper breath. This is called Forced Vital Capacity.
- Shockingly the results of both of the two tests in points 5 & 6 above came back showing regular use of office cleaning or home cleaning products caused significant lung damage.
- The study suggested that people cleaning as little as once per week from home initiated significant lung damage
- Even people office cleaning or home cleaning as a profession experienced significant lung damage which was similar to the damage to lungs on a 20 cigarettes a day smoker for 10 to 20 years.
What the researchers found led them to suggest that cleaning products contain irritating ingredients that cause damage by:
- Triggering the immune system to become dysfunctional
- Causing inflammation in mucous membranes
- Damaging your airways on three levels:
- Cellular damage
- Structural damage
- Tissue damage
Environmental Working Group (EWG) (3) have reviewed the study by the Norwegians and have come up with some pretty incredible recommendations:
- Stop using cleaning products
- Avoid spray cleaners when possible
- Use dry microfibre cloths or microfibre cloths dampened with water to do your dusting. We have a large range for sale in store or online (currently updating the online store on the website) Click here to BUY microfibre cloths
Basically, there’s no way of knowing how cleaning chemicals are going to affect your lungs in the long or short term, so it’s always better to err on the safe side.
If we want to follow these recommendations, then how do we clean offices and the like at Cinderellas Commercial Cleaning? Well we recommend a product called Zenn. Zenn is a liquid degreaser that is super safe to use. These are its amazing properties:
- Non toxic
- Non caustic
- Plant derived ingredients
- Hypo allergenic
- Non flamable
- No VOCS (Volatile Organic Compounds)
- Water based
- Can be used in multiple applications:
- Heavy duty degreaser
- Kitchen cleaner
- Spray and Wipe
- Floor cleaner
- Window/Glass cleaner
- Oil dispersant
Zenn is the product we recommend to all our cleaners. It basically does everything and it meets our safety standards as they apply to taking good care of our staff and clients.
You can buy Zenn in large or small quantities by Clicking on this link: BUY ZENN
We have staff and clients with autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s Disease (Thyroid), Rheumatoid Arthritis, Coeliac Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Type 1 Diabetes, etc. that choose to use Zenn as their “All-In-One Cleaner” because of its non toxic and non caustic properties.