As a homeowner, you want to do everything you can to make your property hospitable for your family, friends, and other guests. Sometimes, this means using products such as cleaners or pesticides to keep your home clean and pest-free.
While these products may often be effective at killing germs or exterminating pests, they also often come with a host of other risks.
In fact, a large portion of commercial cleaners and pesticides contain chemicals that can be hazardous to human health and the environment at large. Ditching these products in favor of greener alternatives can have a number of benefits for your house, your community, and the entire globe.
In this guide, we discuss the hazards of many common chemical products and the benefits of going green in your home.
The Problem With Common Pesticides
Millions of homeowners deal with pests each year. Invasive rodents, reptiles, insects, and other creatures can find their way into residential properties and cause costly damages. They can also, directly and indirectly, spread a number of diseases to both people and pets. Unfortunately, pests themselves aren’t the only problems that homeowners can deal with during an infestation. Chemicals found within many popular pest control products can pose serious health risks for people and pets—to say nothing of the damage they can cause the environment.
Many insecticides (products used to control bug populations) contain harmful chemicals such as ammonia, arsenic, benzene, chlorine, dioxins, ethylene oxide, formaldehyde, and methanol. These chemicals can lead to serious health complications if ingested by people, pets, or wildlife. They can also damage soil and plant life if administered in large quantities in outdoor spaces. Common rodenticides (rodent poisons) contain anticoagulants, sodium borate, strychnine, bromethalin, zinc phosphide, and cholecalciferol. While effective at killing rodents, these chemicals are also effective at killing other animals and should not be used around pets, children, or wildlife. To make matters worse, these chemicals lead to painful deaths for animals that consume them.
Hidden Chemicals in Household Cleaners
Pesticides aren’t the only household products that contain harmful chemicals. A recent study conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit organization focused on the environment and public health, found that 53% of some hundreds of household cleaning products contained lung-harming and asthma-instigating ingredients. Others contained carcinogens and poisons that are known to be lethal if consumed in large amounts. Among the offending household cleaning products in the study were toilet cleaners, drain cleaners, oven cleaners, disinfectants, air fresheners, fabric softeners, and other common household products.
The Benefits of Going Green
With the many health risks and environmental hazards of common household chemical products now clear, the decision to make a change should be a no-brainer. Switching to eco-friendly, all-natural products in your home can have a number of benefits, including:
Using eco-friendly products reduces your carbon footprint. Synthetic chemicals in many commercial cleaning products can damage the environment by contaminating natural water supplies, changing soil composition, and degrading air quality. Using eco-friendly household products will help reduce your carbon footprint and save the environment from damaging chemicals.
Using eco-friendly products improves indoor air quality. Common household cleaners can quickly corrupt indoor air supplies. This can lead to heightened asthmatic symptoms, chronic respiratory conditions, and an increased chance of cancer for those indoors. Switching to products devoid of carcinogens and other harmful chemicals can improve your indoor air supply and help keep those under your roof protected.
Using eco-friendly products keeps people and pets in your home safe. This final benefit cannot be overstated. As mentioned in the sections above, common cleaners and pest control products contain chemicals that can cause major health problems for people and pets in inhaled or ingested. By switching to eco-friendly products, you can continue to clean your home and treat it for pests without any risky side effects for your family, friends, or pets.
Eco-Friendly and Highly-Effective Products You Can Use in Your Home
With innovations and new product formulations developed virtually every month, there has never been a better time to make the switch to eco-friendly products in your home. Here on Elephant Journal, there are a host of great guides and tips on all-natural products, green solutions, and DIY remedies you can use when cleaning or treating pest infestations in your space.
Looking for a great place to start? Check out EcoClear Products, one of the industry’s premier up-and-coming manufacturers of eco-friendly pest control products and cleaning solutions.
Author: Chris Stidd
Image: Tiffany Terry/Flickr
Editor: Emily Bartran