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Protect Your Little Ones This Spring: The Top 5 Hazardous Cleaning Chemicals Present in Your Home

As a parent, you can’t protect your children from everything, but you can ensure they are kept safe from cleaning products filled with harmful chemicals. 

Different chemicals, such as bleach and formaldehyde, can irritate your child’s respiratory system, and even lead to death if ingested. Property storing and eliminating these chemicals from your products is the best way to keep your children safe. 

At Your Conscious Cleaners, we know that choosing safe household cleaning products can be challenging. In this article, we delve into the most dangerous chemicals to look out for and how to be a safe cleaner.  

Understanding the Risks of Cleaning Chemicals

Everyone is at risk of being unintentionally poisoned by cleaning supplies, but children are the most likely to ingest chemicals, unaware of the fact they are poisonous. They also have a faster metabolism, meaning the poison will digest faster. 

If you have children, it’s important to know about the potential dangers your cleaning products contain. Being informed assists in acting fast when your child swallows chemicals, potentially saving their life.  

374 children are hospitalized due to poisoning every day. The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) reports that cleaning products are the second most common cause of unintentional poisoning in children. 

Impact of Cleaning Chemicals on Children's Health

If your child ingests household cleaning products, they’re at immediate risk of dying. You should have poison control on speed dial, and take them to an emergency healthcare center. 

These are a few health concerns caused by cleaning chemicals, with or without ingestion: 

  • Chronic respiratory problems, such as asthma 

  • Headaches 

  • Allergic reactions 

  • Skin rashes or burns 

  • Heart and lung disease


Identifying the Top 5 Hazardous Cleaning Chemicals

All household cleaning products contain chemicals that are hazardous to some degree, but there are some more dangerous than others. 

Let’s get into the top 5 worst cleaning chemicals: 

1. Bleach

Bleach is commonly used for cleaning. This is due to its powerful disinfecting properties, but it still causes a lot of harm. 

When sprayed or used in undiluted forms, bleach is easily inhaled, irritating the lungs. This can trigger the development of asthma. 

Bleach also irritates your skin and eyes, especially during direct contact. If you do use it, be sure to fully rinse and dry the surface you cleaned with bleach. 

When you mix this cleaning product with other chemicals containing ammonia or vinegar, you may accidentally create toxic gasses which, if inhaled, can lead to death. 

There are lots of bleach-free disinfectants available. You can also use natural substitutes, like hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, or Castille soap. 

2. Ammonia

Ammonia is a natural chemical used primarily in the agricultural industry, but it is also present in cleaning products. 

Some of its hazards are: 

  • Burning of eyes, nose, and throat ( if swallowed) 

  • Skin burns

  • Blindness 

  • Damage to the body’s cells 

  • Respiratory irritation 

  • Death 

Common cleaners that use ammonia, like all-purpose cleaners, floor cleaners, and glass cleaners, can be substituted for a mixture of water and vinegar or soap and water. 

3. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is an extremely dangerous chemical found in many cleaning solutions, including: 

  • All-purpose cleaner

  • Window cleaners

  • Sink and toilet cleaners

  • Stain removers

  • Dish and laundry detergent

  • Air fresheners 

Despite its popularity in cleaning products, formaldehyde exposure can:


  • Worsen asthma and respiratory problems

  • Lead to skin allergies

  • Cause cancer

  • Lead to death if ingested 

To reduce your exposure to formaldehyde, look for products that don’t list it as an ingredient. If you’re unable to find those products, make sure to use the product in a well-ventilated area and keep your children as far away as possible. 

4. Phthalates

Phthalates are chemicals used to make durable plastic or dissolve other materials. They’re found in air fresheners, dish soaps, and cleaning solvents. 

There isn’t comprehensive research on the effects of phthalates on humans yet, but there have been connections found between the phthalates and premature death. 

In children, extreme phthalate exposure has been linked to hormonal and developmental issues. Many believe this is due to the vulnerability that puberty exposes. The hormonal issues may cause endometriosis later in life, but there has yet to be a consensus on these effects. 

To avoid phthalates, read labels to find phthalate-free products. The chemicals may be listed as DHEP or DiBP. 

5. Triclosan

Triclosan is full of antibacterial agents that kill germs, but it can cause adverse side effects on people. It’s found in antibacterial wipes and soaps. 

Products that contain ‘antibacterial’ in the name most likely contain triclosan. 

Through animal studies, triclosan has been determined as an endocrine-disrupting chemical, meaning high exposure can lead to a decrease in thyroid hormones. The thyroid hormone controls metabolism, growth, and other bodily functions.

Triclosan may also lead to bacterial resistance, decreasing the effects of antibodies which may lead to death.  

The FDA highly regulates this chemical, and they recommend using normal soaps or wipes, instead of ‘antibacterial’ products. 

Tips for Safer Cleaning Practices

Although much of this article has pointed out the danger of common cleaning products, you can still keep your house clean and your children safe. 

When buying cleaning products, carefully read the labels so you know which products contain harmful chemicals. If you’re unable to find any, use homemade cleaning solvents. 

There are many online resources that discuss this, but a combination of water and vinegar should do just the trick. 

A good alternative is to outsource your cleaning. Choose companies that use eco-friendly products and offer a range of cleaning services that align with your cleaning needs – like Your Conscious Cleaners

There is nothing wrong in choosing to use the same products you’ve always used. Just be sure to properly ventilate the space you're cleaning. 

Finally, store all of your cleaning products out of reach from children to reduce the risk of them accidentally poisoning themselves. 

Bottom Line

Your children’s safety should be your main priority, and choosing natural cleaning products is one way to ensure they’re healthy. Kids will always be kids, but the last thing we want is for them to unintentionally swallow chemicals. 

Always store cleaning products away from them or go the extra length and purchase eco-friendly cleaning alternatives. Stay away from solvents filled with harsh chemicals to prevent any side effects when your children are exposed to them. 

Choosing Your Conscious Cleaners and benefiting from our use of eco-friendly products is an easy way to prioritize safety. Request a free cleaning consultation today. 


What are the toxic chemicals in my cleaning products? 

Some of the most toxic chemicals in your cleaning products are bleach, ammonia, formaldehyde, phthalates, and triclosan. 

How can I best protect my children from toxic cleaning chemicals? 

The best way to protect your children from toxic chemicals is to keep your cleaning products locked in a high cabinet. You should also buy or make cleaning solutions that do not contain these chemicals, eliminating the risk altogether. 

What are the risks of my toxic cleaning products?  

Many of the harmful chemicals can trigger asthma, create respiratory issues, cause skin and eye irritation, and, in extreme cases, lead to death. 


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