What is Green Cleaning?
More and more people are looking at alternative lifestyle choices to minimise their impact on the environment and cleaning is no exception. With terms like “green”, “natural” and “eco” popping up on packaging all over the place the key question is – what actually makes a cleaning product green?
There are no quick and easy answers to this question, but one of the key things to look out for is product ingredients. There are some ingredients that are commonly used in detergents and household products that have a huge impact on the environment. Here are a few to be aware of.
The ingredients Bio D leave out – what to avoid
Used as water softeners and to improve cleaning, they can stimulate excessive growth of algae in the receiving waters. These algae often grow in such great numbers that the water becomes starved of oxygen, killing fish and plant life.
EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid)
This is sometimes used as a substitute for, but also in addition to, phosphates. It is a sequestering agent that attracts heavy metals such as lead and mercury, both of which have known carcinogenic properties. These heavy metals can eventually find their way back into water supplies and are extremely difficult to remove completely.
Used in laundry products to give an illusion of ‘whiteness’, they attach themselves to fabric to reflect ‘white light’. Clothes only appear cleaner. Optical brighteners are extremely difficult to biodegrade and can cause severe skin irritation. They can also cause mutations to microorganisms in receiving waters.
These are contained in conventional toilet cleaners, sanitisers, nappy powders, washing powders and dishwasher detergents. During the breakdown of these types of bleach, carcinogenic toxic substances are formed, similar to the banned pesticide DDT.
Most conventional household cleaners contain petroleum-derived additives and detergents. They often break down incompletely and contain toxic impurities that are highly irritant, cause allergic reactions and can endanger plant and animal life.
In addition to those listed above, the following ingredients are contained in the majority of conventional brands of toiletries and cosmetics. Bio-D never use them:
- Thiozoles (MI, MIT, MCI and BIT)
- Synthetic fragrances
- Titanium dioxide
- Sodium tallowate
- Chemical plasticisers