The smell of bleach used to equate to cleanliness, but today scientific evidence has proven that bleach can be toxic to people and pets. Therefore, the team at Sunshine has long eliminated the use of bleach all together in favor of safer, more environmentally friendly cleaning products that produce as good or better results.
In one research study, scientists found that bleach fumes mixed with a citrus compound found in many household cleaners, can create potentially harmful airborne particles. According to the popular online news outlet, Healthline, “When bleach fumes mix with a citrus compound found in many household cleaners, they can form ultrafine particles like those found in smog. This compound is called limonene and is usually relatively mild but in large amounts can irritate the eyes, throat, lungs and skin.”
Researchers from the University of Toronto and Bucknell University in Pennsylvania looked at what happened when these chemicals combined. According to Healthline, “The researchers write that during and after the use of bleach-based cleaners, high amounts of hypochlorous acid and chlorine gases can quickly build up in poorly ventilated indoor environments.” Regular exposure to particulate matter is linked to health problems, such as heart attacks and breathing difficulties. People with existing heart disease, asthma, or other lung conditions are at greater risk.
Md. Aynul Bari, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental & Sustainable Engineering at the University at Albany, State University of New York, said these results show the ‘potential impacts of household bleach cleaning products on indoor air quality.’”
Bleach used for cleaning may pose other health risks.
“It is known that the use of chlorine bleach-containing products in cleaning activities . . . can release volatile organic compounds — such as chloroform and carbon tetrachloride — which may pose a carcinogenic risk to public health,” said Bari.
Additional health risks from bleach include:
- Worsening symptoms in individuals with asthma
- Occurrence of asthmatic symptoms
- Damage to lungs if droplets from diluted bleach in spray bottles are inhaled
- Damage to still-developing children’s lungs if bleach fumes are inhaled
- Irritation of eyes and skin
- Cancer-causing chemicals released when high levels of chloroform are built up in the air, a result of using bleach over time.
At Sunshine, we have an in-depth and thorough process for choosing cleaning products. We conduct careful research and work closely with our vendors with the overall goal to maximize effectiveness while using the least amount of chemicals possible. Our vendors are well informed about the latest and move effective and safe Green cleaning agents. They guide us on the best products that are safe for our technicians as well as the occupants of the facilities we clean. We look for products certified by the EPA’s Safer Choice program or other respected third parties, such as Green Seal or Ecologo. We also look
to such resources as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) program as well as guidance from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Our overall goal is to deliver safe, germ-free cleanliness to our customers, providing a “Brighter Day” every time we clean