Did you know that a person who spends 15 minutes cleaning scale off shower walls could inhale three times the “acute one-hour exposure limit” for glycol ether-containing products set by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment?
Some examples of products with Butyl Cellosolve:
- Easy Off Oven Cleaner
- Pledge – Electronics spray cleaner
- RainX- Glass Cleaner and Anti-Fog
- TarnX- Tarnish Remover
- Spot Shot – Carpet Stain Remover
- Simple Green All Purpose Cleaner
Glycol ether-containing products, also commonly referred to as Butyl Cellosolve, butyl glycol, Dowanol and ethelyne glycol monobutyl ether (EGBE) are all included on the list of California’s toxic air substances. Exposure to Butyl Cellosolve can cause depression of the central nervous system, resulting in headaches, drowsiness, weakness, slurred speech, tremor, and blurred vision And many household cleaning products contain Butyl Cellosolve.
Butyl Cellosolve is a chemical that is found in a wide variety of household cleaning agents – glass cleaners, oven cleaners, general degreasers, spot removers, air fresheners, and carpet cleaners, among other things. It is a toxic synthetic solvent and grease cutter that is known irritate mucous membranes and cause liver and kidney damage. Butyl cellosolve is also a neurotoxin that can depress the nervous system and cause a variety of associated problems.
These risks are not related to ingestion of this chemical; these risks are from breathing or touching this chemical in products when used correctly. This is a level of risk you are accepting for yourself and your family when you use these products in your home. Just like you accept that there is a certain risk in driving a car. But while walking to work or to grandma’s house may not be a realistic option, you do have safe and effective alternatives to using synthetic toxins to clean your house.
Reviewing its Chemical Scorecard you will see that Butyl Cellosolve is a high volume chemical with production exceeding 1 million pounds annually in the U.S. Unfortunately, the EPA says that only a fraction of the more than 75,000 registered chemicals have gonethrough testing for human health concerns. And like thousands of others chemical s, Butyl Cellosolve lacks at least some of the data required for a safety assessment and only 6 of 8 BASIC safety tests have been conducted.
Environmental Defense Fund has created a compelling infographic (at left) on the chemicals in your home and in you. The chemicals being stored in your body are your body burden. The Environmental Working Group has been conducting studies on the Pollution in People and is reporting what is now described as the Body Burden, or the buildup of synthetic chemicals and heavy metals in our bodies.
If your home is anything like the average U.S. home, you generate more than 20 pounds of household hazardous waste each year (the EPA designates toilet cleaners, tub and tile cleaners, oven cleaners, and bleach as hazardous waste).
To find out what’s lurking on your shelves, go to the National Institutes of Health Library of Medicine Household Products Database. You can search almost any brand of cleaner you use, find out what’s in it, and uncover its links to health effects. Or search by chemical ingredients and discover what brands contain it.
If you want to give up the harmful toxins without giving up on clean, please consider using a non-toxic, environmentally safe alternative like Get Clean.