AVOIDING CHEMICALS IN FLOOR CLEANERS
There is an expectation that mopping the floors helps create a safe and clean home environment. However, some floor washes contain harsh chemicals that can cause adverse health effects, especially for small children and pets who spend more time in contact with them.
Unfortunately there is no legal requirement for companies to disclose the ingredients in their cleaning products. Many supermarket floor cleaners aren't transparent about their ingredients and within them may be hiding potentially harmful ingredients such as phthalates, harsh preservatives or synthetic fragrance.
One of the most common ingredients that gives floor cleaners disinfectant properties is benzalkonium chloride - one of the latest ingredients to be banned in Europe for its harmful effects on human health. Reported reactions to it include rashes, blisters and skin irritation, breathing difficulties, eye conditions, swollen lips, mouth or tongue and gastrointestinal injuries including inflammatory bowel disease. Whilst companies cannot legally use it in Europe it's only recently been banned so watch for words like “disinfectant” and “kills 99.9% of germs” on the packaging as these products may include benzalkonium chloride.
To minimise potential risks for children and pets, look for naturally-derived floor cleaners that are transparent about their ingredients and are free from synthetic fragrance and harsh chemicals.