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Health Focus: Spring Cleaning

Spring is in the air, which means that spring cleaning is just around the corner. Before you reach into your utility closet, make sure that you understand all of the different types of chemicals that you might encounter during your cleaning process. We've included a list below of common toxins that are used in everyday cleaning products.

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Common Toxins Found in Cleaning Products:
Ammonia (in glass cleaner)
Can cause headaches.
Formaldehyde (in many different products)
Suspected human carcinogen and acts as a strong irritant to eyes, throat, and lungs.
Hydrochloric acid or sodium acid sulfate (in toilet bowl cleaner)
Can burn the skin and cause vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach burns if swallowed.

Nitrobenzene (in furniture and floor polishes)
Can cause vomiting, and death. This toxin is associated with cancer and birth defects.

Petroleum Distillates (in metal polishes)
Short-term exposure can lead to temporary eye clouding and longer exposure can damage the nervous system.

Phenol and cresol (in disinfectants)
Can cause dizziness.

Sodium Hypochlorite (in chlorine bleach)
If mixed with ammonia, this releases toxic chloramine gas, which may cause asthmatic symptoms or respiratory problems.