They are generally safe for the purposes they are intended for, used in the manner in which they should be used. This is not to say that they are safe to eat, nor are many of them “safe” when vast quantities of them enter untreated or uncontrolled environments.
The fumes of chemical cleaners can be extremely harmful if inhaled. It should also be noted that in the United States, regulations on synthetic chemicals, including those used in cleaners, are INCREDIBLY lax. Basically, chemical manufacturers don’t have to prove a chemical is safe before releasing it on the market.
We’re already seeing a varierty of health problems associated with synathetic chemicals, including birth defects and cancer. The chemicals in chemical cleaners are often powerful stuff, so I’d recommend you avoid using them whenever possible.
Don’t worry though: there are green, completely non-toxic cleaners on the market and they’re very effective. I really like Better Life’s products. I personally have their glass cleaner and in my opinion it works better than Windex!
It depends how you define safe. It is important to remember that everyone lives downstream from something. They are not safe for the environment or humans when release down drains and end up in water ways. In addition, most cleaning products were designed for one size fits all worst case scenarios (so that they are efficient). For example, dish washer detergent is designed for hard water conditions and therefore contains a huge amount of chemicals than is necessary for soft water conditions. This means that when the detergent is used in soft water conditions these chemicals are not even necessary to clean the dishes and therefore result in an unnecessary amount chemicals being released into the environment.
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