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Bathroom cleaners PDF Print E-mail

Surface (abrasive) cleaners
Abrasive liquids, pastes and powders contain a mixture of abrasives, detergents, bleach and acidic or alkaline compounds.

Health effects
The acidic/alkaline concentration is quite low but may cause skin irritations.

Environmental effects
The detergents in these cleaners generally contain phosphates thus contributing to water eutrophication problems in some areas.

All-purpose cleaners
These products are promoted for use on a wide range of surfaces, including walls, windows, floors, cupboards and benches. There are also specific cleaners for glass. Ingredients usually include detergents, ammonia or solvents and sometimes a mild abrasive.

Health effects
Inhalation of these substances may cause respiratory problems. Strongly acidic chemicals and chlorine bleaches react together to produce toxic chlorine gas fumes, so products containing these compounds should not be used or stored together.

Environmental effects
Phosphates and other chemicals are added to the water system and add to the environmental load. See above.

Alternatives
Use a mixture of water and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and a scrubbing brush, or vinegar. There are quite a few eco-cleaning products available on the market. Check the ingredients on the label or call the manufacturer and ask for a material safety data sheet. Individual components can then be checked on the Internet.

 
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