The Environmental Damage Caused by Cleaning Products

The Environmental Damage Caused by Cleaning Products

Throughout Australia, there are many polluted waterways. This type of water pollution causes plenty of havoc on the ecosystem, and comes from a range of different sources. One of the biggest offenders is cleaning products, both those used at home and in commercial and industrial settings.

At Sydney Sweep and Scrub, we’re well aware of the impact of poor cleaning practices. This includes the use of harsh chemicals which cause damage to the environment around them, people included. The fact is that there is no need to use these chemicals any longer, as more effective and more sustainable options are now available.

Traditional industrial and commercial cleaning aides contained a wide array of chemicals that were dubiously approved. In many cases, the knowledge just wasn’t there, in terms of understanding how these chemicals would impact the environment. These days though we fully understand, and it is not pretty.

Air pollution

Many cleaning agents cause air pollution, particularly thouse that contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These include phosphorus, nitrogen and ammonia, and all three are common ingredients in many cleaning products. When these chemicals are sprayed into the air, inside or outside, they are released into the atmosphere.

Once airborne, these VOCs will cause all kinds of irritation for your respiratory system. They can also attack plant life, and cause issues for wildlife. The aerosol cleaning aides and even liquid cleaning agents will also release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, contributing to the global warming crisis. 

Many cleaning chemicals used in the home and the workplace do contain VOCs, which will cause air pollution (among other problems). Do ensure you check your cleaning chemicals before purchasing to prevent environmental damage.

Water pollution

Heavy-duty cleaning projects, such as warehouses and factories, often cause water pollution. This is because traditionally, the chemicals used to clean industrial structures and complexes were incredibly harsh. These days, many cleaning companies still do use harmful cleaning chemicals. What’s more, these chemicals are simply dumped into waterways.

Many of these cleaning agents contain VOCs, and even worse chemical compounds. When they are washed down the drain, they find their way to rivers and the ocean. There, these chemicals kill plant and animal life wholesale. This eventuality must be avoided at all costs, as there are already far too many challenges when trying to protect our waterways. 

Health risks for humans

Pollution from cleaning chemicals also presents significant health risks for humans. As we mentioned earlier, VOCs can cause breathing difficulties and exacerbate existing respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis. This is only when they become airborne… but water pollution is a whole other story.

When cleaning chemicals enter our waterways, they contaminate our rivers, streams and the ocean. Then, when humans swim in said waterways, or eat fish and other animals sourced from these waterways, they may be ingesting chemicals. In the long term, these chemicals can cause all sorts of health problems, including cancer. In the short term, they may make you ill.

Humans are placed at serious risk by the pollution caused by cleaning products. Whether it’s at home or at work, always ensure that you take every safety precaution possible.

Impact on wildlife

The impact that cleaning products have on wildlife is just as serious. These harmful chemicals regularly kill fish and amphibians, simply because cleaning products entered the waterways unchecked. Animals and plants are dying at an alarming rate because of pollution, much of which is caused by the harmful chemicals found in cleaning products. We must all do our part to ensure this doesn’t happen.

This is why we use biodegradable degreasers

At Sydney Sweep and Scrub, we don’t use any cleaning chemicals. That’s why we boast truly sustainable warehouse cleaning and sustainable carpark cleaning in Sydney. We only use electrolysed water in our cleaning applications, and this allows us to achieve a green, yet phenomenally thorough clean.

For any tough stains or particular pollutants we use biodegradable degreasers and detergents. These are environmentally friendly compounds that break down quickly, and do not cause any problems for humans or wildlife. That said, we make every effort to ensure that these cleaning aids still do not enter the waterways.
Looking for sustainable warehouse or carpark cleaning in Sydney? Get in touch with us today. We’d love to hear from you!

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