Every April we celebrate Earth Month. At Hughes Enterprises, we pride ourselves on the wide variety of environmentally friendly products that we are able to offer our customers. As part of our efforts to help preserve this beautiful earth, we’d like to help you green your cleaning to keep your work environment as healthy as possible!
e-clean products are the state of the art in “green” cleaning with all products certified under the EPA’s Design for the Environment Program (DfE). EPA’s Design for the Environment program helps consumers, businesses, and institutional buyers identify cleaning and other products that perform well and are safer for human health and the environment. e-clean products are powerful solutions that are carefully formulated to give superior performance while maintaining balance with nature. Hughes carries more than 70 products that are proven to work, priced competitively, and most importantly, safe for people and the environment!
Unfortunately though, many manufacturers get away with using nearly any substance they want in their cleaning products, even those known to pose health or environmental hazards. And they hide information about nearly all those ingredients from the eyes of consumers. This all results in an unregulated industry with hundreds of potentially harmful cleaning products on shelves. It’s hard to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals altogether, but it is possible to reduce contact significantly. Below are your “worst offenders” commonly found in cleaning products:
1. Phthalates – Often found in fragranced products, phthalates are known endocrine disruptors.
2. Perchloroethylene (“Perc”) – Often found in spot removers and carpet cleaners, perc is a neurotoxin classified by the EPA as a “possible carcinogen”.
3. Triclosan – Often found in “antibacterial” soaps, triclosan is an aggressive antibacterial agent that could promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria.
4. Quarternary Ammonium Compounds (“Quats”) – Often found in cleaners labeled “antibacterial”, quats pose the same problem as triclosan and are also a skin irritant.
5. 2-Butoxyethanol – Belonging in the category of “glycol ethers” and often found in window and multipurpose cleaners, according to the EPA, in addition to causing sore throats when inhaled, at high levels glycol ethers can also contribute to narcosis, pulmonary edema, and severe liver and kidney damage.
6. Ammonia – Found in polishing agents and glass cleaners, ammonia’s sparkle has a price: a powerful irritant often affecting people who have asthma. Mixed with bleach and it becomes a poisonous gas.
7. Chlorine – Often found in toilet bowl cleaners and mildew removers, chlorine can be a respiratory irritant at an acute level as well as a thyroid disrupter.
8. Sodium Hydroxide – Found in oven cleaners and drain openers, sodium hydroxide (also known as lye) is extremely corrosive. If it touches the skin or eyes, it can cause severe burns.
Cleaning products, unlike foods, beverages and personal care products, are not required by federal law to list their ingredients. According to the Environmental Working Group, cleaning products vividly illustrate the shortcomings of existing chemical safety laws. The federal Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, which regulates industrial chemicals, does not adequately protect the public from toxic chemicals in consumer products. It forced regulators to focus almost exclusively on newly created chemicals, all but ignoring more than 60,000 substances that are already in widespread use. As a result, cleaning supplies often contain ingredients (such as those listed above) that haven’t been adequately evaluated for safety.
When you see the DfE logo on our e-clean products it means that the DfE scientific review team has screened each ingredient for potential human health and environmental effects and that the product contains only those ingredients that pose the least concern among chemicals in their class. All of our e-clean products are certified under EPA DfE. Order, buy eco-friendly cleaning supplies from Hughes. For help with ordering supplies contact a Hughes Sales Representative for assistance.