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The Health Dangers of Phenols Found in
Common Household Cleaners

Did you know that the cleaners you use to disinfect your home, seemingly to keep yourself and your family safe from germs and bacteria, could be harboring a danger of their own? Many common disinfectants out there contain phenols-caustic, poisonous and dangerous compounds that are used to cover smells. And they're used in everything from all-purpose cleaning sprays to toilet bowl cleaners.

According to the National Institutes of Health, phenol is toxic and people who are hypersensitive to it could experience death or serious side effects at very low exposures. Plus, it is rapidly absorbed and can cause toxicity throughout the entire body. Typically, death and severe toxicity result from phenol's effects on the central nervous system, heart, blood vessels, lungs and kidneys.

Many common household disinfectants co-ntain phenols-caustic and dangerous compounds that could be harming your family's health.

Other symptoms of exposure include:

  • Shock
  • Delirium
  • Coma
  • Pulmonary distress
  • Phenolic breath
  • Scanty/dark urine
  • Severe burns and numbness if exposed to the skin
  • Death

Further studies have shown that these compounds can cause:

  • Damage to respiratory and circulatory systems
  • Cardiac damage
  • Major damage to the liver, kidneys and eyes after chronic exposure
  • Respiratory problems and pneumonia in rats, mice, and guinea pigs
  • Nonyl phenol ethoxylate, a common ingredient in laundry detergents and all-purpose cleaners, is banned in Europe, and biodegrades slowly into even more toxic compounds

Even the Environmental Protection Agency lists disinfectants that contain phenols as "corrosive and toxic." So why take your chances with phenol-containing products when safer alternatives, like PerfectClean terry cloths that clean down to a microscopic level without the use of harmful disinfectants, are available? Some commonly used household products that contain phenols include:

    Get an All-Purpose PerfectClean Terry Cloth 5-pack for just $19.25-No Harsh Cleaners Required!

    Hospitals, schools & other commercial organizations that require ultra-clean environments use PerfectClean ultramicrofiber terry cloths over 100 TIMES before replacing them, which means they'll last much longer while cleaning far more effectively than any other type of wipe for you!
    They can be used dry or dampened with ONLY WATER for:

    • Appliances, countertops and other fixtures throughout the kitchen and bathroom
    • Wood, metal and other furniture in bedrooms, the living room, family room, dining room and every other room in your home
    • In your home and work office
    • In automobiles, on motorcycles, and all types of vehicles
    • Children's toys, door knobs, telephones, and much more!
    • P.S. You will also be impressed with how well they spot clean carpets using only water!

  • Household detergents
    • Lysol
    • Pine-Sol
    • Spic-n-Span
  • Acne medications
  • Baking Powder
  • Mouthwash
  • Sugar substitutes

And phenols are not the only dangerous ingredients in common disinfectants. Other volatile chemicals in common products include cresol, ethanol, ammonia and chlorine. Here are some other not-so-settling facts

  • Diethylene glycol found in window cleaners depresses the nervous system.

  • Formaldehyde found in spray and wick deodorizers is a respiratory irritant and suspected carcinogen.

  • Petroleum solvents in floor cleaners damage mucous membranes.

  • Perchloroethylene, a spot remover, causes liver and kidney damage.

  • Butyl cellosolve, common in all-purpose, window and other types of cleaners damages bone marrow, the nervous system, kidneys and the liver.

So when it comes to keeping your home clean, a good rule of thumb to remember is: If something SMELLS clean, then it is most likely toxic. Most people are fooled by the "smells clean" factor in chemical cleaners; however, the truth is that what is ACTUALLY CLEAN is ODORLESS.

You can use PerfectClean towels, wipers and mops dry or dampened with water because their deep cleaning power is in the revolutionary ultramicrofiber. This is why leading hospitals, school and more choose PerfectClean hands-down over other cleaning products. Not only are they superior in their cleaning ability, but PerfectClean towels and wipers are used over 100 times each before having to be replaced-which means they're incredibly economical too.

Phenols and Pets

Cedar and pine shavings commonly used for animal bedding often also contain phenols to control odors and give off that "clean" pine smell. Pets, like humans, are negatively affected by the phenols, and can suffer from many of the same problems as humans including respiratory, liver and kidney problems.

So choose a safe form of bedding for your pet-for small animals, shredded newspaper works well and it's free! Paper-based pellets and alfalfa pellets also work well-and safe cleaning methods for your home. There's no reason to risk your health with chemical cleansers anymore: PerfectClean products will give your house a superior clean environment without leaving any chemical residues, odors or harmful health effects for you and your family.

Hazardous Waste: Common Cleaning Products

Seventh Generation

Household Products Database

Respiratory Toxicity

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