eco-friendly products does not mean safe for you

Eco-friendly sounds great, right? If it is good for the environment, it should also be good for us (humans). Right?

Well, think again. Increasingly, there is atrend of green washing, in which manufacture markets and promotes that their products are eco-friendly, safe for the enviornment, biodegradable, etc, and they imply that these products are safe for you too. 

So, what's wrong with eco-friendly products?

There really isn't anything wrong per se, it's just what's in it and what's its used for that matters. Eco-friendly means biodegradable, or breaks down sufficiently quickly so it does not cause harm to the environment in the long run, and I mean LOOONG run. Eco-friendly products also pride themselves to be 100% plant derived, so it can break down naturally in the environment, however, just because it breaks down quickly does not necessarily mean it is safe for you.

Let's take a look at a range of chemicals that has been in the spotlight these couple of years.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) or Sodium Coco Sulphate ... many studies have shown that these seemingly safe plant-derived ingredient is in fact a skin irritant. Related articles about SLS/SLES and Sodium Coco Sulphate below.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate : Learn The Facts​
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate vs. Sodium Coco Sulfate​
Sodium Coco Sulfate – another synthetic detergent

Furthermore, some antibacterial cleaning products do include compounds like quaternary ammonium. Even though this is biodegradable, it’s a compound that’s linked to the risk of asthma for a lot of people. So yes, eco-friendly products can be dangerous for your health, especially if you are ignorant about what ingredients goes into the products.

What products are safe for you?

First, the extreme way of being safe, is to make your own cleaning products from basic ingredients such as lemon, vinegar and baking soda. This concoction is very effective in cleaning all sorts of dirt, oils and grime. The huge drawback of making it from scratch, is the time and effort that is required to make them on an on-going basis. The ingredients are natural and hence, will go bad over a couple of days.

Alternatively, you can look for natural cleaning products that do not have the harmful ingredients. Read the label, and check what they include and do not include. 

Products should have ...
No Sulphates
No Phalates
No Parabens
No Petrochemical ingredients
No Artificial fragrances

We have also prepared a list of ingredients that sounds "scary" and "dangerous" but are in fact safe to use. Read 10 safe ingredients with toxic sounding names

Soapnut berries are natural soap and have health benefits

You don't need plant-derived soap, when you use Soapnut berries. Soapnut berries are fruit of the sapindus tree and when you mix the dried fruits with water, it naturally generates soap and foam. It is as natural as it gets and has been used traditionally for cleaning for thousands of years by native people of China, India, Nepal. Find out more about this wonderful fruit, where soap grows on trees.

February 14, 2018 — Fionna Lee