Is your regular dishwashing liquid safe?
Cleaning dishes is a mandatory day-to-day task that can't be skipped. Dirty dishes piling up in the sink is the last thing anyone wants to see, as it's a time-consuming and tiring job for most of us. That's why dishwashing gels come into the picture to make the job easier and time-saving by removing stubborn stains and greases effortlessly.
The popular dishwashing liquids in the market promise to clean utensils clean and fragrant, but they can also add chemicals to your plate. One should be careful not to leave a tiny residue of dishwashing gels, even by mistake, as chemicals are present that are harmful when ingested. Although, it is difficult to follow the precaution while washing countless dishes regularly, especially when maids are doing this crucial task most of the times.
If you are intrigued to know the chemicals in regular dishwashing gels, look at the list below.
Sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES) is a surfactant used in detergents, cosmetics, shampoos, toothpaste, and dishwashing soaps for its emulsifying and cleansing properties. It works as an effective foaming agent.
Dishwashing gels containing SLES can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a by-product of SLES formation. SLES is an irritant that can cause skin, eye, and nasal irritation when exposed for longer.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified 1,4-Dioxane as a carcinogen capable of inducing cancer.
Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal compound used in food storage containers, cosmetics, dishwashers, handwashes, and kitchen utensils to stop microorganisms from growing on them. It is widely used as an effective antiseptic, preservative, and disinfectant in many consumer products.
Triclosan can disrupt your endocrine system and can be harmful to your gut. Long-term exposure to this ingredient can decrease certain thyroid hormonal activities.
The antibacterial properties of triclosan do more harm than good in the long run. The ingredient gets absorbed in the skin within a few hours, which can develop skin irritation and even the risk of certain cancers.
Mono-ethanolamine (MEA) and Di-ethanolamine (DEA) belong to the family of chemicals known as ethanolamine, which works as an emulsifier in cleaning and personal products. DEA and MEA are made through a chemical reaction of ammonia.
The ethanolamine work as a surfactant and remove grease, stains, and dirt from your dishes. The same ingredients are common in cleaning products, cosmetics, floor cleaners, detergents, and dishwashing gels.
MEA and DEA are water-soluble ammonia derivatives with pH levels ranging from 9 to 11 in water. Both substances cause high irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system. MEA is the worst irritant due to its corrosive effects.
Further studies have revealed that DEA can accumulate in the kidney and liver, producing organ toxicity, making them even more harmful when it comes to applications like dishwashing gels.
Phosphate is a chemical additive in several household products, such as soaps, detergents, fertilizers, and dishwashing gels. The ingredient effectively controls the water's hardness
Phosphate toxicity leads to impaired fertility, increased cell death, impaired bone mineralization, renal dysfunction, premature aging, kidney problems, cardiovascular diseases, hormonal disbalance, and cancer.
After extensive research, scientists have found that phosphate may give you cleaner dishes but are nearly impossible to remove from wastewater. As a result, the ingredient creates detrimental impacts on the environment. The drainage systems, streams, lakes, and aquatic life get contaminated as wastewater with phosphate contains lower oxygen content, threatening the water ecosystem.
Chlorine is one of the most common base ingredients found in commercial dishwashing liquids. It works as a bleaching agent and disinfectant. You may find it as sodium hypochlorite on the product label. It's used as an industrial solvent and in other industrial uses such as bleached paper products, plastics, dyes, paint, etc.
Scientific studies have found chlorine to be a pulmonary irritant. It is easily soluble in water and releases airborne toxicity.
Long-term Chlorine exposure can cause acute damage to the upper and lower respiratory tract. The other symptoms of chlorine toxicity include extreme irritation in the eyes, throat, and bronchial tree. It has also been linked to cardiovascular diseases and various forms of cancer.
Regular usage can accumulate toxins in the body through skin contact or inhalation. When carried in the air, chlorine rapidly reacts to form other substances damaging the respiratory system. Also, the chlorine wastewater is very harmful to the environment and aquatic life.
Does a safer alternative exist?
By now, you might be considering switching to alternative dishwashing liquids that do not pose serious health risks. Don't worry; safer options exist.
Choosing natural, chemical-free products for your home is the best way to protect your family and the environment. We recommend you look at our Happi Planet Dishwashing Liquid, which is non-toxic, gentle on your skin, and tough on hard stains and greases. This product is made from plant-based surfactants and natural enzymes that leave no toxic residue on your dishes. The products are highly bio-degradable, making them safe for your home and for the environment.
Moreover, Happi Planet products are packaged in fully recyclable paper cartons that use 90% lesser plastic than plastic bottles.
Check out our complete range of products for safer alternatives that provide Effective Cleaning, Powered by Nature.
- Why you should avoid chlorinated products - Pure and gentle soap
- Phosphate toxicity: new insights into an old problem - National Library of Medicine