Alternatives for Chemical Products - Essay Example

Introduction

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Over the years chemicals have been disposed into the environment knowingly and unknowingly. As a result, these chemicals contaminate the air we breathe, the food and the water we use. It has become impossible not to associate with them either through ingestion, inhalation or even skin contact. Once ingested or inhaled into the body systems, the chemicals often alter various body systems and can influence the normal cell development or the entire body. The effect ranges from vision damage, liver or kidney damage which can only be revealed once medical tests are conducted. On the other hand, in case the rate of exposure is above the rate at which the body systems can eliminate, they will be accumulated in the body for a longer period. Scientifically, every living organism is a consumer and when the organism reaches the end of their lives, it is recycled for other organisms to benefit. The only problem that exists is that human beings, part of the living organism create and use products with chemical content which has made the recycling difficult. In a way to raise awareness, therefore, there is a need to champion the use of alternative chemical products. Of importance here is to undertake a comprehensive research on the alternative chemical products that will ensure continuity of other organisms once others die. 

Windex

Windex is a chemical used as a hard surface cleaner and is highly flammable and about 100 percent solvent. The chemical components of the cleaner include isopropyl alcohol, ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, calcium, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, ammonia, and sodium lauryl sulfate among other chemical components. The majority have assumed that the use of a chemical such as Windex is safe but scientific research has raised concern that some of these chemicals might be hazardous. These individual elements found in Windex have significant effect to the user since some contain volatile organic compounds. When sprayed, small particles of the compounds are inhaled leading to symptoms such as throat and eye irritation,  headache, dry hands, or even nausea. These healthy complications can further result in asthmatic attacks, allergies and chronic effects such as cancer to the unborn.  

In an aim to conserve the environment and ensure safety measures to the user, alternative chemical products that can be used to function as Windex with lesser effects are Vinegar and water. These are natural products and do not contain any chemical substance that can cause harm to the environment. Vinegar has about 5-15 percent of acetic acid and water with the primary purpose of cooking but can be used in general household cleaning such as hard surface cleaning. It is produced either through fast or slow fermentation whereby the longer fermentation allows the accumulation of non-poisonous slime composed of acetic acid bacteria. The end product has no health hazard to the user and can be used as an alternative with Windex.

Alternatively, water can be used in case of Windex and has been found as the best option for general household cleaning even the hard surfaces. It has not chemical component and therefore does not cause any environmental effect. Its molecules have one oxygen element and two hydrogen atoms connected by a covalent bond and prevail an average ambient temperature and pressure hence the best alternative for Windex a hard surface cleaner. 

Easy Off oven cleaner

Easy Off oven cleaner is used to clean oven with the content of Ethanolamine, Butoxydiglycol, Fragrance, Potassium Carbonate, Magnesium aluminum silicate, Propane, and Isobutene. These compounds burn and give a horrible smell that causes skin irritation, allergies, respiratory and nervous system effects. Other health concerns include chronic aquatic toxicity, cancer, and digestive system effects. Once these chemical products used in the production of easy off oven cleaner are inhaled, they travel into the blood stream to the nerves, brain, and muscles causing some of these health problems. In infants whose brain and nervous system are in the early stages of development, the chemicals will lead to behavior issues and learning disabilities. The product is highly caustic and requires proper protection and ventilation to avoid frequent visits to a doctor.

Baking Soda and salt can be the best alternative for using in the cleaning of the oven as compared to “Easy Off Oven Cleaner.” These products do not have any chemical effect on the environment and the well-being of the person using the product. Both baking soda and salt have anticaries plus some abrasive properties which work as a mechanical cleanser on the oven thereby neutralizing the production of an acidic substance from the food baked or prepared in it. In other words, these alternative products act as antiseptic to help cleanse the oven while at the same time preventing any environmental or health hazard that could otherwise be brought by  “Easy Off oven cleaner.”

Lysol Disinfectant

Lysol disinfectant is a chemical used for the cleaning of soft and hard surfaces, hand washing, and air freshening. The main chemical components of the product include benzalkonium chloride and hydrogen peroxide. Benzalkonium chloride contains toxic and irritating properties which are harmful to the environment and the well-being of users. This has led to various pharmaceutical organizations doing continuous research to replace the disinfectant with a less harmful one. Hydrogen peroxide on the other side is an explosive chemical and also causes various effects to the user.

Alternative products that can be used in place of Lysol disinfectant is borax and hot water which do not raise any environmental or health concern. Borax is an essential boron compound consisting of soft colorless particles that dissolve quickly in water, and no do cause any environmental effect. The mixture can work as a best alternative product for Lysol disinfectant with no corrosive or irritating properties.

Drano

This is a chemical substance that is used to loosen clogs in sinks and bathrooms. The chemical component of this product includes sodium hydroxide, sodium chloride, sodium nitrate and aluminum which have a more effect on the environment and the well-being of the user. These chemical products are corrosive and corrode water pipes which are drained back into the rivers for human use. This can cause burns when drank and even death cases.

An alternative to this product is a mixture of baking soda and Vinegar with or Hot water. Baking soda does not have any chemical effect on the environment and has anticaries plus some abrasive properties which work as a mechanical cleanser. Vinegar, on the other hand, contains some acetic components which can help clean the hard surfaces and unclog sewage systems without raising any environmental concern. The mixture of these elements can work effectively towards ensuring the sewages are unclogged and no environmental pollution done.

Kaboom Tub & Tile

This is one of the most powerful cleaners that is made to tackle the toughest bathroom stains with a high content of corrosive chemicals. The content may result to biodegradation, allergies to the users and even nervous system issues. An alternative for this product can be castile soap and baking soda with oils. Castile soap, in this case, is a product of olive oil and sodium hydroxide and has lesser effects as compared to the product. This mixture can be used to cleanse these tough bathroom stains without causing any environmental concern or health hazard to the user. Furthermore, it is more economical as compared to Kaboom Tub & Tile.

Pledge

Pledge is also a cleansing chemical that contains Octylphosphonic acid which is corrosive and can have the effect on the user and the environment at large. An alternative for this product can be mineral oil with oil or lemon juice. The mineral oil is a combination of hydrocarbons and has lesser environmental effects as compared to  Pledge cleaner. The mixture of these components forms a natural solution which does not cause corrosion and at the same time is economical.

Clorox Bleach for killing mold

This chemical is used to eliminate molds but has corrosive elements with sodium hypochlorite as the active element. When in contact with the metallic object, the metal reacts with the bleach hence decreasing its efficacy and corrodes the metal. An alternative product that can be used without causing environmental issue is grapefruit seed extract which is natural and economical.

Glade Air Freshener

The freshener uses chemicals to provide fragrance to the homes and is available in a variety of options from candles, sprays and scented oil. The chemical components of these products are volatile and are hazardous to both the environment and the human health. The best alternative for the product can be orange peel, cloves or water which work in a natural way and are not hazardous both to the environment and the human health.

Goo Gone Kitchen Degreaser

This is a powerful chemical substance that breaks down tough gunk and grime and leaves surface without any spot. The chemical components can cause environmental and human health hazards hence the need to take precaution measures to realize the safety of the surrounding and the user. Alternative for this chemical product is cornstarch which is extracted from the endosperm of the corn and has no environmental effect yet can function as Goo Gone Kitchen Degreaser.

Bar Keepers Friend

This is also a chemical solution used as a household cleaner with significant environmental and human hazards. It is corrosive and therefore requires proper handling and usage. An alternative product is a mixture of coarse salt and lemon which has lesser environmental and health effects to the users.