In our daily quest to be environmentally conscious and kind, we will turn off our lights, shorten our showers, bike to work instead of drive, and recycle religiously. However, it may not occur to us that some of the most environmentally hazardous materials in our house, are hiding under our sink. Not the sponges or extra paper towels, but household cleaning supplies. Though they make the inside of a home feel sterile and tidy, many household cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that can contribute to pollution, and affect water quality. Since this discovery, even companies are looking towards making their services more eco in Calgary. Most of the harmful effects of cleaning supplies can be attributed to the chemical contents.
Phosphorous, nitrogen, and ammonia are what the Environmental Protection Agency calls Volatile Organic Compounds. These are some of the key compounds found in cleaning supplies, which means that a cleaning company that does not try actively to use environmentally friendly methods can be an enormous source of pollution. The Canadian Labour Environmental Alliance Association states that ammonia is a common carpet deodorizer and that some dishwashing detergents can contain between 30% and 40% phosphorous, making the need to be more eco in Calgary even more pressing.
Phosphorous and nitrogen are commons elements found in soil and various fertilizers, that can leak into waterways in carefully controlled amount. However, when these chemicals are in a closed, household environment, near freshwater, and not in regulated quantities, this can pose a threat to human health. This warning is especially prevalent in cities that are nearby a large number of freshwater sources, such as rivers and lake. Another reason to make even a task as mundane as cleaning eco in Calgary, due to it's proximity to Sikome Lake, Glenmore Reservoir, Chestermere Lake, and Pirmez Creek. So the next time you’re cleaning the house yourself, be sure to check the label on the cleaners you use; or, if you’re hiring a professional company, ask about how environmentally conscious they are in their cleaning methods.