Pollutions & Toxics

Toxic Smart


Q

quaternary ammonium compound: Eye and skin irritant. Used in some all-purpose cleaners and laundry fabric softeners.

quaternary ammonium chloride: Cationic (positively charged) surfactants used as disinfectants and fabric softeners. Highly toxic in concentrated solutions, their toxicity decreases with dilution.

quaternary dicco: Slight fire hazard. Moderate to severe eye and skin irritant, in some cases it might cause skin burns and corneal damage to the eye. Used in some car interior and exterior cleaners and protectants.

quarternium 15: Eye and skin irritant. Allergen. Can release formaldehyde. Used in some hand and automatic dishwashing products.

R

resmethrin: Can cause sudden swelling of face, eyelids, lips, mouth and throat tissues, as well as hay fever-like symptoms. Neurotoxic. Used in some pet flea-control products

rotenone: Skin irritant. Carcinogenic. Neurotoxic. Tetrogenic. Used in some pet flea-control products

S

silica: Naturally occurring crystals of silicon compounds. Toxicology inert except when inhaled. Some types of silica produce silicosis, a scarring of the lungs similar to that produced by asbestos. Crystalline silica can also cause lung cancer (NTP,1991). Many forms of silica are used in consumer products, not all of which are equally dangerous. Often used as abrasives in scouring powders, polishes, etc.

silicon dioxide: Eye and skin irritant. Used in some auto products.

silicone emulsion: Slight fire risk. Used in some interior and exterior car cleaners and protectants.

sodium bicarbonate (baking soda): A slightly toxic, slightly alkaline salt used as a leavening agent in baked goods, but also in many cleaning products. Considered an excellent, environmentally safe abrasive cleaner.

sodium bisulfate: Corrosive and damaging to the eyes, skin, and internal tissues if ingested. Can cause asthma attacks. Used in some toilet bowl cleaners and deodorizers.

sodium carbonate (soda ash, washing soda): A moderately toxic and alkaline salt used in powdered laundry detergents and automatic dishwasher detergents to boost the performance of the surfactants. Primarily responsible for the alkalinity of these products. Does not biodegrade, but not thought to be particularly dangerous to the environment.

sodium dichloroiscyanurate dihydrate: Corrosive. Severe eye, skin, and respiratory irritant. Can form chlorine gas that can cause burning and watering of the eyes, as well as burning of the nose and mouth. Used in some toilet bowl cleaners and deodorizers.

sodium 2,4-dichlorphenoxyacetate (2,4-D): Irritant, Sensitizer. Carcinogenic. Neurotoxic. Terotogenic. Used as a herbicide in lawn care products.

sodium dithionate: Eye, skin, and respiratory irritant. Used in some spot removers.

sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate: Eye and skin irritant. Used in some laundry soil and stain removers.

sodium hydroxide (lye): A corrosive alkaline salt used in drain cleaners and oven cleaners and responsible for their hazardous properties. Not particularly harmful to the environment if diluted or neutralized with an acid. Lye is used in the manufacture of soap, but in that process the lye reacts chemically and loses its hazardous properties.

*corrisive. Eye, skin, and respiratory irritant. When highly concentrated as used in some drain openers and oven cleaners, it can burn eyes, skin, and internal organs. Can be fatal if swallowed. Used in a wide range of household cleaners.

sodium hypochlorite (bleach): The source of available chlorine in liquid chlorine bleach, which is a 5% solution of sodium hypochlorite in water. Also found in mildew removers, disinfecting cleaners, and toilet bowl cleaners. Its bleaching action arises from its ability to oxidize (chemically remove) stains. Household bleach is not systemically toxic or corrosive, but is a strong skin, eye, and respiratory irritant. Ingestion has proved serious or fatal in a few cases, but is not usually so. Sodium hypochlorite is chemically reactive, forming hazardous vapors if mixed with any products containing ammonia or with any acids. Although most of the hypochlorite breaks down into harmless compounds, a few percent of the material combines with chemicals in soil and wastewater to form chlorinated compounds such as chloroform and carbon tetrachloride that are toxic or persistent.

*Corrosive. Eye, skin, and respiratory irritant. Sensitizer. Can be fatal if swallowed. Especially hazardous to people with heart conditions or asthma. Used in a wide range of household cleaners.

sodium lauryl sulfate: A common surfactant in household cleaners and personal care products. It is readily biodegradable but, like other surfactants, is a skin and eye irritant and is toxic to fish.

sodium metasilicate: A highly alkaline salt used in some powdered laundry and dishwashing detergents to boost cleaning power. Moderately toxic and a skin/eye irritant, it is considered an environmental problem.

*Corrosive. Severe Eye, skin and respiratory irritant. Inhalation of dust can cause throat and lung damage. Used in some driveway and garage floor cleaners.

sodium ortho-phenylphenol: Eye and skin. Carcinogenic. Used in some bathroom cleaners.

sodium silicate: Can be corrosive .Can cause burns to the eyes and tissue damage to the skin, as well as cause burns to the mouth, throat, and stomach if swallowed. Used in some automatic dishwashing detergents and car interior and exterior cleaners and protectants.

sodium sulfate: Corrosive. Severe eye, skin and respiratory irritant. Can cause asthma attacks. Used in some toilet bowl cleaners and deodorizers.

solvent: A solvent is any material which is used to dissolve another. Although water is most common solvent, generally when the term solvent is used to describe an ingredient, it refers to so-called "organic solvents" such as petroleum distillates, alcohols or chlorinated hydrocarbons. Organic solvents are usually quite hazardous.

*solvents (uncharacterized): Eye, skin and respiratory irritant. Neurotoxic. Used in some paint removers and strippers.

solvent orange 3 dye/solvent red 49 dye: Carcinogenic. Used in some shoe polishes

starch: Allergenic. Used in some laundry starches

stoddard solvent: Slight fire hazard. Eye and mucous and membrane irritant. Neurotoxic. Used in some auto, floor wax, and shoe products

sulfur: Poses minimal risk for eye, skin, and respiratory irritation, as well as nausea and allergic sensitization. Frequently used in least-toxic pesticides, especially for organic gardening, sulfur products are some of the safest chemicals available for use ¾ for both people and the environment

surfactant (note: not "surfacant): The primary ingredient in most cleaners. Surfactants improve the penetrating power of water, create suds, and dissolve grease. The name is a conjunction of the terms surface active ingredient, which describe its function. Most surfactants are skin and eye irritants, and most are quite toxic to aquatic animals, hence the importance of their biodegradability. Surfactants are classified as anionic, nonionic, or cationic on the basis of their electrical charge.

*surfactants (uncharacterized): Eye irritant. Used in a wide range of household cleaning products.

T

talc: Carcinogenic when inhaled. Used in some home and garden pesticides.

teratoxins: agents that may cause birth defects. (eg: alcohol)

tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene): Eye, skin, and respiratory irritant. Carcinogenic. Neurotoxic. Used in some spot removers

tetrachlorvinphos: Eye and skin irritant. Carcinogenic. Used in some pet flea-control products.

tetrahydrofuran: Irritant to eyes and mucous membranes. Neurotoxic. Can cause injury to liver and kidneys. Used in some adhesive products.

tetramethrin: Eye and skin irritant. Can cause sudden swelling of face, eyelids, lips, mouth, and throat tissues, as well as hay fever-like symptoms. Neurotoxic. Used in some pet flea-control products.

tetrasodium EDTA: Eye irritant.Used in some bathroom cleaners.

titanium dioxide: Limited evidence of carcinogencity Hazardous, not as a liquid, but as a dust (as when paint containing titanium dioxide is being sanded or scraped). Used in some paints and shoe polishes

toluene (note: not "tolulene"): An aromatic ring solvent, similar in structure to benzene, though not a carcinogen. Stronger central nervous system depressant than benzene. Commonly used in adhesives, paint removers, paints, marker pens. Highly flammable.

*Eye and skin irritant. Can cause cardiac sensitization. Neurotoxic. Reproductive effects. Used in some spot removers and art products.

trichloroethane (TCA): Usually refers to 1,1,1-trichloroethane, sometimes called methyl chloroform. Once a common ingredient in aerosol sprays, adhesives, spot removers, electrical parts cleaners, and automotive products, TCA has been phased out under the Montreal Accord, an international agreement on protecting the ozone layer. Acute toxicity is only moderate, but chronic exposure can cause birth defects. A serious and frequent groundwater pollutant and an ozone depleting chemical.

Moderate skin and severe eye irritant Can cause cardiac sensitization. Neurotoxic. Reproductive effects. Used in some spot removers and art products.

tri (dimethylaminomethyl) phenol: Eye and skin irritant. May cause skin sensitization. Used in some adhesives.

triethanolamine (TEA): Eye and skin irritant. Can react with nitrates (added as undisclosed preservatives to some products or their raw materials or present as contamimants) to form carcinogenic nitrosamines. Nitrosamines have been shown to readily penetrate the skin. Used in some liquid all-purpose cleaning cleaning products,metal polishes, spot removers, and other household cleaning products.

tripropylene glycol monomethyl ether: Prolonged and repeated skin exposure to large doses can result narcosis and kidney injury. Used in some floor cleaners and waxes, and polishes.

trisodium nitrilotriacetate: Carcinogenic. Used in some bathroom cleaning products.

turpentine: A solvent distilled from the gum of pine trees and used as a paint thinner. Highly volatile, flammable, and quite toxic by all routes of exposure. Accidental ingestion can cause aspiration into the lungs and subsequent chemical pneumonia. Products with more than 10 % turpentine require special labeling by CPSC

*Flammable. Eye irritant. Can cause allergenic sensitization. Neurotoxic. Can cause serious irritation of the kidneys. Used in some furniture polishes, auto, art, and shoe products.

U

urea: Skin irritant. Allergen. Used in some laundry soil and stain removers.

V

vinegar & lemon juice: Are acid and they neutralize alkaline ,or caustic ,substances.

vm&p naphtha: Eye and skin irritant. Neurotoxic. Used in some furniture polishes.

W

washing soda: A chemical neighbor of baking soda, washing soda (sodium carbonate) is much more strongly alkaline, with a ph around 11, and is a heavy duty cleaner. It is mined much like baking soda, but processed differently. Because is quite Caustic, it cannot be called non-toxic, and you should wear rubber gloves when using it. It releases no harmful fumes and is far safer than a commercial solvent formula. Washing soda cuts grease, cleans petroleum oils and dirt, removes wax or lipstick, and softens water. Can cause eye burns with potential injury on prolonged contact. Used in some laundry detergents.

white mineral oil: Eye and skin irritant. Neurotoxic. Used in some furniture polishes.

X

xylene: A solvent closely related to toluene, but more toxic. Used in paints, glues, marker pens, degreasers, pesticides, and many other products. Highly flammable.

*Severe eye and moderate skin irritant. Significant neurotoxic effects. Reproductive effects. Used in some spot removers, car cleaners, paints, and other consumer products.

Y

no listings

Z

zinc naphthenate: Similar to copper naphthenate, a wood preservative. Relatively low toxicity, but zinc may have adverse effects on aquatic life. Usually formulated with petroleum distillates, which are probably responsible for major toxicity of products to humans.

Bibliography

Safe Shoppers Bible -

Master Home Environmentalist - training manual

Clean and Green - Annie Berthold-bond

Home Safe Home - Debra Lynn Dadd

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