No matter how much we hate cleaning the toilet, we have to clean it to eliminate germs and bacteria. However, when using toilet disinfectants, you need to be very careful, especially when used around children. There have been many cases of poisoning, many of them children, and the common culprit are the chemicals used in toilet disinfectants. Some of the chemicals used in toilet cleaners are also harmful to breathe. Thus, as a parent, you need to be responsible when you buy a toilet disinfectant. Below are the kinds of disinfectants you want to avoid because of the chemicals contained in them:
Disinfectants containing Ortho-Phenylphenol
This chemical is commonly found in hospital-grade disinfectants. Avoid toilet disinfectant that contains this chemical, especially around children, because this active ingredient is believed to cause cancer. This chemical is also one of the chemicals in the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinic’s or AOEC’s list of chemicals that cause new cases of asthma.
Disinfectants containing Chlorine Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite)
This chemical may not be in the AOEC’s list of chemicals that cause asthma, but chlorine gas is included in the list. When bleach is mixed with acids and other chemicals in cleaners, the compounds react and emit chlorine gas. A study on occupational asthma from four different state health departments, also revealed 43 cases of new onset asthma, and the use of bleach is believed to be one of the causes. Bleach is also corrosive. It can cause eye damage and skin burns.
Bleach is widely used in homes and in schools as a toilet disinfectant because it is inexpensive and readily available. However, in homes and schools where there are children, it is best to minimize the use of disinfectants that contain chlorine bleach.
Disinfectants containing Quaternary Ammonium Compounds or Quats
The US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) classifies Quats as severe skin and eye irritants. They have also been linked to hypersensitivity and asthma. Benzalkonium chloride, a commonly used quat, and quats in general are listed in AOEC’s list of asthmagens or respiratory sensitizers. There are disinfectants containing quats that have neutral pH. While they are better than quats with higher pH level, they still impose health risks and their use must still be minimized.
Disinfectants containing Pine Oil
There are many cleaning products and disinfectants, including toilet disinfectants that use pine oil. This chemical is commonly used as a scent. Pine oil-containing products do not kill viruses but those that do contain quats. Pine oil may not be considered as an asthmagen by the AOEC, this chemical may be irritating to the eyes, can cause skin rashes and allergic reactions. There have also been cases of poisoning involving pine oil-based products.
Choosing a toilet disinfectant should be simple right? But with the harmful chemicals contained in many of them, it is not always the case like hydrogen peroxide disinfectant recipe. If you want to disinfect your toilet but protect the people in your home at the same time, switch to asthma-safe disinfectants. Although all antimicrobial products have risks, there are those that are safer to the environment and health. Look for products registered in the US EPA.
Toilet is one of the few places which you should keep extremely clean and fully sanitizes. The way you keep your bathroom directly reflects your personal hygiene and intimacy. To avoid any skin and other diseases it is important to disinfect your bathroom and other places in the house to reduce the invasion of other unwanted organisms.