Health Risks for Cleaners and Janitors

January 09, 2019 Leave a Comment

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Some Cleaning Products Pose Health Risks for Janitors that Are Often Overlooked
From your home to the workplace, schools to hospitals, doctor's offices to shopping malls, cleaning is a regular part of day to day operations. House cleaning and commercial janitorial services are a big business. Almost every business facility hires a dedicated janitor or a commercial janitorial company to come in and do the cleaning. This is good in the sense that the business of house cleaning and janitorial services creates jobs, but the downside is that there can be health risks for cleaners and janitors that are often overlooked.

Common Products Used in Cleaning

Have you ever taken a look inside a janitor's closet or paid attention to that area under your sink where the cleaning products for your home are typically stored? If you have, you've seen what appears to be an arsenal of products, each with a specific purpose. There are cleaners for glass, wood, tile, degreasers, dish cleaners, and any number of other products used regularly to keep your property clean and smelling good.

Many of these products contain a high volatile organic compound (VOC) rating and pose health risks for cleaners and janitors. Some of the chemical compounds in these products are naturally occurring and some are made by human beings. Some are more harmful than others. In any case, when VOC ratings get high, there can be a presence of danger that is often overlooked.

Some types of cleaners and household products that contain VOCs and other toxic substances:
  • Aerosol spray products
  • Air fresheners
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Detergent and dishwashing liquid
  • Powders and other dry-cleaning products
Unfortunately, most commercial cleaning products contain harsh and harmful chemicals that can be dangerous either "through regular use" or "through improper use." These chemical cleaners pose a threat, whether by nature or through human error.

Chlorine Bleach Is Irritating to The Lungs and Eyes Even When Used Properly

Medical Facilities and Educational Institutions

Health risks for cleaners are particularly high in medical facilities and educational institutions. This is because these facilities are large and require a big janitorial and cleaning staff. These facilities also typically keep a large amount of potent commercial cleaners in storage. These chemical cleaners not only pose a threat through their use, but by storing them in large quantities as well.

Why do these facilities use products that can potentially present health risks for cleaners? The reasoning behind harmful chemical cleaning products is that the chemicals themselves are a part of the process of cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. While this isn't true, the public mindset suggests these types of cleaners are necessary, therefore, they are the go-to products for facilities that require pristine surroundings at all times. Some companies have begun to label their products "green" in an effort to cash in on the movement toward protecting the environment, but EPA regulations are not as stringent as you'd expect, which allows for the use of the word "green" or the phrase "environmentally friendly" without too many restrictions. For this reason, even products consumers are led to believe are safe are, in fact, potentially harmful. When you want products that don't pose health risks for cleaners, it's important to know what ingredients are actually in the cleaners you're using.

Some of the Potentially Harmful Chemicals in Cleaning Products:

Disinfectants: Can be a variety of active ingredients that include chlorine bleach, alcohol, quaternary compounds. These are regulated by the EPA as pesticides and can produce numerous health issues. They are also harmful to water sources because they can kill off helpful bacteria. These can be found in numerous household and commercial cleaning products.
Formaldehyde: Used as a preservative in many products. Can cause irritation to eyes, throat, skin, and lungs.
Fragrances: Fragrances are found in most cleaning products, they can cause watery eyes and respiratory tract irritation.
Hydrochloric Acid or Sodium Acid Sulfate: These chemicals can cause severe skin burns, eye irritation, and respiratory tract problems. Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and severe burning of the stomach if ingested.

Ammonia: This can be deadly if swallowed, but it also causes irritation of the respiratory passages when it's inhaled. It can, in some instances, cause burning of the skin on contact. This chemical is found in floor cleaners, bathroom cleaning products, tile cleaners, and glass cleaners.
Butyl Cellosolve: This is a chemical product that goes by many names, including butyl glycol, ethylene glycol, and monobutyl. It is deadly if swallowed and causes lung tissue irritation when inhaled. Over time, it can damage bone marrow, the nervous system, kidneys, and the liver. This is a common ingredient in many commercial glass cleaners, all-purpose cleaners, degreasers, oven cleaners, and many other cleaning products.
Chlorine Bleach: (sodium hypochlorite). Found in numerous cleaning products, chlorine bleach is irritating to the lungs and eyes even when used properly. It can also cause skin irritation.

How Real Are the Health Risks for Cleaners, Janitors, and Consumers?

Many companies that make harmful chemical-based cleaning products downplay the health risks for cleaners, janitors, and others who use their products. They claim these chemicals are not harmful in small quantities. The thing is, any chemical misused can be problematic, and long-term use and exposure to these products, especially at a commercial level, can be very harmful. Cleaners and janitors work with these products every day, so the health risks for cleaners can be great. Whether by constant inhalation in close quarters, accidental contact to skin and eyes, or even by accidental ingestion of a product, house cleaners and janitors are subject to the dangers posed by these harmful chemical cleaners.

Geneon Offers Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting Products that Are Eco-Friendly and Completely Safe for Consumers
At GenEon, we understand the need for effective cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting, especially in medical, educational, and public settings where cleanliness is essential to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. That's why GenEon cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting products truly are safer. We don't use loopholes to claim our products are "green" or that our products are safe for consumers and the environment. We make these claims because our proprietary cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting products are safer. Our products won't pose health risks for cleaners and janitors, for students in schools, for consumers in residential or commercial settings, or in the workplace. GenEon on-site generated solutions significantly reduce the risk to the environment, regardless of how they are disposed of after use.

Our safer cleaners are created on-site by consumers with on-site generation technology. This means janitorial companies, schools, medical facilities, businesses, and even homeowners can make only the cleaning products they need when they need it. This eliminates waste and the need to keep large quantities of chemical-based cleaning products on the premises. GenEon cleaners, sanitizers, and disinfecting products begin with our proprietary Mineral Electrolyte, which allows you to harness the power of natural minerals to make the cleaning, sanitizing, de-greasing, and disinfecting solutions you need in a safe, cost-effective manner. GenEon Electrolytes are food-based additives that have been classified by the U.S. FDA as GRAS. Our products contain no hidden ingredients because our number one priority is to bring you cleaning products that are truly safe.

In addition to our cleaners, we bring you the most advanced and effective cleaning technology anywhere. The Trio H2Ome and Trio Maxx systems are compact electro-chemical activation systems used with our cleaning catalysts to make GenEon's powerful cleaning and sanitizing products. We also offer advanced delivery systems for our cleaning and sanitizing solutions, ensuring the proper distribution and application of our products. The Mist / bMist delivery systems are ideal for large, open spaces, schools, medical environments, and other public areas. The powerful misting delivery system ensures safe, even distribution of our proprietary sanitizers and cleaners, even in hard-to-reach places. Our advanced delivery systems and safe, non-toxic sanitizing and cleaning products save you money, keep you healthy, and pose no threat to the environment.

To learn more about how to remove health risks for cleaners with our truly safe cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting products, call us at 866.217.0205.

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