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Safer Homes & Businesses

The dangers of Ammonia based Cleaning Products

David Suzuki Article:

The dirt on toxic chemical in household cleaning products


..."Vapours may irritate the skin, eyes, throat, and lungs. People with asthma may be particularly sensitive to the effects of breathing ammonia. Ammonia may also cause kidney and liver damage. While ammonia also occurs naturally, the use of cleaning products containing this substance can result in higher levels of exposure to vapours than from natural sources. If ammonia is mixed with products containing chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite), highly poisonous chloramine gas is formed. 

Found in: window cleaners, drain cleaners, toilet cleaners, bathroom cleaners, oven cleaners, stainless-steel cleaners, car polish, and all-purpose cleaners."

Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (Quats)

..."Irritants and sensitizers that can induce an allergic response following contact with the skin. Quats are also known to cause occupational asthma in cleaning workers and preliminary evidence indicates they may cause adverse genetic and reproductive effects. Chemicals in this class are persistent in the environment and toxic to aquatic organisms. Like triclosan, quats are anti-microbial agents and there is concern that their widespread use in household disinfectants and cosmetics is contributing to antibiotic resistant bacteria, thus limiting treatment options for microbial infections. The Canadian Medical Association has called for a ban on antibacterial consumer products. "