Applying the precautionary principle to consumer household cleaning product
Precautionary principle, which can be summarized as when an activity raises the threat of harm to human and the environment, preventive actions should be taken even if some cause and effect relationship are not fully established scientifically, is the common principle used to guide in managing scientific uncertainty in ingredient safety assessment (Cara , 2011). The available registered disinfectants in the consumer market are quaternary ammonium, sodium hypochlorite and Triclosan. However, there is a possibility of existence of the relation between these disinfectants and human health and environmental issues.
Triclosan is a spectrum anti-microbial found in anti-bacterial products. It prevents fatty acid synthesis in the cell membrane by inhibiting the activity of the NADH-dependent enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase. A cause-effect relationship between TCS and endocrine disruption has not been proven in either human or wildlife and therefore its risk is unknown (Cara, 2011). TCS is found on water surfaces, sludge and biosolids though there is no established relation between it and specific human or environmental issues.
Quaternary ammonium compound kills bacteria by inserting themselves into the microorganism’s lipid bilayer causing a membrane disruption. QACs antibiotic resistance has been identified with several resistance genes. However, these genes do not confer resistance to antibiotics and disinfectants. Its heated debate is on the cause of respiratory infection and asthma, though no connection has been established (Cara, 2011). However, reproductive and developmental issues, skin irritation and sensitization related to QAC exposure have been reported.
Sodium hypochlorite is a common ingredient in consumer and industrial cleaning products due to its ability to denature and aggregate essential proteins in microorganisms. Environmental importance of SH is its secondary reaction which creates halogenated volatile organic compounds. It is however associated with respiratory infections
The journal covers both sides of the problem associated with anti-microbial ingredients. The use of anti-microbial in protecting the environment and human health has its strengths and weaknesses. The weaknesses are the negative environmental and human health effects such as air pollution, eutrophication and endocrine disruption (Hagedorn, 2011). The strengths are the ability to protect humans and the environment from the harmful bacteria in the products. There are many associated respiratory infections and skin irritation and sensitization related to anti-microbial active ingredients.
On the positive side, it covers the advantages of these antibodies and clearly informs on speculations associated with these ingredients that are not scientifically proven. For example, sodium hypochlorite is said to cause chronic respiratory effects but this has not been scientifically established.
The journal provides adequate information on the effects of the anti-microbial on the human health. Here, we are informed in details the possible effects of using the anti-microbial ingredients on our health. These detailed information, include the scientifically proven effects and the assumed effects that lacks scientific support. This information is important to the consumer because through it we can base our choice in using these products or opting for others. Additionally, we can use the information to our advantage in applying the appropriate measures.
The journal provides adequate information on the effects of the anti-microbial on the human health. Here, we are informed in details the possible effects of using the anti-microbial ingredients on our health. These detailed information, include the scientifically proven effects and the assumed effects that lacks scientific support. This information is important to the consumer because through it we can base our choice in using these products or opting for others.
Risk in cleaning: chemical and physical exposure
Cleaning is considered to be equivalent to chemical reactions causing the dissolution of deposits of minerals or inorganic salts. Exposure to chemical agents and resulting health problems such as allergies, eczema and asthma are reported among cleaners. Cleaning agents adopted ecological friendly ingredients after studies showed the effects of these deposits (Hagedorn, 2011). These were done to meet the requirements of biodegradability and non-toxicity to aquatic organisms. Cleaning agents are grouped in the different product categories according to their functions and purposes. Disinfectants are used to destroy microorganisms. They dissolve in fatty substances and are used to achieve homogeneous products.
Additives are used to protect metal surfaces. Disinfectants are mainly used to destroy bacteria and other microorganisms. Surface care products can be divided into several sub groups. All purpose cleaners have cleaning as their main activity, wash and wax are examples of these agents used for cleaning and care (Poppenga & Volmer, 2002). Floor polishes are mainly used for surface care. Wax removal agents are necessary to remove the residual polish before the application of a new layer.
Hazardous substances in cleaning agents are assessed by evaluating their acute and chronic health effects. The most readily available source of information on labeling and cleaning agents is in form of safety data sheets. Ecolabelling of product based on the evaluation of their effects during their life cycle.
Cleaning agents are made of volatile and non-volatile products. Volatile organic compounds are most toxic with a high boiling point. Incorrect use of waterborne cleaning agents can also result in the chemical composition of the flooring surface.
The journal covers both sides of the cleaning process giving insight to the negative and positive effects of the cleaning compounds. The cleaning compounds have an adverse effect on human health and to the environment. Additionally, they also affect aquatic life if used in large quantities (Poppenga & Volmer, 2002) . They are environmental pollutant that causes health problems to human.
The article adequately covers the process of cleaning give appropriate chemical compounds and their use in the cleaning process. It outlines how effective they are and gives their negative effect on the environment and on human health. However, the article is so much confined in the Danish region and does not necessarily focus on other parts. There is some use of chemical terms that makes the article difficult to understand by the common man.
The article is relevant to the purpose it is meant to address, it covers the cleaning process comprehensively. The substances required for the cleaning process are well explained together with detailed uses and possible effects they might have on human health and the environment. There is a detailed report on the health hazard of using the cleaning compounds as well as the importance of the same (Hagedorn, 2011).. This ensures that as a cleaner, one is aware of the risk they exposes themselves when using these volatile compounds and others that are health hazards in different ways.
The article covers the cleaning process comprehensively by giving a detailed step by step process on how and what to use in doing the cleaning (Poppenga & Volmer, 2002). However, it is important to note that there is in adequacy of data to fully explain the effects of cleaning compounds.
In conclusion therefore, the increasing awareness about the effects of consumer products in the environment and human health has driven the greening of the cleaning products industry. These have brought changes in the market as well as innovation in the industry to produce safer and sustainable products
Cara, A. M. (2011). Applying the precautionary principle to consumer household cleaning product development. Journal of Cleaner Production, 19(429e437).
Hagedorn, J. T. (2011). Toxicology. New York: Viking.
Poppenga, R. H., & Volmer, P. A. (2002). Toxicology. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders.