Are there safe alternatives to disinfectants? | Cleaning | What you can do | David Suzuki Foundation
Photo: Are there safe alternatives to disinfectants?

Canadian Medical Association says plain soap is effective and adequate to prevent germs (infection) in the home. (Credit: Microsoft Images)

Yes!

In fact, our recent obsession with germs has the Canadian Medical Association calling on the federal government to ban all anti-bacterial household products because of fears they cause bacterial resistance.

If you live or work with children, non-toxic disinfectants are even more important. Kids are not miniature adults. Kilogram for kilogram they absorb more chemicals than adults. To start, children are closer to the ground. They also have what some experts call an "exploratory nature" which means they put everything in their mouths!

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Choose disinfectants with:

The Green Seal standard provides criteria for the development of many products, from home-cleaners to paints. Certification guarantees that products perform as well as or better than conventional products and that ingredients are biodegradable and do not contain phthalates, heavy metals or optical brighteners.

Avoid disinfectants with:

Triclosan in particular is one of the most common anti-bacterial agents in household cleaners and personal-care products. It's suspected of interfering with hormone function and contributes to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Triclosan is also harmful to fish and wildlife.

Are you interested in greening your workplace? Check out our David Suzuki Green Your Workplace program.

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