By the Numbers: Toxicity in Cleaning

Cleaning is one of those micro-level things that seems small — something that goes in the “I’m just one person; what difference could it possibly make?” category — but can really add up over time and with widespread green best practices. How much does it add up to? Here are some numbers to help give the topic context.

17,000 — the number of petrochemicals (that’s petroleum-derived chemicals; almost always toxic to ingest) available for home use

30% — the amount of the above that have been properly tested for exposure to human health and the environment.

63 — the number of synthetic chemicals found in the average American home, which translates to…

10 gallons — on average, of harmful chemicals that are in the average home, right now.

275 — the number of active ingredients in antimicrobials that the EPA classifies as pesticides because they are designed to kill microbes.

5 billion — the number of pounds of chemicals that the institutional cleaning industry uses each year.

23 gallons — the average volume of chemicals that a janitor uses each year.

25 percent — of the amount above, the percentage of which are hazardous.

So, it’s not just about taking it easy on the planet. Sure, petrochemical-free cleaners don’t use petroleum products, but green cleaners are also so much more healthy for you, your family and your home.