The story behind the innovation: ThinkSafe Floor Cleaner

A lot has been said about the imminent threat that household cleaners present. Whether it’s the hugely chemical-laden composition of these cleaners that has brought in a whole new problem of over-sanitation that poses a separate and growing health threat to humans and animals that come in contact with them, or the massive blind-spot that is the issue of sewage filtration and management, globally there is a need for us to question our approach to household cleaning, what we put in our cleaners and take a real and honest look at the effects they are having on our health as well as that of the environment.

Today, the seemingly innocuous and readily available household products such as toilet cleaners, bathroom fresheners and floor cleaners are known to cause obesity and ill-health in the gut in human beings. That is as far as health of human beings goes. In addition, wastewater management needs to also now deal with the huge amounts of effluents present in them. Water flowing out of our homes carries a proliferation of residual chemicals from these cleaners such as surfactants, anti-bacterials and anti-microbials, VOCs, phenols, that are slowly but surely changing the ecology of the environment into which they are released. Over time, this is beginning to tip the balance, stripping the ecosystem of essential and non-essential bacteria and microbes that play crucial roles in revitalising soil. This has an irreversible effect on so much in the environment, the effects of which will eventually touch human life in a destructive and dangerous way.

The dangers of hyper-cleaning

As a culture we have moved into a hyper-sanitized world, where the hype around 99% disinfectant is alive and thriving in every home. Often it is assumed that cleaning and disinfecting are the same thing, whereas nothing couldn’t be farther from the truth. In truth, a cleaner may or may not disinfect your home, while a disinfectant will most certainly do more than just clean your home, along with a range of negative side-effects.

As I’ve discussed before, cleaning involves the thorough removal of physically visible debris, unwanted material and foreign objects that are unwanted in any given environment. This covers everything from dust and dirt, to spilled food, waste plastic and other household materials that we routinely discard. To have these accumulate in our homes would create an unclean environment that is ripe for the build-up of unhealthy disease-causing bacteria. Cleaning then, is a process by which we remove all such organic material that when untouched contributes to a suitable environment for pathogens to grow. This is why we need to clean our homes often.

Disinfection is quite a different ballgame altogether and involves the removal of all pathogenic organisms such as bacteria and virus. Some research has us believe that disinfectants don’t belong in an average home at all, unless it houses a severely ill person, or is exposed to an environmental pathogenic threat. If your home is being well cleaned efficiently, frequently, and safely you are already ensuring that your home is free from the potential build-up of pathogens. With this under check, you have already eliminated the need for disinfection, which presents growing concerns for human health.

The conversation around safe cleaning must address our responsibility towards meeting cleaning needs while also promoting positive health for humans, animals, plants and the environment beyond. As much as commercially produced leading brands of widely advertised cleaning agents would have us believe, it is indeed possible to bring in a level of responsibility to the way we clean our homes. It is indeed possible to remove the harmful effects of a range of problematic chemicals that are destroying environment and human health. What your home really needs is a safe cleaning solution that ensures you are keeping the required microbes and bacteria intact while eliminating all the harmful chemical components within the product itself, such as:

1. Phenols: Phenols are a group of acidic, white crystalline solid substances obtained from coal tar. It is widely used in the chemical manufacture of disinfectants in household cleaners. The National Institutes of Health enlists phenol as heavily toxic, caustic and dangerous for people, especially those who may already be sensitive to it. Even at a low degree of exposure, they are known to cause severe toxicity that effects the central nervous system, heart, blood vessels, lungs and kidneys.

2. Phthalates: Studies on the effects of phthalates on human health categorically list reduced growth rate, hepatic and renal dysfunction, reduced foetal weight, testicular toxicity and hepatocellular carcinoma and anovulation, among several other alarming conditions.

3. VOCs: Volatile Organic Compounds are the gases emitted from liquids or solids in any indoor environment. Increasingly, they’re being viewed as a leading cause for lowered indoor air quality. Typically found in paint, floor and toilet cleaners, liquid detergent and the like, they’re being linked to conditions like ENT irritation, headaches, digestive issues and nausea, to more chronic and serious conditions like build-up of cancerous cells.

4. Anti-bacterials: In the process of thoroughly disinfecting our homes, we’ve been systematically eliminating healthy bacteria and irreversibly altering the sum total of the genetic material including microbes, bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses surviving on and inside the human body – commonly known as the microbiome. The microbiome usually includes several bacteria that play key functions in our bodily function such as digestion, immunity, synthesis of vitamins like B12, thiamine and riboflavin, and K. When we come in contact with low doses of antibacterials over a prolonged period, they can enter our systems and begin to wipe out these much-needed bacteria from within too, compromising our microbiome, bringing about an imbalance.

The case for a safer floor cleaner

A truly safe floor cleaner should do two things:

  1. keep the floors of our homes clean
  2. eliminate the side effects associated with chemical components usually present in cleaning products.

As it happens, this is entirely possible, and in a sustainable way too, that will ensure that the health of people as well as their environment is maintained in the long run. Organica Biotech’s ThinkSafe range of non-toxic, non-corrosive, ammonia and chlorine-free biodegradable home cleaning products also includes a floor cleaner that addresses just these criteria.

We’ve eliminated some of the most damaging compounds present in commercial cleaners with this range of cleaning products. For example, the fragrances used in this range comes entirely from natural oils, not phthalates. Additionally, for surfaces that look smooth through our naked eye but have build-up in the undulations invisible to the blind eye, ThinkSafe products are designed to penetrate into these undulations to displace dirt deeply. This prevents dangerous microbes from gathering in hidden spots. This is a product developed entirely from natural ingredients, yet is capable of superior cleaning action, and promoting health overall.

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse