Ecological, Biodegradable, Natural or Green Cleaning Products: Myths and Realities

green_cleaning_productsBoth consumers and the cleaning industry are becoming more concerned with the products they use for cleaning. In particular, they are interested in eco-friendly, green, biodegradable and natural products, which are now used to reduce the impact on our health and the environment. Did you know that an average Canadian household uses between 20 and 40 liters of cleaning products annually1, and that a certain amount of these chemicals can be found in the tap water that we drink every day?

Green cleaning products should be made ​​with ingredients that do not release toxic molecules.

The product must be environmentally friendly, biodegradable within approximately 28-30 days, fragrance free and made of concentrate in a recyclable container. But you must beware of some green household products; they are not all “Ecologo” certified products. This program was founded in 1988 by the Government of Canada and is now recognized worldwide. Ecologo is the symbol of the most respected environmental certification in North America. When a product is certified, it becomes part of a program that fully complies with green standards and it also meets the ISO 14024 Eco-certification criteria.

A cleaning product labeled “Biodegradable” is easily and quickly dissolved into the ground and in the network of wastewater collection system.

It is normally composed of 95% of ingredients that are derived from plants or minerals and which 10% of organic farming (without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or GMOs). When you see the phrase 100% biodegradable, it does not necessarily mean it is. The percentage of biodegradability should be considered only if the quantity is known. There are two consecutive phases for biodegradability. The first is primary biodegradability, in which the molecules are reduced in multiple particles. The second is final or ultimate biodegradability, which involved complete dissolution of the particles.

Green cleaning products usually come from a plant source.

A product referred to as “natural” is essentially from nature. Manufacturers can use this term as it suits them, since there are no specific standards or regulations defined. This type of product can be harmful if the quantity used is not controlled.

The only certification in Canada that can ensures your cleaning product meets the definitions of biodegradable, green or natural are ones marked with the Ecologo sign.
1  Source : Equiterre

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