Most cleaning products don't list ingredients. However, you can learn something about a product's hazards by reading its label. 'Danger/ Poison' - most hazardous; 'Warning' - moderately hazardous; 'Caution' - slightly toxic. Ingredients vary in the type of health hazard they pose. These include skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns, while others are associated with chronic, or long-term, effects such as cancer.
- chlorine or ammonia, listed as active ingredients
- formaldehyde, terpenes, phenols, chlorine, organic mercurials, balsams, aluminium complexes, chlorine, organic mercurials, balsams, and aluminium complexes. These are known to have carcinogenic effects.
- detergents containing alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) - do not degrade completely and are known hormone disruptors.
- detergents containing phosphates - cause algal blooms in water ways
- biodegradable to AS4351, or better still, an international standard
- plant-based ingredients, instead of petroleum-based
- specific ingredient information (such as solvent-free no petroleum-based ingredients solvent-free, no petroleum-based ingredients) rather than unregulated greenwash claims (such as natural and eco-friendly)