Are the cleaning and degreasing products in your workplace eco safe? These types of chemical products are likely to end up in drains from waste water run-off. Eventually they make their way into waterways such as streams and rivers, and ultimately to the sea.
Here are 4 important reasons to make sure that the chemical cleaners or degreasers you use do not contain toxic or hazardous substances.
#1 Toxic chemicals devastate marine life
Some toxins in aquatic environments can wipe out populations of fish, algae, and other plants and animals through poisoning. Other chemicals interfere with hormone levels, disrupting the breeding cycle of fish and other aquatic creatures.
To preserve our natural resources for future generations to enjoy, we have to be vigilant and mindful about which chemicals get washed down the drain.
#2 If it’s bad for fish, it’s bad for humans
Methyl Ethyl Ketone, Acetone, Toluene, Glycol Ether and Chlorinated solvents. These are just a small number of nasties out of thousands of possible ingredients that could be lurking in industrial cleaners and degreasers.
Skin reactions and chemical burns, respiratory problems, nervous system damage and reproductive issues are all documented consequences of exposure to harmful workplace chemicals. Substances which are toxic to the environment are dangerous to humans too.
#3 Harming the environment can hurt your business
Current Australian pollution laws impose serious penalties for both businesses and individuals. These include hefty fines and jail terms for releasing toxic waste or dangerous substances in a manner that harms or is likely to harm the environment.
Along with serious legal consequences, polluting waterways can hurt your organisation’s community goodwill, trust and credibility in ways that could be difficult to recover from.
#4 You may not be getting what you pay for
Sometimes, it’s the products themselves that let you down. “Greenwashing” is a term used to describe a deceptive type of marketing where chemical products are dressed up to look eco-safe – but are actually not. You can read about the dangers of greenwashing here.
Product packaging featuring leaves, flowers, the earth or fish do not necessarily mean the contents are safe for any of these things. If you are purchasing a chemical cleaner/ degreaser for its eco credentials, make sure they stack up by reading the product’s SDS.
Ultimately, you have the power to make the best choices for yourself, your colleagues, your business and our planet.