Archive for May, 2009

Staying Green while Keeping Clean

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

We find ourselves in a day and age that is seeing an ever-growing emphasis on eco-friendly or “green” practices. The purpose of ‘going green’ is to address human illnesses that arise from exposure as well as damage to the environment (water, soil, air) from disposal of certain products, according to Wikipedia.

In an industry that revolves around cleaning supplies, this is no different- as a matter of fact the spotlight is shining directly on us. “Green cleaning” is a hot topic; a term that describes a growing trend in favor of using cleaning methods with environmentally-friendly ingredients and chemicals to preserve human health and environmental quality. Every little step that can be taken to improve the safety, creation, use and eventual disposal of cleaning products in an earth-friendly manner, must be taken. One major area of interest is in the arena of aerosols, mainly their effect on the Earth’s atmosphere; low level (0-8,000 feet) and upper/outer level or “Ozone” layer.

More than 30 years ago there were heavy concerns that chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) from aerosols (and other products) were have a deteriorating effect on the Ozone layer, the outermost layer of the Earth’s atmosphere (also known as the stratosphere). The Ozone layer plays a key role in protecting us from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays; damage to this layer would/could be harmful to the health of the human race, increasing the risk of skin cancer, cataracts and global warming.

Eventually the EPA banned the use of CFC propellants in aerosols, and all aerosols went to non-CFC propellants. Currently all consumer aerosol products in the United States (and almost world-wide, as of 1996) are CFC-free. However, developing nations are not slated to have CFC’s completely phased out until 2010, according to nocfcs.org.