Consumer products include a variety of soaps, detergents, cleaning agents, disinfectants, cosmetics, and other substances used to beautify the body or make it more acceptable to touch or smell. They are also used to clean various environmental areas and equipment.
Cleaning chemicals create physical and chemical risks depending on the material used, the quantity, and corrosiveness to eyes, skin, and/or mucous membranes. There may also be acute or long-term reactions to inhaling the solvents in the cleaning or disinfecting material or the specific chemicals being used. Examples of chemicals used in cleaning and/or protection of surfaces include air fresheners and other types of aerosols; substances used for dusting; fabric protectors; floor polishes and waxes; general purpose cleaners; toilet bowl cleaners; glass cleaners; chlorine-based products; etc. At times, a cancer-causing agent may be present in the material. Quaternary ammonium compounds although excellent disinfectants, over time and with long-term exposure can lead to occupational asthma and hypersensitivity to the material. Floor strippers and polishing compounds are particularly bad because of their chemical composition and may cause a series of symptoms from eye irritation and dizziness to respiratory infections, asthma attacks, and fatigue.
Hazardous chemicals may also be found in materials used for clothing and other purposes, carpets, televisions and computer equipment, plastic containers, flame retardants, toys, furniture, etc.
Best Practices in Control of Production and Use of Consumer Products (See Best Practices in Control of Production and Use of Specialty Chemicals)