Monday, December 7, 2009

9 Ingredients to Avoid in Car Care Products

1. Synthetic fragrances/scents - used to mask the smell of the chemicals used in the product. Manufacturers typically opt for the synthetic version of a chemical because it is far less expensive than their natural counterpart. Essential oils are a much better alternative than synthetics.

2. Synthetic dyes/colorants - change the appearance of a formula so it is more pleasing for the consumer. The majority of dyes derive from coal tars or petroleum. Coal tar contains various toxins and carcinogens.

3. Teflons, Fluropolymers - used by car care manufacturers as a gloss/protective agent for car surfaces. Traditionally found in quick detailers, car waxes and car wash products. During the production of teflons and fluropolymers, a hazardous chemical known as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is used. PFOA is a toxicant and carcinogen in animals. In people, it has been linked to birth defects, increased cancer rates and changes to the immune system.

4. Kerosene - a synthetic distillate which is used as a grease cutter. Kerosene can damage lung tissues and dissolve the fatty tissue that surrounds nerve cells. Found in all purpose cleaners and degreasers. [1]

5. Methanol - a solvent derived from wood and petroleum. It is acutely toxic and can cause blindness. Found in window cleaners and windshield wash.

6. Sodium Hydroxide (lye, caustic soda, white caustic, soda lye) - extremely strong caustic substance that damages skin, eyes and mucous membranes. Blindness is reported in animals exposed to as little as 2% dilution for just one minute.

7. Ammonia - a corrosive substance which causes burning of the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory tract and can result in blindness, lung damage or death. Boosts the nitrogen levels in soil and water which adversely affect marine and animal life.

8. Phosphates - phosphorus occurs naturally in rock formations in the earth's crust, usually as phosphate. They are of high nutritive value to plants and animals at normal levels in the environment. However, phosphates are also used as detergent builders in some car care products, which causes aquatic plant life to flourish, thus decreasing oxygen levels for other organisms. Found in car wash soaps.

9. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) - Polyvinyl Chloride is recognized by the recycling symbol #3. PVC is highly toxic because during its production, it is mixed with softening chemicals known as plasticizers, the most common variety being phalates. Exposure to PVC and plasticizers have been linked to an increased risk of the following: hormonal imbalance, reproductive problems, allergies in children, brain cancer and tumors. PVC is used in packaging for several major car care manufacturers. The sensible alternative would be to switch to #1 PET or #2 HDPE.

Want to avoid the ingredients listed above? Check out Eco Touch's line of Waterless Car Wash & Detailing Products.

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