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What to look for in your cleaning supplies

Posted at 7:00 AM, Apr 22, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Coronavirus concerns have some people cleaning more than ever. The U.S. Poison Control Center calls have increased by 20-percent in the last three months as people have suffered from toxic exposure to cleaning supplies and disinfectants.

Sarah Gembar from Orchard Park is a cleaning supplies sales consultant. She says cleaning products help give people a sense of security during this pandemic.

But she says, this may be the time to start looking at what is in those products.

With wipes: Gembar suggests looking at the directions and following them. The convenience of wipes may not actually be cleaning your surfaces.

"To work the way they are saying, you have to keep your surface visibly wet for four minutes," Gembar said. "It also says on the labels that if you are using wipes with anything on food, you need to rinse with water afterward, and most people are not doing this.

With soap, Gembar doesn't recommend antibacterial soap.

"It's designed to kill things on hands we don't need, so you are killing the weak stuff, but the strong stuff is still alive," Gembar said.

Gember says to look out for specific words on the labels, parabens and fragrance.

Parabens are chemicals found in products to help reduce the growth of bacteria and mold to make the shelf life of that product last longer.

"Anything that says parabens is not good for you," Gembar added.

Gembar says to investigate the word fragrance because that can mean all sorts of different chemicals are in that product. "It can be an endocrine disruptor in which our endocrine systems control our hormones and thyroid," Gembar said.

Gembar thinks this pandemic will change the way people look at cleaning supplies. Instead of resorting to throw-away options, people will be more likely to go with reusable cleaning supplies. With the shelves empty in almost every store, people could be looking for other options.

One option could be switching from chemical cleaners to using microfiber cloths to clean surfaces. Gembar is a sales consultant for Norwex.

Gembar recommends using the Think Dirty App to scan specific products to see what is in them. The Environmental Working Group is a resource to do your research about cleaning supplies.