Store-bought dishwasher detergents contain chemicals which prevent spotting, soften water, and add fragrance. The water in the rinse cycle, which often contains fluoride, removes some of those chemicals but some remain on the utensils.Dishwasher detergent pods are highly dangerous since many children tend to chew on them. As a matter of fact, thousands of children have sought medical attention because of accidental ingestion and poisoning.
A list of some of the ingredients which are typically found in dishwasher detergents:
Long-term exposure to ammonia, a toxic corrosive chemical, is associated with skin and respiratory issues.
“In the presence of moisture (such as high relative humidity) [or hot water in the dishwasher], the liquefied anhydrous ammonia gas forms vapors that are heavier than air…Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia in air causes immediate burning of the nose, throat and respiratory tract. This can cause bronchiolar and alveolar edema, and airway destruction resulting in respiratory distress or failure. Inhalation of lower concentrations can cause coughing, and nose and throat irritation…ammonia also causes olfactory fatigue or adaptation, reducing awareness of one’s prolonged exposure at low concentrations.
“Exposure to low concentrations of ammonia in air or solution may produce rapid skin or eye irritation. Higher concentrations of ammonia may cause severe injury and burns. Contact with concentrated ammonia solutions such as industrial cleaners may cause corrosive injury including skin burns, permanent eye damage or blindness. The full extent of eye injury may not be apparent for up to a week after the exposure.
“Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia from swallowing…results in corrosive damage to the mouth, throat and stomach.”
Just like ammonia, chlorine bleach is also corrosive and chemically unstable. Its instability is increased when it is combined with other cleaners.
“When chlorine gas comes into contact with moist tissues such as the eyes, throat, and lungs, an acid is produced that can damage these tissues. Long-term complications may occur after breathing in high concentrations of chlorine. Complications are more likely to be seen in people who develop severe health problems such as fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) following the initial exposure. No antidote exists for chlorine exposure. Treatment consists of removing the chlorine from the body as soon as possible and providing supportive medical care such as inhaled breathing treatments for wheezing in a hospital setting.”
Physical contact with liquid chlorine:
“If you think you may have been exposed, remove your clothing, rapidly wash your entire body with soap and water, and get medical care as quickly as possible.”
“Seek medical attention right away. Consider dialing 911 and explaining what has happened.”
-MEA, DEA, AND TEA
When combined with other chemicals, they are likely to become carcinogenic.
Formaldehyde is classified as a human carcinogen. Short-term exposure to formaldehyde can be fatal. Long-term exposure to low levels of formaldehyde may cause respiratory difficulty, eczema, and sensitization.
-SLS AND SLES
These ingredients are easily absorbed through the skin and are associated with rash, allergic reactions, and irritation. In addition to this, they are also toxic.
Since there is virtually no regulation regarding household products, dishwasher capsules may contain all sorts of chemicals used for scenting.
“Overexposure to glycol ethers can cause anemia (a shortage of red blood cells), intoxication similar to the effects of alcohol, and irritation of the eyes, nose, or skin. In laboratory animals, low-level exposure to certain glycol ethers can cause birth defects and can damage a male’s sperm and testicles. There is some evidence that workplace exposure can reduce human sperm counts. Based on the animal tests and on studies of workers, you should treat certain glycol ethers as hazards to your reproductive health.”
This radioactive rock has been banned from commercial products in many states. “Recent studies have also shown that phosphate apparently damages blood vessels and induces aging processes. Free phosphate (the type found in food additives) is entirely resorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. Persons with renal disease have been found to have a markedly elevated serum phosphate concentration. Phosphate additives are present in many types of fast food, which are eaten mainly by persons of lower socioeconomic status. It seems likely that excessive phosphate consumption is linked to the increased prevalence of cardiovascular diseases in the general population.”
Also referred as borax, this ingredient may be an irritant when digested or inhaled. Although it is safe to use it as cleaner, it causes burning and gastrointestinal distress when ingested.
BORAX-FREE DISHWASHER DETERGENT RECIPE:
- ¼ cup coarse salt
- ¼ cup citric acid
- 10-15 drops lemon essential oil
- 1 cup baking soda
- Distilled white vinegar
Preparation and use:
Mix the citric acid, coarse salt, and baking soda in a glass container. Add the essential oil and mix once again.
For dirty and greasy loads, use a tablespoon of the detergent or a teaspoon for average loads. Fill the rinse aid compartment with undiluted white vinegar.