A new study suggests that the bathtubs of most modern homes are a good place to clean.
The study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, found that the types of cleaning products used in modern homes were largely safe.
“A lot of the things that we are cleaning now in modern households have very high environmental impact and so that’s what’s important,” said lead researcher, Dr. Daniela P. Siegel of the University of Maryland.
“What we want to know is, what’s the environmental impact of different types of things?”
“What is the environmental footprint of different products in different homes?” she said.
“And what is the difference between the types that are used in different households?”
The study looked at the amount of pollutants that people were using in their homes and their exposure to chemicals and chemicals-related health effects.
The results showed that bathtub cleaners are largely safe to use in most homes, but not all.
“We can’t tell if something is really clean because it has no name on it, but it’s probably not going to hurt you,” said Siegel.
“There are so many chemicals that we don’t know if they’re safe or not,” she said, adding that the study is a step toward helping consumers determine which products they should be using in the future.
Siegel and her colleagues compared the chemicals used in bathtubes in the United States with those used in homes across Europe.
The researchers compared the amount and type of chemicals used by the different products, such as detergent, soap, shampoo and water.
“The study showed that the chemicals in bathtub cleaners are much less harmful than the chemicals that you would see in a traditional bathroom sink,” said Dr. Michael J. Schoenfeld, director of the Environmental Health Sciences Program at the University at Buffalo.
“But it doesn’t mean that we can just use soap and water to wash the dishes, which is what we are doing in many bathrooms in the US today,” he said.
According to the American Chemical Society, the chemicals most commonly found in modern bathtanks are phthalates and chloroform.
“They are compounds that are known to cause reproductive problems in laboratory animals,” Schoenfeld said.
Another type of cleaning product, such a hand cleaner, is not a good choice for those who don’t want to wash their hands.
“Hand cleaners are toxic to your skin and they can irritate your eyes and cause skin irritation, and they’re toxic to the nervous system,” said Schoenfld.
Schoenfeld said there is a need for more research into the environmental impacts of different home products.
“It’s probably important that we know more about how chemicals interact with human skin, especially when you’re cleaning up after someone else,” he added.