Friday, November 16, 2012

Ingredients: Naturally Safe and Non-Toxic

A naturally safe and non-toxic solution for getting rid of ants? A mix of vinegar and water. Effective? No, not really. A natural safe and non-toxic cleaner for baby toys and highchairs? Effective? Yes, completely.
Day 4 of the Ant Invasion. Casualties high (finally) thanks to BabyGanics "Naturally safe & non-toxic Toy & Highchair Cleaner.
When you grab a bottle to spritz on toys the ingredients seem innocuous: "[w]hat’s in the bottle: Plant Based Cleaning Agents (Coconut, Palm Kernel, Corn and Sugar based surfactants), Soy Ester (Soy based cleanser), Filtered Water, Water Conditioning Agent, Preservative (less than 0.05%)." Right at the top of the spray bottle is the claim "natural and non-toxic;" the ants would disagree to the label of "non-toxic." Until I ran out of my vinegar and water mixture, the ants had been continuing their advances. Then wham! A spritz of BabyGanics Toy and Highchair Cleaner (compared to eight to ten spritzes of the vinegar mixture) stopped them dead in their tracks.
After seeing the success of The Cleaner Upper on the ants, I wanted to know what was really in the bottle. The ingredients after Water - Soft look less friendly when viewed on the BabyGanics website:
  • Lauramine Oxide: "safe as cosmetic ingredients for rinse-off products" (Source)
  • Sodium Laurylglucoside Hydroxypropyl Sulfonate: "not on any of GoodGuide’s lists of toxic chemicals which cause suspected or recognized health effects" (Source)
  • Decyl Glucosides, Fatty Alcohol Ethoxylate: "not on any of GoodGuide’s lists of toxic chemicals which cause suspected or recognized health" (Source)
  • Linear Alcohol Ethoxylate: "safe and does not cause concern with regard to consumer use" (Source (PDF))
  • Fatty Acid Methyl Ester: "the safety of the fatty acid methyl esters is recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who have approved, as a direct food additive, methyl esters of fatty acids produced from edible fats and oils for use in aqueous emulsions in dehydrating grapes to produce raisins (21CFR 172.225)" (Source)
  • Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid: "did not cause cancer in laboratory animals. Sodium salts of EDTA have been reported to cause birth defects in laboratory animals only at doses that were toxic to the mother ... The World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have independently assessed the health safety of EDTA and have set the acceptable daily intake of EDTA at 2.5 mg/kg/person/day or roughly 150 mg/day for the calcium disodium salt." (Source)
  • Methyl-4-Isothiazolin-3-One: "no concern for potential sensitivity to infants and children." (Source (PDF))
The last two ingredients concern me. Unfortunately this means that while The Cleaner Upper is an effective ant pesticide it won't be one that I'll be using again in our flat and definitely not on Gates' toys or highchair.
Have you been surprised by "natural" ingredients?
Have a great weekend!
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