So many of the conventional cleaning products we use in our homes contain chemicals that may be harmful to our health and our environment. Drain cleaners are no exception, and indeed contain substances so caustic they are also used to strip metal clean of paint.
The active ingredient in most conventional drain cleaners is Sodium Hydroxide. Sodium Hydroxide, or NaOH, is also known as lye or caustic soda and is a manufactured chemical, meaning that it is not a naturally-occurring substance. NaOH is used in a variety of applications, including paper and textile manufacture, soap and detergent production, and petroleum refinement.
The reason why NaOH is so widely used is exactly because of its corrosiveness, but it is this causticity that poses a danger to our health and the environment when we use it in household cleaning products, like drain cleaner.
When exposed to small amounts of Sodium Hydroxide, the chemical can cause irritation of the skin and eyes. When exposed to higher concentrations of NaOH, or if it is ingested, it can cause severe burns that may lead to death.
In the environment, NaOH breaks down into its constituent components of sodium and hydroxide, which on their own are not terribly damaging to the environment. But when these components enter into the watershed, as they do when NaOH is used as a drain cleaner, they decrease the acidity of water. Over time, this can lead to negative consequences for marine life.
GREEN DEPOT SOLUTIONS
For the homeowner seeking to avoid the dangers of NaOH in drain cleaners, Green Depot offers Super Digest-It. This green product uses Bacillus bacterial digestants which break down clogs in drains through a natural decomposition process, which produces carbon dioxide and water – significantly safer for you and the environment. Visit Green Depot for this, and other green products.