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Britney McMurren

on 6 May 2010

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Transcript of Chemistry

Effects of Household Cleaners on the Environment Tide Laundry Detergent
Cascade Dishwashing Detergent
Clorox Bleach

Cleaning products are a fixture in the typical household. Despite their convenience, there are several drawbacks associated with the use of household cleaners with specific relation to the environment. Household cleaners contain several chemicals that are proven to be harmful to the balance of nature.
Cleaning Products: Is the Convienience Worth the Impact ? Laundry Detergent Laundry detergents generally contain

Fluorescent whitening agents

They are toxic to acquatic organisms and algae, and initiate eutrophication in fresh water.


Surfactants, such as sodium dodecyl sulfate, lead to the aggregation of lipids, in addition to the denaturation of proteins. When emerged into water, these toxins can be absorbed through plant roots, leading to the collapse of cell membranes. In turn, this results in cellular death.

Phosphates additives, on the contrary, initiate plant growth rather than inhibit it. However, this leads to eutrophication which promotes excessive algae growth in fresh water systems. This is becuase phosphate is a vital component for the process of photosynthesis, leading to algae blooms. The algae consumes the oxgyen in the aquatic environment, leading to the death of fish and other plants.

Dishwashing Detergent
The chemicals typically found in dish washing detergents may include:

Chlorine (Cl)
Alkyl phenoxy ethanols
Dichloromethane (CH2Cl2)
Diethanolamine (HN(CH2CH2OH)2)
Dioxane (C4H8O2)
Sodium lauryl (NaC12H25SO4)
Synthetic fragrances

Dioxane has affected groundwater supplies in several different areas. The problems are exacerbated since dioxane is highly soluble in groundwater, it does not readily bind to soils, and leaches to groundwater. It is also resistant to naturally occurring biodegradation processes.

Alike to laundry detergents, dishwashing detergents also contain phosphates, which promote the growth of algae in water habitats, leading to a lack of oxygen for other aquatic species.

Drano Experiment Each chemical, in a portion of 75 mL, was added to a 250 mL glass of tap water. The chlorine content, alkalinity, and pH level were tested and recorded to reflect how these chemicals interfere with the equilibrium of aquatic habitats. Water: Control substance pH level: 7.6
Alkalinity: 180 ppm
Chlorine content: 0.5 ppm
Tide Laundry Detergent pH level: 8.4
Alkalinity: 200 ppm
Chlorine: 0.5 ppm The addition of tide laundry detergent to the tap water caused a pH level increase by 0.8, as well as an increase in alkalinity by 20 ppm Cascade Dishwashing Detergent pH level: 11
Alkalinity: 230 ppm
Chlorine: 6 ppm The addition of cascade detergent to the tap water caused an increase in the pH level by 3.4 units, an increase in alkalinity by 50 ppm, and a drastic increase in chlorine content by 5.5 ppm. Drano pH level: 12
Alkalinity: 210 ppm
Chlorine: 3 ppm The addition of drano to the tap water caused an increase in pH level by 4.4 units, an increase in alkalinity by 30 ppm, and an increase in chlorine by 2.5 ppm. Clorox Bleach pH level: 14
Alkalinity: 230 ppm
Chlorine: 4 ppm The addition of Clorox bleach
to the tap water caused an increase in the pH level by 6.4, an increase in alkalinity by 50 ppm and an increase in chlorine by 3.5 ppm. Drano is primarily compose of:
Sodium hydroxide (NaOH)
Sodium nitrate (NaNO3)
Sodium chloride (NaCl)
Aluminum (Al)

In solution, sodium hydroxide removes the AL2O3 layer on the aluminum component, which allows the sodium hydroxide to react with water to produce nascent hydrogen in an exothermic reaction, which creates pressure to unstick clogs. However, soidum hydroxide leaches into soil and water supply when poured down the drain. It seperates in water to sodium cations and hydroxide anions, disturbing the pH balance of the body of water.

Four common household chemicals:
Common household chemicals:
Laundry Detergent
Dishwashing Detergent

Though these are common chemicals used for general cleaning tasks, each of these substances contains components that are destructive to environmental habitats. Once we have poured these chemicals down our drain, they are fed into the water supply, disrupting both land species and aquatic species.
What the results indicate In Conclusion... Bibliography Andrews, E. (2009, June 30). Household Cleaners. Retrieved April 15, 2010, from http://learningstore.uwex.edu/assets/pdfs/G3028.pdf

Beach, G. (2010). Poisons Under your Sink. Retrieved April 14, 2010, from http://www.mamashealth.com/doc/cleanprod.asp

Copperwiki. (2010, April 5). Household Cleaners . Retrieved April 14, 2010, from http://www.copperwiki.org/index.php/Household_Cleaners

Green Venture. (2007). Safer Alternatives to Cleaners. Retrieved April 14, 2010, from http://water.greenventure.ca/safer-alternatives-household-cleaners

Hanlon, R. (2010). How Chemicals Effect the Environment. Retrieved April 10, 2010, from http://www.helium.com/items/1039032-how-chemical-cleaning-products-affect-the-environment

Share Guide. (2009). Hazardous Chemicals. Retrieved April 13, 2010, from http://www.shareguide.com/hazard.htmls The chemicals that are found in bleach are:
Sodium hypochlorite (5.25%) (NaClO)
Water (H2O)

When sodium hypochlorite dissolves in water, two substances form, including hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ions, increasing the pH of water. Upseting the pH balance of freshwater habitats leads to death of aquatic species. Each of the cleaning products added to the tap water demonstrated an increase in pH level. When these chemicals are present in the water supply at quantities that are greater than the buffering capacity they may be capable of altering the pH in some areas of the water. Since all aquatic organisms have an optimal pH level at which they function, this can be fatal. Additionally, the cascade dishwashing detergent, drano and clorox bleach drastically raised the chlorine content. It is stated that waters with more than 3 ppm of chlorine are unsafe for humans, mammals and aquatic species as repeated exposure affects their immune system, blood, heart and respiratory system. Though it is not likely to move through through groundwater becuase of its reactivity, chlorine is highly harmful to organisms living in water and soil if they are exposed to it. The products used for home cleaning are associated with several environmental risks when poured down the drain and exposed to the water supply. The substances used for household cleaning are associated with several environmental risks when poured down the drain and exposed to the water supply. Because of this, they should be used in limited qualities, or not at all. There are "green" cleaning product alternatives, such as vinegar and water, that can be used to clean up a mess rather than using harsh chemicals. Next time you reach for the bleach to clean a stain, think about the fish in the sea before you pour it down your drain. GO GREEN!
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