Can Carpet Cleaners Poison Your Pets?vacmaster
The US American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Poison Control Centre claims that most of the products available for carpet cleaning are safe for use in households with pets, provided you follow the instructions on the label strictly.
That said, pets are more vulnerable to toxic products used inside and outside the home, partly because they roam much closer to carpets, lawns, garage floors, lawns, and hard to reach areas that may conceal chemical residues. Pets are also naturally curious creatures, which, when combined with their lack of awareness for toxic hazards, increases the risk of them encountering substances that could harm their health.
That is why the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims that 50 per cent of all pet illnesses are caused by indoor pollution, which more or less translates to the household cleaners that contain toxic ingredients such as ammonia, bleach, chlorine, formaldehyde, and glycol ethers. These substances are known to cause cancer, liver and kidney damage, and even anaemia.
How to protect your pet from toxic carpet cleaners
First, it is important that you research carpet-cleaning companies before buying their products. Avoid carpet cleaners that use perchloroethylene, a common dry cleaning chemical that is known to cause fatigue, nausea, and dizziness, as well as liver and kidney damage. Also, watch out for toxic soups like naphthalene, a coal tar-based solvent used to dissolve accumulated dirt in carpets that leaves behind harmful residues and fumes that can affect the human central nervous system and lead to cancer.
Another potentially harmful ingredient found in dry carpet cleaning solvents is 2-butoxyethanol, as it has been claimed to cause damage to the kidneys, liver, and central nervous system.
So, opt for safe alternatives such as natural carpet and upholstery cleaners. There is an abundance of products on the market for the green and eco-friendly segment of the population. Additionally, a reputable carpet-cleaning company should be willing to provide safety data on the cleaning products they use when requested, which typically includes information on the product’s pet safety.
You may also want to consider switching to new carpet-cleaning methods like oxygenation, which entails cleaning with only water. The technique uses an oxygenation chamber to generate oxygenated water bubbles that go through a special cell where an electric current creates a stream of highly charged acidic and alkaline water that breaks down dirt into tiny bits so it can be easily removed from the carpet.
Lastly, always keep your pet out of the house or room while cleaning. Birds are particularly sensitive to airborne chemicals and toxins, so take extra care with these pets. In the event that your pet is exposed to concentrated cleaning solution, thoroughly clean the area with clean water to remove all residue.