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By: Misty D Coplen
It's happened more than once, and I am certain it will happen again- the infamous "running into a closed sliding glass door" moment. The remnants of the scene are hysterical, especially for the bystanders who were able to witness the moment of stupidity. The imprint of a shocked smashed face up against the glass always cracks me up.

I used to do what you probably still do when it comes to removing the evidence of that comical moment, grab the Windex. Just a few squirts of the 'blue stuff' and a quick wipe down and all is forgotten.

The thought of "is it safe" really never enters the mind. Even though the label clearly explains not to ingest, and if done so to seek medical attention immediately doesn't put up the red flags that this product might be more dangerous than what it seems. Of course no one in their right mind would think of swallowing it, but the chemicals are sprayed into the air and on the surface still enter the body via respiratory, dermal or oral routes. Allowing it time to wreak havok in your system.

No big deal though right? Even though one of the main ingredients (Isopropyl Alcohol) is also used as a gasoline additive, or the fact that Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether aka 2-Butoxyethanol is a solvent in many chemical based products such as paints, lacquers, varnishes, and herbicides according to wikipedia.

So let's keep cleaning with it. Who cares what the lab tests by U.S. National Toxicology Program shows that sustained inhalation of high concentrations of 2-Butoxyethanol can cause adrenal tumors in animals. Or heavy exposure can lead to hypotension, metabolic acidosis, hemolysis, pulmonary edema, and coma. Never mind that the state of California has listed this chemical as a hazardous substance- a few sprays here and there never hurt anyone right?

But maybe next time, before you decide to wipe little finger prints off of the glass from your toddlers grand exploration of "what is glass" expedition you might want to pick something that doesn't take 2 days to evaporate. Because lets face it, you may have cleaned the house yesterday, but those chemicals you used have left a thin harmful layer of residue that is now being touch, absorbed, ingested (toddlers hand to mouth exploration) and is now passing through your family's bodies.

So before you grab the "blue stuff" I am going to ask you this "Are you sure that's safe?"


My name is Misty Coplen and I clean vacation rentals professionally on the Big Island of Hawaii. My goal is to improve the quality of life by radically reducing the use of chemicals used in personal care and cleaning. If you would like to know about the chemical free products I use to clean with, please go to and let's get back to nature.
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