How To Keep Your Building
Free Of Clogs AND Harmful Chemicals
Whether it’s the drains in a shopping center you visit, public facilities like the DMV or Library, or the office where you work each day, clogs and plumbing build-up are a common occurrence. Especially in Nevada, where hard water deposits are the norm, keeping your facility’s piping systems in good working condition is incredibly important. Whether you supervise the in-house staff or you’re the contact person for your outside office cleaning service company for your Las Vegas location, make sure that preventative maintenance of your building’s drains is part of the service they regularly provide.
The Dangers of Chemical Based Drain Cleaners
The majority of drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals which can harm your building’s plumbing systems, not to mention the effects they can have if they contact skin or eyes, are inhaled or ingested. Some Las Vegas janitorial service providers are better than others about limiting their use of these hazardous products. Today, we’ll to take a look at common drain cleaners, the dangers they create and some alternative drain cleaning options that are safer for your building’s occupants and visitors and better for the environment.
The Harmful Effects of Chemical-Based Drain Cleaners
Chemical drain cleaners can be extremely hazardous to your health and the health of those who use your facility. While some chemical cleaners are more hazardous than others, each of them carry their own health and environmental risks. It pays to make sure your Las Vegas commercial cleaning service provider takes this risks seriously.
In the early 2000s, cleaning products were responsible for nearly 10% of all toxic exposures reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers. Toilet bowl and drain cleaners are the most acutely dangerous cleaners found in most office restroom facilities. Health hazards associated with chemical-based drain cleaners can include:
- Skin or respiratory irritation
- Watery eyes
- Chemical burns
- Hormonal disruption (including decreased sperm count and birth defects in children)
Some all-purpose cleaners contain the sudsing agents diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA). When these substances come into contact with nitrites, often used as preservatives, they react to form nitrosamines – carcinogens that readily penetrate the skin. Chemicals that are so-called ‘hormone disruptors’ can interfere with the body’s natural chemical messages, either by blocking or mimicking the actions of hormones. The alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) used in some detergents and cleaners have been shown to mimic the hormone estrogen; one APE, p-nonylphenol, has caused estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells to multiply in a test tube study. Scary, isn’t it?
Chemical cleaners are also hazardous to the environment. Some drain cleaners can leave residue in your pipes that can build up over time to cause its own clog. You’ll notice when you have a plumber come out to repair that plug, they always warn against using harsh chemical cleaners as they can also eroded your pipe system over time. Talk with the janitorial service that cares for your building to see what precautions they take on behalf of your facility.
But beyond these more basic hazards, these chemicals have to go somewhere once we flush them through our pipes, right? Are they safe then? After bubbly cleaning liquids disappear down our drains, they are treated along with sewage and other waste water at municipal treatment plants, then discharged into nearby waterways. Most ingredients in chemical cleaners break down into harmless substances during treatment or soon afterward. Others, however, do not, threatening water quality or fish and other wildlife. In a May 2002 study of contaminants in stream water samples across the country, the U.S. Geological Survey found persistent detergent metabolites in 69% of streams tested and 66% contained disinfectants. Is your commercial cleaning service using green practices to protect our Las Vegas environment?
Protecting Drains from Clogs – Prevention is Key
Sometimes to solve a problem you have to go to the source first. Be sure that your drains and piping systems have proper filtration systems that stop unwanted objects from clogging your piping (like drain covers in urinals locker room showers if your company has them). Reducing the amount of foreign objects and materials in your drains will reduce the ability for clogs to form. You should also make sure your Las Vegas janitorial service provider has a regular schedule to continually remove any build-up or material that somehow passed through your shielding devices before they become more difficult tasks. Prevention is much easier when you start early.
A Greener Approach to Drain Cleaning – Used by High Quality Facility Service Professionals
Of course, there are drain cleaning systems out there designed to protect your facility and the health of those who use it. One such system for use on restroom floor drains, mop sinks and utility sinks is a product that naturally eliminates odors at the source using enzymes which completely destroy odor-causing bacteria. Bacillus microorganisms decompose organic matter inside drains to reduce clogs. The enzyme formula is non-corrosive and non-inflammable, making it safe and naturally effective. The use of natural enzymes versus harsh chemicals is a far better alternative for the environment and your piping systems. A-1 Janitorial Services regularly provides this as part of our customized service schedule designed to meet your needs.
Give A-1 Janitorial Services a call today (702) 658-1900. We’ll provide a proposal that can enables your company to stay focused on your core business and leave the care of your facility to the true experts in Las Vegas office cleaning!