Painting by Jacek Yerka;
Many toilet cleaning products have chlorine, ammonia and hydrochloric acid as ingredients, all of which are highly corrosive and can shorten the lifespan of the valve in the cistern. Additionally, while these agents kill bad bacteria, they also kill helpful bacteria further along the system that can assist in breaking down our waste. Chlorine can react with other organic substances in the environment and generate hazardous compounds such as furans and dioxins.
Some popular toilet products contain damaging ingredients:
Diethylene glycol monobutyl ether - volatile organic compounds harmful to aquatic organisms
Sodium dichloroisocyanurate - very toxic to aquatic organisms - may cause long-term damage in the environment
Chlorinated phenols - respiratory and circulatory toxins
Triclosan - a cumulative toxin, primarily used for anti-bacterial purposes, but can also damage plant, animal and aquatic life.
Many of the descaling ingredients used in toilet cleaners are based on petrochemicals, crude oil.
In addition to all the chemicals, there's the plastics and packaging for these products; particularly the plastic cages used in rim blocks. The cages are used once, then thrown away - multiply that by millions of people who use these products and it becomes quite a substantial amount of non-biodegradable waste.
Greener toilet cleaners
Good hygiene is important, but as with other aspects of modern life; attempting to overdo it and maintain a sterile environment in the average home isn't possible or beneficial for that matter. Regardless of what the marketers might tell you, our attempts at disinfecting the average home are futil and only help to breed stronger bugs while killing beneficial bacteria.
There are many earth friendly products available now based on citric (e.g. orange oil) or acetic acid that act on bacteria within the immediate area, then quickly lose their potency to prevent damage to other organisms not being targeted further down the system.
Earth friendly toilet cleaning products will be more likely to list their ingredients in order to satisfy eco-savvy customers, so check the label of a "green" cleaning agent you're considering purchasing and do some research of the ingredients on the Internet.
Check it out, there are many earth friendly toilet cleaning products around.
It will benefit the planet and everything and everybody living on it.