Toxic chemicals are used in many store bought drain cleaning products and they pose a threat to you and the environment.

Chemicals such as sulphuric acid, caustic soda, and sodium hydroxide are found in many of these products and work by ‘eating’ away at the drain blockage which can consist of hair, dirt, grease and soap.

While it may be the ‘easier’ option to buy one of these products to clear a blocked drain, consider the personal dangers this presents and also the damage being done to the environment. On a personal level, these cleaners pose a danger to the user’s health. If they come into contact with the skin they can cause very serious burns, inhaling the fumes can cause respiratory problems and contact with the eyes can cause blindness. Accidentally mixing these products with bleach is extremely dangerous and could produce deadly chlorine gas fumes. These are not the sort of products you want in your home in easy reach of your children, loved ones and pets.

The dangers posed to the environment are no better.

Drain cleaning chemicals are endangering our environment by contaminating our waterways, killing plants and polluting the water that animals rely on.

When these chemicals are washed down the sink and toilet they end up at water treatment plants. While these plants are very effective at removing biodegradable food and human waste, they were never designed to address the the chemical pollution caused by chemical drain cleaners. Advances have been made but they involve more chemicals being added to the water to try and make it cleaner. The ‘clean’ water is then released into our waterways. These additional chemicals cause excessive algae to grow on plants. This smothers them, causing them to die which inevitably has a knock on effect for the rest of the eco system.

If it gets to a stage where you feel you have no choice but to use a harsh chemical cleaner, you’re probably better off hiring a professional to do the job for you. Some drain cleaning professionals use high pressure water jets to clear blockages. This process is called drain jetting and uses a simple but powerful combination of pressure and water. It’s environmentally friendly, uses no chemicals and produces results that last.

Next time you reach for a chemical drain cleaner in the supermarket, consider the damage this could cause to you, your family and the environment.

Sarah Dawes writes on behalf of Blitz Drainage, the 24 hour drain cleaning specialists who care about the environment.

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