Product Notes

Most of the glass cleaner labeling indicates that the glass cleaners are ammonia free. But surveyed include ammonia. There is no evidence that ammonia is carcinogenic, although it has produced inflammatory lesions of the colon and caused cellular proliferation, which could increase susceptibility to malignant change (IPCS,1986).

Ammonia is highly toxic for fish, and, because of its occurrence at high concentrations in some water systems, it can present a major pollution problem. It enters aquatic environments from several sources, including sewage effluent deposition of human wastes without treatment, industrial discharges, and runoff from agricultural operations. It is also a metabolic waste product of fish and, therefore, can be a problem in facilities involved with intensive fish culture (IPCS, 1986). Ammonia toxicity data are listed in Table 4. As mentioned in Section 2.2.1.3, based on aquatic toxicity data, the weight percent of ammonia should not exceed 7 percent in a consumer product.

Many products, often leading brands, advertise being "ammonia free", at times in conjunction with a statement such as "free of harsh chemicals". The absence of ammonia apparently doesn't affect product performance, e.g., as noted by Consumer Reports (1992).

Ammonia is included in the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). Another consideration for ammonia is the formation of toxic chloramine vapors if combined with a product containing chlorine. Because many people use ordinary household chlorine bleach as a disinfectant, mildew remover, and stain remover, the combination of these products while housecleaning is a concern.