Are Benz softwash cleaning products "eco-friendly"?
A question we are frequently asked is, "Are Benz softwash chemical products eco-friendly?"
Some people, without clearly thinking the subject through, believe that a softwash chemical product cannot be eco-friendly when it kills (i.e. sanitises*) micro-organisms.
This belief points to an error of understanding about what ecology really is. Ecology is the study of interactive systems.
The word ecology has also been applied to high-level thinking skills, where it is called "systems thinking". This is a thinking skill that has applications ranging from understanding the way our planet works, to designing complex computer systems, understanding social systems, and creating highly efficient and effective business systems and processes. It is a "big picture" thinking skill that that expands our perspective beyond that of the individual.
A brief word about killing ...
Within a biological system, whether it be our planet or our human bodies, life forms are born and die. All sentient** life on Earth consumes their environment to survive, even if it only be the eating of vegetables.
In our bodies there are naturally occurring "killer cells" that are an important part of our immune systems. Their role is to kill invading organisms that would create diseases, such as cancer. These killer cells literally kill the micro life-forms that are harmful to us.
Killer cells are the good guys and are on our side. They keep our bodies healthy by killing invading organisms. Without their protective role as killers our bodies would soon die.
So is "killing" really eco-unfriendly?Watch this short video, which explains the action of killer cells in layman's language
How does this relate to Benz softwash biocides?
The action of killer cells has similarites to the way softwash biocides kill the organisms that invade our customer's property. Softwash biocides trigger the process of "oxidising" unwanted organic compounds.
During the process of oxidation, oxygen kills the unwanted growths that would otherwise, if left unchecked, make our living environment uninhabitable, or at the very least highly unpleasant.
Quick tip: Even the most popular cleaning chemicals, which are promoted as being eco-friendly, such as Ecover, kill micro-organisms. They must do, or they could not have a sanitising effect. That's simply reality.
Therefore, what makes a product truly eco-friendly is not whether it kills or not – but rather what happens to the chemical when it has done its job. And what is it's long-term impact on our environment as a whole.
Several studies of Mosanto's notorious Roundup weedkiller, for example, have shown it to be highly toxic and to have negative long-term effects on our environment, plant life and human health. An increasing number of countries are banning it's use. Therefore it cannot be said to be eco-friendly.
The effect on our environment is also impacted by the type of use a product is put to. Using DDAC in agriculture, including cleaning milking parlours etc, is not a good idea as it can get into our food.
But using DDAC in Benz Bio Cleanze, heavily diluted and used simply to clean, or sanitise, exterior hard surfaces that have no connection with food production is a very different matter. And of course the product naturally biodegrades upon contact with organic matter.
The surfactant in our ever-popular Benz Lightning Cleanze is fully biodegradble and the product as a whole does not bio-accumulate. All that's left after activation is water and a tiny amount of common salt.
So, in our view, the question we should ask ourselves if we want to use an ecologically responsible product in our softwash business, is not "Does this kill?" but rather "Will this product have a long-term negative impact on the ecological system of our environment that we all depend upon for our survival?"
We hope this article has brought some clarity to an often cloudy topic.
Ben, Leo & Fiona
* The word "sanitise" simply means to make clean and hygienic, to disinfect. So sanitising a customer's property through softwashing is essentially no different to sanitising a babies bottle. And few, if any, people would argue about the value of doing that.
"* Generally, a sentient being is considered to be one with the faculty of sensation and the power to to perceive, reason and think. Some research shows that even plant life may be sentient, and of course they too live by consuming the micro-nutrients from their environment.
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That's a reasonable question.
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