This information in this post was provided by Women’s Voices for the Earth and Healthy Child Healthy World. Today they co-released a report about hidden chemicals in your cleaners.
Cleaning product companies aren’t required to tell us the chemicals they use in their products, and what they’re keeping secret from you could be hazardous to your health. Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) commissioned an independent lab to test 20 popular cleaning products for hidden toxic chemicals from five top companies: Clorox, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, SC Johnson and Son, and Sunshine Makers (Simple Green). Products tested included all-purpose cleaners, laundry detergents, dryer sheets, air fresheners, disinfectant sprays, and furniture polish.
What WVE found:
Hidden toxic chemicals were found in ALL products tested. They included carcinogens, reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors, and allergens.
- Tide Free & Gentle, a detergent marketed to and used by moms for infants’ laundry, contained 1,4-dioxane, a known cancer-causing chemical, as did Bounce Free & Sensitive.
- Simple Green Naturals also contained 1,4-dioxane as well as phthalates, linked to reproductive harm. Simple Green All-Purpose cleaner contained toluene, linked to pregnancy complications.
- Glade Touch Odor contained phthalates, linked to reproductive harm, and galaxolide, linked to hormone disruption.
- Clorox Clean-Up contained chloroform and carbon tetrachloride, both linked to cancer.
- High levels of allergens appeared in fragranced air fresheners, yet there were no warning labels. Allergens were also found in products marketed as fragrance-free.
- None of these chemicals were listed on the product’s label.
Consumers deserve to know what chemicals they are being exposed to, so that they can easily avoid products that may cause allergic reactions or serious long-term health impacts like cancer, birth defects, or pregnancy complications. WVE is calling on Congress to pass new federal legislation that requires cleaning product manufacturers to disclose all the ingredients they use in their products directly on the product label.
Cleaning Products Right to Know Act has been introduced in Congress and will require household cleaning products to bear a label including a full list of product ingredients. This is the first step in pressuring companies to creating safer cleaning products. Go to www.womensvoices.org to ask your legislators to support the Cleaning Products Right to Know Act!
What You Can Do in the Meantime:
- Make your own cleaning products! Until we know what’s in the products we buy off the shelf, we can mix our own with safe ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. Visit www.womensvoices.org for recipes and tips.
- If you are concerned about a cleaning product that you currently use (and like), call the company’s toll-free number and inquire about the problem ingredients discussed in this report. Ask the manufacturer to disclose all of their fragrance ingredients and any contaminants, and ask them to remove any phthalates, musks and toxic contaminants from their products.
Do you make your own cleaning products?