Cleaning Supplies: Secret Ingredients, Hidden Hazards
Could that colorful stash of cleaning supplies under your kitchen sink, in your broom closets and around the washer and dryer contain toxic compounds that might significantly affect your health and the environment? Unfortunately, for many common household cleaning products, According to The Environmental Working Group (EWG) answer is too often “yes.”
EWG research into more than 2,000 common cleaning products lays bare the troubling consequences of the lack of federal oversight over the ingredients in cleaning supplies. Manufacturers can use nearly any substance they want, even those known to pose health or environmental hazards. And they can hide information about virtually all those ingredients from the eyes of consumers. The result is an unregulated industry and hundreds of potentially harmful cleaning products on store shelves.
Consumers in the dark
The label on a typical cleaning product is a mix of marketing hype and instructions for use. What’s missing is a list of what’s inside.
Cleaning products, unlike foods, beverages, cosmetics and other personal care products, are not required by federal law to carry a list of ingredients. This means that manufacturers have no reason to avoid risky chemicals that happen to clean well – even if they can trigger asthma attacks or skin rashes or are linked to cancer. Without full disclosure, consumers lack key information they need to select cleaning products made with safer ingredients.
Industry trade associations have launched initiatives to stave off federal legislation that would require ingredient disclosure for cleaning supplies. The Consumer Specialty Products Association, the American Cleaning Institute and the Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association have a voluntary disclosure program. Most major cleaning supply makers have begun to post ingredient lists on their websites. But they rarely provide these details on the product labels, where consumers can see them in the store. Moreover, EWG’s review reveals that even online, most companies provide vague or incomplete information, listing broad chemical or functional groups instead of individual ingredients. Many others keep customers completely in the dark.
Your Cleaning Products can Contain:
Parabens easily penetrate the skin and are suspected of interfering with hormone function (endocrine disruption).
DEA, cocamide DEA and lauramide DEA
In laboratory experiments, exposure to high doses of these chemicals has been shown to cause liver cancers and precancerous changes in skin and thyroid.
BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)
BHA and BHT can induce allergic reactions in the skin and is a possible human carcinogen and an Endocrine Disruptor
Coal Tar Dyes
Coal tar is a mixture of many chemicals, derived from petroleum And is recognized as a human carcinogen and often are contaminated with low levels of heavy metals and aluminum substrate
Off-gassing of formaldehyde from is a known human carcinogen.
Synthetic fragrances and Parfum
Most fragrances have not been tested for toxicity, alone or in combination. Some are linked to cancer and neurotoxicity
PEGs (polyethylene glycols)
PEGs can be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, a possible human carcinogen with evidence of genotoxicity.
Siloxanes have been known to cause uterine tumors and harm to the reproductive and immune systems.
For more information please visit http://www.ewg.org