This weeks Topic of the Week
In a recent study by researchers from the University of Washington, common household scented products were analyzed for toxic chemicals. They analyzed cleaning supplies like sprays and dish detergent, air fresheners, laundry products like detergents and fabric softeners, and personal products like soaps, shampoos. Half of these products claimed to be “green”, “organic”, or “natural”. Many products tested were the most popular products in their category.
All products contained at least one chemical that has been declared “toxic” or “hazardous” by some government agency. Over a third of the products contained a carcinogen. Of the 420 individual chemicals found in all of the products, only one was listed on that products label.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission, which regulates cleaning supplies and laundry products, does not require the manufacturer to list ingredients on the label. The FDA, which regulates personal care products, does not require manufacturers to list ingredients used in “fragrances”. A single listing for a fragrance can contain hundreds of individual chemicals.
For those interested in avoiding unwanted chemicals, the authors recommend cleaning with natural substances like vinegar and baking soda, and switching to fragrance free products. If you are using a scented cleaning product, they recommend opening windows to reduce chemical exposure.