It’s time for bounce cleaning, but afore you cull out the aerosol bottles and solvents, advisers at the Ecology Alive Accumulation (EWG) say you should double-check what you’re application to sanitize.
On Tuesday, the EWG, a non-profit public-health advancement in Washington, D.C., appear its “Cleaners Hall of Shame” — a account of accepted charwoman food that may potentially affectation a hazard to your health.
According to the EWG’s assay team, which consists of toxicologists, chemists, accessible bloom admiral and lawyers, abounding accepted domiciliary cleaners that affirmation to be safe or non-toxic could be harmful, abnormally to kids who ability blot them or breathe in their fumes. Abounding articles accommodate capacity that accept been banned in added countries for links to ailments including amaurosis and cancer, according to the EWG, and others accept been “greenwashed,” acceptation that adverse to their business claims, they are not absolutely environmentally friendly. Added articles artlessly do not action abundant advice about their capacity to accomplish an a acumen about their safety, the EWG said.
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“Cleaning your abode may appear at a aerial price,” said Jane Houlihan, EWG’s chief carnality admiral for assay and co-author of the Cleaners Hall of Shame report, in a statement. “Almost any additive is acknowledged and about none of them are labeled, abrogation families at risk. Our Hall of Shame articles don’t accord in the home.”
The Hall of Shame is a sampling of the articles that will be included in the EWG’s larger, added absolute Cleaners Database project, which is due to be completed in abatement 2012. The final database will be agnate to the EWG’s acclaimed Bark Deep assurance ratings of added than 69,000 corrective products.
“We saw the aing aperture in advice was charwoman products, so we absitively to put our assay ability into this,” says Nneka Leiba, a chief analyst for EWG. “As we’ve been alive on this database for the aftermost few months, we accomplished Americans absolutely charge to be acquainted of some of the capacity in these products. We feel we accept to absolution some of this advice early.”
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In their research, the aggregation calm packaging for bags of charwoman articles and looked anxiously at all the restrictions, ingredients, warnings and abstruse abstracts pertaining to anniversary product’s make-up. They took this abstracts and ran it adjoin two ample sources of advice on toxins and carcinogens — the International Agency for Assay on Blight (IARC) database and the Association of Occupational and Ecology Health’s Account of Asthmagens. Application this method, the aggregation was able to appearance which capacity were affiliated to which hazards.
“After we looked at all the advice for the products, it became so accessible how little was accepted about our charwoman products,” says Leiba.
The Federal Hazardous Substances Act requires [PDF] all domiciliary articles to account any baneful capacity on the alembic and to accord consumers apprenticeship on actual aboriginal aid in case of an accident. The EWG claims that not all articles attach to the full-disclosure rule.
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Here are some of the EWG’s “worst offenders”:
EWG acquaint added Cleaners Hall of Shame offenders online. The abounding database, which is still a assignment in progress, will be the aboriginal absolute absolute assurance assay of baneful chemicals in added than 2,000 domiciliary charwoman articles and brands.
(MORE: Exposure to Accepted Chemicals May Weaken Vaccine Response)
The U.S. Ecology Protection Agency (EPA) beneath to animadversion accurately on the items listed in the EWG’s Cleaners Hall of Shame, but acclaimed that none are included in the EPA’s Design for the Ambiance affairs for safer articles (DfE). The the ambition of the affairs is to help consumers, businesses and institutional buyers acquisition charwoman and added articles that assignment well, are cost-effective and are safer for the environment.
In acknowledgment to the Hall of Shame account and the EWG’s advancement that these products’ capacity should be bigger regulated, the EPA said in an email:
The EPA encourages consumers to buy DfE-labeled products, which are accessible for a advanced ambit of customer charwoman and added applications. Our acrimonious animal and ecology bloom belief advice ensure that DfE-labeled articles are safer, accomplish able-bodied and accommodate the safest accessible ingredients.
As for the American Charwoman Institute (formerly the Soap and Detergent Association), it took affair with the EWG’s Hall of Shame, calling it an “outrageous new publicity advance advised to advance apocryphal fears about charwoman articles that are acclimated cautiously and finer every day.” In a statement, the accumulation said:
The Ecology Alive Group’s new publicity advance on about every charwoman artefact class is absolutely an advance on accepted sense. The accumulation distorts the science and assay about artefact and additive safety. It ignores the actuality that an astronomic bulk of assets are committed to acceptable the assurance of products, including abounding millions of dollars in research, development and testing afore articles anytime hit the shelves.
And they assume to balloon the three words on artefact labels that anticipate abeyant real-life problems from occurring: Use as directed.
To abate abeyant risks to consumers, the Customer Artefact Assurance Commission (CPSC) additionally recommends afterward artefact characterization instructions carefully, throwing abroad partially abounding containers of old or added articles appropriately and affairs charwoman food bound quantities. They additionally animate consumers to address assurance incidents to the government and brainwash themselves about added incidents involving domiciliary articles — both of which you can do at saferproducts.gov.
“Poisoning is one of the top causes of adventitious abrasion amid accouchement anniversary year. About 2 actor calls are fabricated anniversary year to adulteration control,” says Scott Wolfson, CSPC’s administrator of communications. “We appetite to abate children’s acknowledgment to these chemicals as abundant as possible. Not alone do we abate their acknowledgment through assurance caps and packaging, but we animate parents to be active back application these products. Parents do not appetite to footfall abroad from charwoman and accept their adolescent exposed.”
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