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What’s in your household items?

by on May 6, 2013
 
Women’s Voices for the Earth is an organization that works to eliminate toxic chemicals that harm women’s health by changing consumer behaviors, corporate practices and government policies. They recently published an article about their research on common household cleaning products and the dangerous potential that they have in terms of human health. Some key findings that the report includes:
 
  • Some products contained reproductive toxins such as toluene and phthalates, carcinogens like 1,4-dioxane and chloroform, and a hormone disrupting synthetic musk.
  • Several known allergens were also detected in these products, the highest levels of which appeared in fragranced air fresheners.
  • Allergens were found in products marketed as fragrance-free.
  • None of these chemicals were listed on the product’s label.
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4 Comments
  1. ginner35 permalink

    I think that this is an important topic to be discussed. There is no real moderation on chemicals that are used in these products even with the knowledge of toxins in these products. I found it interesting that none of these chemicals were listed on the product’s label. There should be an agency that moderates the use of harmful toxins and chemicals that are not tied in with the industry. This reminds me of the idea of oil companies monitoring themselves and obviously having a bias towards making profits and not as concerned about the consumers’ health.

  2. krreer14 permalink

    I feel that this definitely relates to the movie we watched on Oil in that people were completely unaware what was in daily items (that case tap water). There needs to be more governmental interaction in these processes to moderate how much companies can stretch the truth. It is amazing to me that companies would be willing to take these large risks in fear of being sued for endangering someone’s health yet they continue to act irresponsibly. It is very scary to me that allergens are found even in “fragrance-free” items. Looking at this right after our food lesson just further proves to me that companies do not mind lying to their consumers as long as the profit is there.

  3. The topic of companies monitoring themselves keeps coming up and clearly leads to health problems for consumers and everyone surrounded by given products such as oil caused by fracking or household cleaning products. These companies should require random inspections from outside sources to ensure the health of Americans. Companies creating goods with chemicals should not have the responsibility of choosing which chemicals are safe and which are not. Anyone using Tide, Glade, Lysol or any other products deserve to know what chemicals are used in them. Allergens are the least concerning because we learn from trial and error which cleaning products we are allergic to. The signs are visible. On the other hand, chloroform which can cause cancer, or toluene which causes pregnancy complications do not immediately affect people. These impacts are far more devastating because they are either long lasting or permanent. It is unacceptable that companies do not share the potential harm their products cause.

  4. becarr13 permalink

    When I first began reading this article, I was thoroughly shocked to learn that these products contain chemicals which are not on the label, especially because I frequently use many of them; for example, Clorox, Febreeze and Bounce). Although I realize that there are dangerous chemicals in some products, I had no idea that the risks aren’t clearly outlined on the products label. Furthermore, I became increasingly alarmed by the findings relating to allergies. One of the little girls I have babysat for years now has severe allergies and we are always checking labels of everything to find what ingredients are used in every product. For someone who is allergic to a wide variety of things, including non-food products, this could be extremely dangerous. I am extremely shocked and disappointed that a company such as SC Johnson, who represents a family-oriented product, could be so negligent and careless in fully disclosing the nature of the chemicals in their products. Also, I am hopeful that such findings as these will be acted upon. Historically speaking, our nation has implemented regulations in response to such findings as these- which is unfortunate- but hopefully this encourage the development of a regulatory institution or force more stringent regulation policies on companies. Lastly, as I scrolled through the article, I found the note at the bottom to be somewhat confusing and it made me think about the issue of uncertainty of confusion that we have frequently observed throughout the course; for example, in the neighborhoods of Flammable. This note stated the following: “*Health concerns listed are those which have been determined in the scientific literature through exposure to the chemical listed, by at least one route of exposure: inhalation, ingestion or skin absorption. In most cases, research has never been conducted to determine if exposure to the chemical through use of the cleaning product is associated with the health outcome.”

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