Do you know what’s in your cleaning products? It’s becoming mainstream knowledge that many household cleaners contain chemicals, some of which are toxic. According to Women’s Voices For the Earth, a non-profit organization with a mission to eliminate the toxic chemicals that harm our health and communities, these chemicals in cleaning products may cause short-term health problems like skin and eye irritation. Long-term health impacts from toxic cleaners include fertility problems, birth defects, increased risk of breast cancer, asthma and respiratory disorders, and hormone disruption.
Alex Scranton, Director of Science and Research at Women’s Voices For the Earth reminds us that women use cleaning products more than men. She told me:
“When Women’s Voices for the Earth started on this mission to remove toxic chemicals from household cleaners in 2007, we quickly discovered there’s no governmental regulation in place for companies to DISCLOSE what is in their cleaners. Unfortunately, there is no federal law requiring cleaning product companies to list all the ingredients in their products on the label. And that means, companies can keep toxic chemicals in their products a secret from you.”
Chemicals in cleaning products not only harm the users of the products, but the natural environment is often effected when the products are sprayed in the air and washed down the drain. One thing that you can do to limit your exposure to toxic chemicals is make your own non-toxic cleaners using safe ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and essential oils. See the video to learn how.
Another thing you can do is get in touch with your local government official and ask them to support this upcoming bill coming up in front of California legislators in January. The bill is called AB 708 and would make all cleaning products companies disclose ALL ingredients in their cleaners, including toxic ingredients as well as fragrance.
Ms. Scranton went on to say:
The first thing we need from these cleaning companies is disclosure of the ingredients, so we can then start working on getting them to eliminate the toxic ingredients.”
Because of its huge economy, legislation passed in California often has a national impact. The Cleaning Product Right to Know Act (AB 708) has been introduced in the California State Assembly. The bill requires cleaning product manufacturers who sell products in the state to fully disclose all ingredients, including fragrance.
If the bill passes, companies will no longer be able to keep ingredients that are linked to birth defects, cancer, fertility problems, allergens, and asthma a secret. And because California is a powerful market force, it will likely push these companies to disclose in other states, too.
As a Californian, you can make the difference on whether this bill passes. Contact CA state legislators today or fill out this form.
Women’s Voices for the Earth amplifies women’s voices to eliminate the toxic chemicals that harm our health and communities. With thousands of members across the United States, WVE changes corporate practices, holds government accountable, and works to ensure a toxic-free future for all. Donate to WVE by clicking here. For more non-toxic DIY recipes for furniture polish and laundry detergent, visit Eliza’s Anti-Aging Arsenal.