WASHINGTON, D.C. — Women’s Voices for the Earth supports the recently introduced Cleaning Product Right to Know Act (H.R. 5205) sponsored by New York Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington).
“We know that cleaning products can contain a number of hidden toxic chemicals like carcinogens, reproductive toxins and allergens. These chemicals can be absorbed through our skin, inhaled into our lungs,” said Erin Switalski, Executive Director. “Under the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act, companies will no longer be able to withhold ingredient information from the public.”
The legislation requires ingredient labeling for household and institutional cleaning products. Under current U.S. law, cleaning products are not required to disclose ingredients.
“In an industry that relies on inept voluntary disclosure programs, the bill would be a game-changer,” said Switalski.
Rep. Israel’s legislation requires full-ingredient labeling on a product or its packaging. This includes individual ingredients in any dyes, fragrances, and preservatives. Manufacturers would also be required to provide an online list of each product’s ingredients.
“Access to the ingredient information necessary to protect public health from harmful chemicals isn’t simply inadequate, in the case of fragrance ingredients, it can be flat-out unattainable,” said Switalski. “For the first time, consumers would know exactly what manufacturers put in every cleaning product and could make informed decisions to protect their health.”
Products covered by the legislation include, but are not limited to: air care products, automotive products, and polishes or floor maintenance products. Ingredients must be listed in descending order of predominance; and on the website, an explanation for the ingredient’s purpose in the product, and be available in English, Spanish, and any other language deemed necessary by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Cleaning products without labels containing a complete and accurate list of all the products’ ingredients will be treated as a misbranded hazardous substance under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.