May 7, 2012
More than 80,000 chemicals are produced, used, and present in the United States. This is one of their stories.
Recently The New York Times‘ Green blog raised the spotlight on a report released last November on toxic chemicals found in 20 popular cleaning products. Women’s Voices for the Earth, a national environmental group based in Missoula, Mont., had commissioned independent tests on all-purpose cleaners, laundry detergents, dryer sheets, air fresheners, disinfectant sprays, and furniture polish made by Clorox, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, SC Johnson, and Sunshine Makers. The testing revealed that a number of the products had chemicals that are known to be allergens or are linked to reproductive and endocrine disruption… and cancer.
I have to say the findings do not come as a huge surprise. Previous work (see here and here) has documented the ubiquity of toxic chemicals in everyday consumer products. It’s not even that surprising that some of these compounds are absent from product labels. What may be surprising is that the language used to market some of these toxic-containing products suggests that they would be anything but toxic-containing.