CALIFORNIA – Women across California are hosting Green Cleaning Parties in support of The Cleaning Product Right to Know Act (SB 258). Introduced by State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), SB 258 will give Californians access to information on hazardous ingredients in the cleaning products they use, including chemicals used in fragrance mixtures—both on the product label and online. If the bill passes, it would be the first such law to take effect in the nation.
Supported by the national women’s health nonprofit Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE), these Green Cleaning Parties are designed to empower women to speak up for their right to know what ingredients they are exposed to in cleaning products.
“Green Cleaning Parties provide the groundwork and setting for people to come together and create change in their homes, their communities and ultimately in their government — that’s a lot of power packed into a seemingly simple party,” said Erin Switalski, Executive Director at WVE. “The fact that they are fun is just icing on the cake.”
While ingredient labeling is mandatory for most components of food, cosmetics, and drugs, there are minimal requirements for cleaning products. Without this information families cannot choose products that suit their needs, or help protect those diagnosed with asthma or allergies from unintentional exposure.
“If passed, SB 258 will finally give Californians the ability to assess what ingredients are used in cleaning products sold in the state and will allow them to avoid ingredients they may not want to be exposed to because of health concerns,” said Jamie McConnell, Director of Programs and Policy for Women’s Voices for the Earth. “Without this information, people buying these products are left in the dark about what kind of chemicals they are bringing into their home.”
“While we’re glad to see cultural shifts happening, studies show women are still doing the majority of household cleaning. As a result, women bear the burden of exposure to harmful chemicals in cleaning products that can cause birth defects, asthma, infertility and even cancer,” said Switalski. “Women are also doing the bulk of the household shopping. By coming together at Green Cleaning Parties, women are harnessing their economic and social power to create change.”
Created by WVE, a Green Cleaning Party Kit includes steps for hosting a party, information on chemicals of concern commonly found in everyday cleaners, as well as economical do-it-yourself recipes for safer cleaning products made from simple ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. Each party guest also receives information on the bill SB 258, and simple ways they can contact their assemblymember, encouraging support for their right to know.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous that I can’t avoid an ingredient linked to reproductive harm or cancer,” said Christina Furasek of San Diego who is hosting a Green Cleaning Party at the end of July. “For me, it’s not just about my right to know, it’s about a need to know, too.”
“I’m hosting a Green Cleaning Party to show my support for SB 258 because I want people I care about to have the information they need to find safer products,” said Bea Crystal of Palo Alto, California. “Until then, we can learn how to make our own cleaners, and know exactly what is going into the products we use around our homes.”
Women’s Voices for the Earth first introduced their Green Cleaning Party Guides in 2008. Since then thousands of green cleaning parties have been thrown in every state in the U.S., as well as internationally.
Greening Cleaning Parties are currently being held in the following California communities:
Rancho Santa Margarita, Temecula, Newbury Park, San Diego, Livermore, Palo Alto, Alameda, San Jose, Berkeley, Napa, Hemet, Arroyo Grande, Lake Alsinore, Oakland, San Marcos, Los Angeles and Concord.
Beth Conway, Communications Director at Women’s Voices for the Earth
email@example.com | 406-543-3747
About Women’s Voices for the Earth
Since 2007, Women’s Voices for the Earth has run a sustained campaign to promote full ingredient disclosure in the cleaning products industry. Founded in 1995, Women’s Voices for the Earth amplifies women’s voices to eliminate the toxic chemicals that harm our health and communities. www.womensvoices.org.