Testing of 20 top cleaning products commissioned by Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) for the report Dirty Secrets revealed hidden toxic chemicals such as toluene, 1,4-dioxane, phthalates, chloroform, a synthetic musk and several known allergens. Because cleaning product companies are not required to disclose ingredients, consumers have no way to know that these chemicals are lurking in products they buy and use in their homes.
Consumers deserve to know what chemicals they are being exposed to, so that they can easily avoid ingredients that may cause allergic reactions or more serious harm. WVE is calling on Congress to pass federal legislation that requires cleaning product manufacturers to disclose all the ingredients they use in their products directly on the product label.
Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) has introduced the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act in the 114th Congress. The Act increases ingredient disclosure in the household and institutional cleaning product industry. Major provisions of the bill include:
- Requires manufacturers of household and institutional cleaners to list all ingredients on the product label.
- Ingredients must be listed using a hierarchy of nomenclature systems starting with the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) name, followed by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and common chemical name. This will help ensure that companies are all using the same names for each chemical.
- Manufacturers must substantiate all trade secret protection claims to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Ingredients will not receive trade secret protection if they are publicly known to be in the product, can be discovered through reverse engineering, or if they are hazardous (as defined by the Act).
- Requires manufacturers to disclose product ingredients and Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) Registry Number on a website, and requires manufacturers to identify adverse health effects of each ingredient. The information must be sortable by product, ingredient, or adverse health effect, among other categories the Commission identifies.