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A Clean Home is a

A Clean Home is a Healthy Home? Not Always Many common household cleaners are highly toxic; healthy alternatives available By Ryan Jones Consumer Connection staff Household cleaning products typically make some of life’s drab-but-necessary chores a little easier or enable them to be finished more quickly. But what is cutting through those rings in the toilet or greasy gunk in the oven? Lots of chemicals you likely haven’t heard of. Tests and research show many chemicals in common household cleaners are highly toxic. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit industry watchdog, has tested more than 2,000 cleaning supplies sold in the United States and determined many are made up of substances linked to serious health problems. 8

A big hurdle for consumers trying to determine what chemicals are in cleaning products, the EWG says, is a lack of ingredient information on labels. Although examining ingredients on food products has become commonplace for American shoppers wanting to know what they are consuming, cleaning product labels are far less complete because manufacturers aren’t required to list ingredients on the bottle, can, or box. Most manufacturers provide some ingredient information on their websites, and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires companies to provide Material Safety Data Sheets to workers who commonly use their products. The data sheets, which have more comprehensive ingredient lists and alert workers about potentially harmful substances, can be found on many manufacturer websites as well. Significant findings came out of EWG’s testing and research, which is updated regularly: Fumes from some cleaning products may trigger asthma in otherwise healthy people. A growing body of evidence links frequent use of many ordinary cleaning supplies at home or the workplace with the development of respiratory problems, including asthma. It is known that fumes from cleaning products can cause attacks in those previously diagnosed with asthma. 9