Green Living QA: A Common Toxic Household Mistake?
06/22/2012 | 11:35 AM
In your opinion, what's the most common rookie toxic household mistake? E.g. keeping baking sheets and roasting pans under the sink with cleaners etc.
The most common mistake people make is when they buy conventional household cleaners. Most of us are led to believe that if it's on the store shelf it is safe to use, or has been tested for safety. Well, that's just not the case. Cleaning products are not required by the Federal Government to list all ingredients on the label. So unlike food, there is no way for consumers to know what's actually in household cleaners. Look at a bottle of Windex, for example. You'll see the words Inactive Ingredients and it will be something like 98.6%. But nowhere on the label will it say what those inactive ingredients are! That means that the majority of the liquid in that bottle is a mystery, and manufacturers don't have to reveal their "trade secrets."
A new independent study, commissioned by Women's Voices for the Earth (WVE), tested 20 top household cleaning products and found several (including Tide Free & Gentle, Pine-Sol and Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner), contain toxic chemicals not listed on the label. These hidden chemicals are linked to cancer, birth defects and pregnancy complications. The WVE "Dirty Secrets" report can be found here.
- Use baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar to clean your home. Or a nontoxic product like Bon Ami for scrubbing.
- When possible choose fragrance-free or all-natural organic products.
- Bypass aerosol or plug-in air fresheners and instead using essential oils or simply open windows to freshen the air.
- Use simple detergents and soaps with short ingredient lists
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