A couple of weeks ago our friends at the Environmental Working Group released their 2012 Guide to Healthy Cleaning, a list of more than 2,000 household cleaning products that are graded from A to F, according to health safety.
The EWG report includes ratings of all types of household cleaning and deodorizing products from air fresheners, to floor cleaners, and all purpose cleaners, to kitchen, laundry and bathroom cleaning products.
Not surprising they found that 'some household cleaning products can expose unsuspecting users to toxic substances linked to short- and long-term health problems, including asthma, allergic reactions and even cancer.' If they are affecting humans in this manner, just imagine what affect they can have on our dogs who are closer to the floor, eat off the floor, and lick a wide variety of surfaces!
Did you know that a full list of ingredients on labels are required for food, cosmetics and drugs sold in the U.S. – but not for cleaning products?
According to EWG, 'just 7 percent of cleaning products adequately disclosed their contents. To uncover what’s in common household cleaners, EWG’s staff scientists spent 14 months scouring product labels and digging through company websites and technical documents. EWG staff reviewed each ingredient against 15 U.S. and international toxicity databases and numerous scientific and medical journals.'
Back in 2008 a similar study was conducted by the University of Washington focusing on the top-selling laundry products and air fresheners. They 'found the products emitted dozens of different chemicals. All six products tested gave off at least one chemical regulated as toxic or hazardous under federal laws, but none of those chemicals were listed on the product labels.'
Let's look at an example on the EWG's list:
Simple Green Carpet Cleaner - You'd think that with a name like Simple Green that this product would be not only healthier, but more eco-friendly, as well. According to research by the EWG, Simple Green Carpet Cleaner contains a wide variety of toxic chemicals that are linked to developmental, endocrine and reproductive effects, cancer, skin irritation, allergies, damage to DNA, respiratory effects, acute aquatic toxicity, digestive system effects, nervous system effects, and damage to vision. This is a dangerous combination, especially for dogs that spend much of their life on our floors and carpet.
However not all Simple Green products are harmful. Simple Green Naturals Carpet Care and Floor Care products get much higher ratings than the above mentioned Carpet Cleaner.
Before you reach for that cleaner - whether it be labeled green, all-natural or not - be careful and think about how these store bought cleaners may be harmful to you and your dog. Do your research and read more about what the EWG found when conducting this study of very popular cleaning products.
Watch for an upcoming post to help you make healthier and safer cleaning products from common household items you probably have around your home, easily and quickly!