Do you have any idea what ingredients are used in your favorite cleaning product? If you're a dedicated 'make-your-own cleaners' kind of greenie, then I'm sure you do. But what if, like me, you rely on store brands to get your counters and clothes clean?
Women’s Voices for the Earth
, a national eco-watchdog group, recently tested a sampling of 20 cleaning products from major corporations, including Clorox, S.C. Johnson & Son, and Procter & Gamble to determine what chemicals are used in each product. Their report on the testing, entitled “Dirty Secrets: What’s Hiding in your Cleaning Products?” revealed a number of allergens, phthalates and carcinogens in some of the country's most popular cleaning products, including at least one that is marketed as a "healthy" alternative to other products.
One finding of the report that's making headlines is the number of cleaning agents that contain high levels of the cancer-causing chemical 1,4-dioxane in their formulas. Several mom-led eco-groups have banded together to ask the makers of one product — Tide Free & Gentle — to remove 1,4-dioxane from its formula.
Why the hubbub? Tide Free & Gentle is marketed to moms of newborns as a "healthy" laundry detergent that is good for delicate skin. But, as we all know, babies and children are more vulnerable to chemical exposures, because their growing bodies are still developing. 1,4-dioxane is a known cancer-causing chemical, and has been linked in animal studies to increased risk of breast cancer.
That's why a number of eco-organizations, including Women’s Voices for the Earth, MomsRising, and Healthy Child Healthy World started a petition
asking Procter & Gamble (makers of Tide) to remove 1,4- dioxane from the Tide Free & Gentle formula.