FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 23, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Women’s Voices for the Earth supports the recently introduced Cleaning Product Right to Know Act (H.R. 4476) sponsored by New York Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington).
“Women’s Voices for the Earth has tested cleaning products and found hidden carcinogens, reproductive toxins and allergens in top selling brands,” said Erin Switalski, Executive Director. “Under the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act, companies will no longer be able to withhold this information from the public.”
The legislation would require ingredient labeling for household and institutional cleaning products. Under current U.S. law, cleaning products are not required to disclose ingredients.
“When we use cleaning products to clean our homes or our offices we assume they’re good for our health,” Rep. Israel said in a media release from his office.
“However, research has shown that chemicals in these products may, in fact, be harming us,” he said. “We all have a right to know what’s in the cleaning products we use, which is why I’ve introduced legislation that would ensure that we can all make informed decisions when deciding which cleaning products to use.”
Rep. Israel cited a 2011 Women’s Voices for the Earth report, Dirty Secrets, which revealed hidden ingredients in cleaning products based on lab testing. Highlights include:
- Some products contained reproductive toxins such as toluene and phthalates, carcinogens such as 1,4-dioxane and chloroform, and a hormone disrupting synthetic musk.
- Several known allergens were also detected in these products, the highest levels of which appeared in fragranced air fresheners.
- Allergens were found in products marketed as fragrance-free.
- None of these chemicals were listed on the product’s label.
Rep. Israel’s legislation would require full-ingredient labeling on a product or its packaging. Manufacturers would also be required to provide an online list of each product’s ingredients. Products covered by the legislation include, but are not limited to: air care products, automotive products, polishes or floor maintenance products, and disinfectants. Ingredients must be listed in descending order of predominance by weight. Cleaning products without labels containing a complete and accurate list of all the products’ ingredients will be treated as a misbranded hazardous substance under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.
Jamie McConnell, firstname.lastname@example.org, (406) 543.3747, office
Founded in 1995, Women’s Voices for the Earth amplifies women’s voices to eliminate the toxic chemicals that harm our health and communities. With thousands of members across the United States, WVE changes corporate practices, holds government accountable, and works to ensure a toxic-free future for all. Learn more at www.womensvoices.org.