Some "Green” Products May Contain Chemicals

Check the ingredient lists on "green” products before you buy!

Some “Green” Products May Contain Chemicals

Check the ingredient lists on “green” products before you buy!

-Jane Farrell

cleaning supplies

The next time you’re buying air fresheners, deodorant or detergent, you might want to think twice about those sweet-smelling or fresh-scented products.

According to the website futurity, researchers at the University of Washington-Seattle tested 25 products, about half of which carried a label saying they were “natural” or “organic” or “green.”

The study leader, Ann Steinemann, professor of civil and environmental engineering, said that “the green products’ emissions of hazardous chemicals “were not significantly different from the other products.”

Specifically, researchers found that all of the products tested emitted an average of 17 chemicals each. The products included air fresheners (sprays, solids and oils); laundry detergent; cleaning products (dish detergents); and personal-care products including hand sanitizers, deodorants and shampoos. What’s more, fully one third of the products included chemicals classified by the federal Environmental Protection Agency as “probable carcinogens.” The agency has not set any “safe” exposure levels for these substances.

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Steinemann also told Futurity that the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which regulates air fresheners, laundry detergents and cleaning supple, doesn’t require those supplies to list ingredients. The same is true for personal-care products, which are overseen by the Food and Drug Administration.

The study listed some common ingredients linked with chemical emissions, including the compound limonene, which has a citrus scent; acetone in nail polish remover; and alpha-pinrnr and beta-pinene, which have pine scents. And even a seemingly simple listing of “fragrance” in a product can be made up of hundreds of ingredients, Steinemann says.

The bottom line: Check the ingredient lists, if the product lists any chemicals. You may not always be able to find them, but if you have any bad reaction to a substance, it’s probably best to stop using it. (futurity)

Jane Farrell is a senior editor at BettyConfidential.

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