Unfortunately often times manufacturers are legally permitted to add untested or unregulated, and potentially harmful, chemicals to household cleaning products without warning unsuspecting consumers. While some manufacturers list ingredients on their website - here's a check list to look for potential warning signs on cleaning product labels.
- Look for buzz words like, "danger," "poison," "flammable," etc on the label. These cautionary words are clues as to the hazardous chemicals in a bottle.
- No news is bad news. If a product doesn't have any items listed in its ingredients, it could be a sign the manufacturer is trying to hide something.
- Man-made fragrances are a no-no. Products with descriptions like "fresh scent" and "spring air" are synthetically made to smell a certain way. Often times they get this man-made scent from using formaldehyde. It's best to buy products that are scented naturally or with essential oils.
- Performance claims could indicate an ingredient. Products that "whiten" are likely to contain bleach. Did you know that feminine hygiene products are white not because the material used is naturally white but rather because feminine hygiene products are bleached white? Dig a little deeper to see exactly how products claim to get that "streak free shine."
- Packaging is key. Products that come in recycled materials are more likely to contain ingredients that are not synthetic vs. products that are not packaged in recycled materials.
Download Seventh Generation's Label Reading Guide to help you better understand what's in the cleaning product you just purchased.
READERS: What do you look for when purchasing eco-friendly cleaning products?
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