Out with the old, in with the new. Gone are the days of chemical housekeeping–keep things in tip-top shape without risking your health by using progressive products that take care of your home, your health, and your planet. Here are some ideas for non-toxic and environmentally safe household products for a clean home, a healthy family, and a safe world.
Few product labels are more difficult to decode than those on conventional cleaning products. This is troubling because cleaners (even those labeled “green”) frequently contain hazardous chemicals. The information–or lack thereof–on their labels can be the difference between health and illness. Unfortunately, large loopholes in federal law allow these toxic ingredients to remain largely secret. Cleaning product formulas are considered trade secrets, and true green and eco-friendly cleaners are few and far between.
It’s up to consumers to separate the good from the bad and the ugly, and choose the safer cleaner options. It can be tricky without full ingredient lists, but here are five ways to decipher cleaning product labels.
How to Read a Cleaning Product Label
- Look for the warning words. “Poison”, “Warning”, or “Danger” indicate toxic formulas. The word “Caution”, isn’t as severe – it can appear on products that are safe but might, for example, cause minor eye irritation or gastric upset.
- Watch out for flammable products. Look for label statements declaring the product flammable or combustible, or instructions stating that the product not be stored at temperatures above 120 degrees.
- Check for State of California warnings. These warnings are required on any product containing ingredients that state regulators believe cause cancer or reproductive harm.
- Skin irritation warnings can also indicate potential hazards.
- Inspect any ingredient list carefully. Remember that even safe ingredients are usually listed by their chemical name so chemical mentions per se do not necessarily indicate a hazardous product.
To read more about this topic check out these articles:
- DIY Recipes for Natural Cleaners
- Safer Cleaning: Banish Chlorine Bleach
- Cleaning Up The Way We Clean: Safe and Healthy Cleaning Solutions
Or visit the Healthy Child Healthy World blog:
Find a list of Healthy Child Healthy World approved products and lines:
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