What’s that Smell? Report–Chemical Fragrances in Cleaners Dangerous to Families

“There’s no reason to be putting the health of American consumers at risk because of a legal loophole. We need to update our laws so that moms and dads can get the information they need to make choices about what they bring into their homes,” says Senator Al Franken (D-MN). That’s why I’ve introduced legislation that would require full labeling on the products for cleaners—much like what we have for food and drugs. It’s just common sense.”

I couldn’t agree more.  Here is a summary of an important new report from Women’s Voices for the Earth, about the toxic affects of many fragrance chemicals in mainstream products that claim to “clean the air.”

In the first report examining the health effects of fragrance chemicals in cleaning products, Women’s Voices for the Earth has drawn attention to top-selling detergents, air fresheners and spray cleaners. These products contain secret fragrance chemicals that are not required to be listed on the label, which may cause health problems that impact women and children in particular: reduced fertility, birth defects and increased risk of breast cancer, asthma and allergies.

The report points to a number of scientific studies that cast doubt on the safety of these fragrance chemicals. The presence of these chemicals in everyday cleaners, which impact almost all Americans, shows that chemicals remain largely unregulated due to weak laws governing their use and safety.

Key findings:

Estimates indicate that fragrance usage in the United States has more than doubled since 1990.The report found that the highest level of synthetic musks were found in laundry detergent, furniture polish and fabric softener.

The report points to a study that found that 75% of patients diagnosed with fragrance allergies were women, most of whom developed skin rashes when exposed to fragrances. Women still do 70 percent of the housework in the average home, according to WVE.

This report comes at a time when the industry is facing unprecedented changes at the federal legislative level, with Congress considering Senator Franken’s Household Product Labeling Act and the Safe Chemicals Act, which would require that chemicals be evaluated for safety before being included in products. The current law governing chemicals used in the marketplace is over 30 years old. Thousands of chemicals have been introduced to market since then without independent safety testing. Join WVE and the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition in advocating for a strong version of the Safe Chemicals Act to be passed.

What You Can Do:

*Reduce or eliminate your use of fragranced products. Download WVE’s alternatives to fragranced Cleaning Products.

*Download the full report “What’s that smell?” from the Women’s Voices for the Earth website, www.womenandenvironment. org. which includes tips and alternatives for avoiding fragranced cleaning products.

*Support the work of Women’s Voices for the earth. Sign up for the WVE Action Network to learn more about how you can support policies that protect us from toxic chemical exposure, and make a donation in support of WVE’s work at www. womenandenvironment.org.

*Support the Safe Chemicals Act and the Household Product Labeling Act!

*Take Action:  Send a letter to Cleaning Product Companies (remove harmful chemicals and label ingredients!)

*Add this to Twitter:  Use the hashtag #WhatsThatSmell?

Follow @women4earth and @ThatsSoEco and check for tweets throughout the day!

* Tweet this:  #WhatsThatSmell? It’s chemicals being hidden in your detergents, spray cleaners and air fresheners. Check out the new report: http://bit.ly/co9jjj

*I changed the Non-Toxic Kids Facebook profile photo to this image: http://ow.ly/1ZXsp I hope you’ll consider it too!

The report shares some great make at home, safe and green cleaner recipes, and much more information about the affects of harmful chemicals on children, how to reduce your exposure, and how to make change about this issue.  A huge thank you to Women’s Voices for the Earth for sharing such an important report– it is time these harmful chemicals were eliminated from cleaning products to protect our families and the environment.

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