When I first read about the shameful ingredients in the popular cleaning products we buy in a report by Environmental Working Group’s President Ken Cook, I immediately said “Note to self – share with Mrs. Green’s tribe because the content is that important, it’s what you have been writing about for years and you can’t reiterate it enough.”  I’ve shared this before but its too important not to share again.  Please read it, talk about it, and  hopefully get indignant about the content; read it again and most importantly, please be inspired to act.

Why? Because from the core of my being I believe that: Our lives depend on making changes in the products we use; we can start to change things immediately without waiting for government regulations. How? We can vote with our wallets. Here’s what Ken had to say:

“Did you know that on average we’re exposed to 126 chemicals through personal care products every day?

This alarming fact made me wonder: what about the cleaning products I use? If my shampoo and deodorant contain that many chemicals. What the heck is in my laundry detergent?

Turns out, most cleaning products don’t even list their ingredients on the label. I had to jump through hoops – going to the website, calling the company – and even then I couldn’t get the full story. So I talked to the research team at EWG. And they went to work for me – and for you. Now we have a new database with more than 2,000 household cleaners ranked on how hazardous their ingredients are and how much information is on their labels.

CleaningProducts2Click here to get a look at the EWG Cleaners Hall of Shame. This excellent list includes some of the most hazardous products on the market, and we’re not afraid to name names.

Our analysis found some startling facts. Many products contain ingredients known to cause asthma or are contaminated with carcinogens. And, maybe even worse than that, lots of products provide little to no ingredient information – leaving you in the dark about what you think is cleaning your home. (Mrs. Green’s editorial comment – I am not startled and have been writing about this for four years!)

“Green” products aren’t necessarily any better. Many of them boast of using ingredients made from plants rather than petroleum – but there’s little or no safety data for some plant-based ingredients. A truly green product should pose few risks to your health and to the environment – and be transparent about what’s in it.

Click here to see which “green” cleaners made the EWG Cleaners Hall of Shame!

We know that indoor air is sometimes more polluted than outdoor air, so it’s important to know what’s in your cleaning products. Labeling cleaning products isn’t mandatory – as it is for food, personal care products and drugs – but as a consumer, you ought to have that right. You shouldn’t be left in the dark about products you buy and use every day. That’s why we can’t wait to release the full EWG Cleaners Database next month. (Mrs. G’s two cents? Think about how much time we spend inside between work and home. And then think cleaning up the air you breathe – at least at home.)

I’ve been working to protect consumers from harmful products for almost 20 years now, but what I’ve learned about cleaners shocked me. I hope you’ll take some time to learn the truth about the products you use so you can continue to keep your family safe. (Mrs. Green’s reaction to this? Not shocked at all. On the one hand, sick to my stomach. On the other hand, to know better is to do better and I want everyone to know better. It’s my life’s work.)

Ken Cook”