Would you knowingly wash your clothes in detergent that contained cancer-causing chemicals?
I sure wouldn’t, and I bet you wouldn't either. No wonder many cleaning product companies don’t tell you that they use ingredients that are known to cause not just cancer, but various reproductive problems and allergies, too.
Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE), a terrific non-profit organization whose scientists keep an eye on the consumer products you buy, has just issued a report that identifies toxic chemicals used by five top companies: Clorox, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, SC Johnson and Son, and Sunshine Makers (Simple Green). WVE looked at 20 different cleaning products – and found toxic substances in all of them. If not for this study, titled "Dirty Secrets: What's Hiding in Your Cleaning Products?" you’d never be the wiser, because none of the noxious chemicals were listed on the product label.
WVE believes consumers deserve to know what chemicals they are being exposed to so they can easily avoid products that may make them or their kids sick. I agree. That’s why I wholeheartedly support WVE’s call for Congress to pass new federal legislation called the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act requiring cleaning product manufacturers to disclose all the ingredients they use in their products directly on the product label.
I’ve also signed WVE’s petition urging one of the offending companies, Tide, to remove the cancer-causing chemical 1,4-dioxane from its Tide Free & Gentle® detergent. 1,4-dioxane is a known cancer-causing chemical, and has been linked in animal studies to increased risk of breast cancer. Nevertheless, Tide Free & Gentle® is being marketed to moms as a healthier choice for their kids’ laundry, even though infants and children are particularly vulnerable to chemical exposures because their immune, neurological, and hormone systems are still developing.
WVE is targeting Procter & Gamble (makers of Tide®) because P&G has taken 1,4 dioxane out of some of its other products, like its Herbal Essences® shampoo. More than 75,000 people have signed the petition asking the company to do the same for Tide and the rest of its products. Ironically, the Tide website says: Safety: The Most Important Ingredient in Tide®. If that’s true, then 1,4-dioxane should never have been in the product in the first place.
Here’s one more important way you can make a difference: use your big green purse. Shift your spending to safer laundry detergents that are free of toxic chemicals. Here are some we sell in the Big Green Purse store; you can also find them in many grocery stores.