What's on your sponge? Fresh-scented products may contain some toxic… (Los Angeles Times files )
We all read food labels for nutritional content but what’s in everyday household products? It turns out the chemicals in fresh-smelling laundry detergents, air fresheners and cleaning supplies may not be as nice as their scent.
The Health Notes blog of the Newport News Daily Press points to a recent University of Washington study that found nearly a quarter of the chemicals emitted by products containing fragrance mixtures were classified as toxic or hazardous by federal standards. Further, most of the chemicals in those mixtures aren’t listed on the label because manufacturers aren’t required to do so, the study says.
Help may slowly be on the way.
The Household Product Labeling Act proposed in Congress in two bills last year would require reporting of "any fragrance, dye, or preservative, and any component of such fragrance, dye, or preservative" in cleaning products, air fresheners and deodorizers, floor and furniture polish, dish-washing soap, drain cleaners and other products. Click on the House of Representatives and Senate to read more about the bills.
To find information on product safety, check out the Household Products Database by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services that details potential health affects as well as safety and handling of a wide variety of products.