Green Buckeye RN

KARE TV: Franken Seeks Ingredient Labeling for Household Cleansers
September 30, 2009, 9:26 am
Filed under: News

Typical household cleaning products 
By John Croman
Washington, D.C. — You know what’s in your food and many beauty products. Senator Al Franken wants to make it possible to see exactly what’s in your household cleaning products as well.

The Minnesota Democrat introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate requiring producers to fully disclose all ingredients on their product labels, including those suspected of causing long-term harm. Currently the warnings on cleansers are designed to prevent immediate harm due to swallowing, splashing in eyes or other unintended uses.

“If your child has asthma and there’s a cleanser that has something in it like a phthalate, that can cause or aggravate asthma,” Sen. Franken explained Tuesday, “You like to be able to look at your cleanser and say, ‘Ah, my child has that. I will stop using that now.'”

Environmental health advocacy groups, such as the Women’s Voices for the Earth, have targeted chemicals such as phthalates, glycol ethers and monoethanolamine found in household cleaning products. Some are used to add fragrances, and others serve as surfactants to help lift dirt and grease off surfaces and fabrics.

Representative Steve Israel, a New York Democrat, is sponsoring the companion legislation in the U.S. House. Local environmental groups call the measure an important step on the road to ridding products of harmful substances altogether.

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