Warning: Household Cleaners Contain Toxins

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Common household cleaning products may be more dangerous than we realize.   A study conducted by Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE), an organization whose self-described mission is to “eliminate toxic chemicals that impact women’s health by changing consumer behaviors, corporate practices and government policies.” The study investigates the presence of dangerous chemicals in twenty common cleaning products (Simple Green, Tide, Pine Sol, Febreze, etc.) and finds that many contain dangerous chemicals not labeled on the products.  The WVE warns against these chemicals, which are known to cause harm to pregnant women, and pushes for their clear labeling.  The article details six of the most dangerous products from WVE’s study.


These are the chemicals found and their effects:

Simple Green, contains:

phthalates – affect reproductive & neurological development of developing babies

1,4-dioxane – carcinogen

toluene – pregnancy complications, birth defects, and developmental delays in children


Glade’s Tough Odor Solutions with Oust Air Sanitizer, contains:

phthalates – (above)

galaxolide – hormone disruptor


Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent, contains:

1,4-dioxane – carcinogen


Clorox Cleanup with Bleach, contains:

chloroform – carcinogen

carbon tetrachloride – carcinogen


Pine Sol Original Formula, contains:

toluene – (above)


Febreze Air Effects, contains:

galaxolide – hormone disruptor


Title: Which Household Cleaners Contain Toxins?

Author: Jaeah Lee

Publication: Mother Jones

Date of Publication: November 17, 2011

URL: http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/11/toxins-household-cleaners-tide-clorox-glade-pinesol-febreze-simplegreen


Student Researcher: Elizabeth Saechao, Sonoma State University

Faculty Evaluator: Elaine Wellin, Sonoma State University