Press Release: New survey wants to detox our cleaning products
New survey wants to detox our cleaning products
Results will help push for better labelling
For Immediate Release
March 28, 2012
OTTAWA –The David Suzuki Foundation wants Canadians to reveal the skeletons in their cleaning closet through a new online survey launching today. The questionnaire can be found at www.davidsuzuki.org/whatsinside.
The national survey will help the Foundation find out more about the home-cleaning products used by Canadians and the information available – and missing – from product labels.
"The results will help us push for safer products and better labelling of ingredients found in home-cleaning products,” says Lisa Gue, environmental health policy analyst with the David Suzuki Foundation. “We clean to keep our homes safe and healthy, but some of the ingredients in these products are a threat to our health and the environment."
Currently, there are no requirements for manufacturers to disclose all ingredients or warn consumers about chronic health and environmental hazards associated with their products. Some of the chemical ingredients used in cleaning products are associated with cancer, reproductive problems, asthma and other respiratory effects, and allergies. When cleaning products are flushed down the drain, they can also affect aquatic ecosystems.
“The good news is that we don’t need to choose between healthy and clean,” says Lindsay Coulter, the David Suzuki Foundation’s Queen of Green. “There are simpler, cheaper ways to clean that are healthier for us and the environment.”
Starting April 10, the Foundation will also be running a month-long Spring Break-Up challenge that will educate and empower Canadians to make better choices about the chemicals they use in their homes and around their children. By participating in and sharing this campaign, there will be opportunities to save money and win prizes from Whole Foods and other green retailers, and have a lot of fun along the way.
For more information, visit www.springbreakup.ca.
This survey follows the success of the 2008 What’s Inside? That Counts survey and report that examines toxic ingredients in personal-care products. More than 6,000 Canadians filled out the questionnaire that has helped the Foundation advocate for safer cosmetics.
Take the survey today! Visit: www.davidsuzuki.org/whatsinside
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What’s Inside Cleaner’s Survey 2012 Background Information
Cleaning should be about maintaining a healthy home. Yet some common household cleaning products contain chemicals that can harm human health and the environment.
Acute and chronic effects of cleaners:
In Canada, there is currently no regulatory requirement for manufacturers to disclose all ingredients in cleaning products in a consistent format. The only labeling requirement is for warnings about acute health hazards (e.g., “poison”, “corrosive,” “irritant”) associated with a single or short-term exposure to a particular ingredient or ingredients, or product packaging.
There is no parallel requirement for manufacturers to warn consumers about the health and environmental hazards associated with chronic, or long-term exposure to chemical ingredients in household cleaning products. Yet most of us are exposed to cleaning products and their residues at low levels on a daily basis. Some chemicals used as ingredients in cleaning products are associated with cancer, reproductive problems, asthma and other respiratory effects, and allergies. When cleaning products are flushed down the drain, they can also impact aquatic ecosystems.
Today the David Suzuki Foundation is launching an open, online survey to find out more about the home cleaning products used by Canadians and the information available – and missing – from product labels. The information gathered through the survey will help us press for safer products and better labelling of ingredients.
For information about hazards in household cleaners, tips for green cleaning and a link to the survey, please visit: www.davidsuzuki.org/whatsinside.
The survey will be open until the end of May. The David Suzuki Foundation plans to release the results of the survey in September 2012.
Previously, the David Suzuki Foundation’s What’s Inside? Campaign investigated toxic ingredients in cosmetics. More than 6,200 Canadians participated, entering information about chemicals listed as ingredients in some 12,500 products. Participants identified at least one of the “dirty dozen” ingredients highlighted in the survey in four out of five products. The results of this earlier survey are summarized in our 2010 report, available at: www.davidsuzuk.org/publications.
Spring Break-up challenge:
Starting April 10, the Queen of Green will issue four weekly challenges to help consumers examine their relationship with their household cleaners. The Spring Break-up will ask people to confront the reasons why they stay loyal to cleaning brands even though those relationships may be unhealthy. Participants will gain tips and tricks for greener cleaning options, have multiple opportunities to win prizes, and engage with other consumers throughout the month.