-Guest Columnist, Liz Hopwood, BioVeda Health and Wellness
Do you know what is in your paint, detergent, fabric softeners, scented candles, and furniture? Most of us do not know, because usually, there are no ingredients listed on any of these products! Have you ever tried to find out what is in your household products? It is next to impossible and the chemical agencies do not give us the “right” to find out! What is even more scary is that the government regulators of the chemicals in these products don’t necessarily have the “right” to know either!
According to a new report released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG),
“The public has no access to any information about approximately 17,000 of the more than 83,000 chemicals on the master inventory compiled by the EPA and Industry has placed ‘confidential business information’ (CBI) claims on the identity of 13,596 new chemicals produced since 1976 – nearly two-thirds the 20,403 chemicals added to the list in the past 33 years. “
The Toxic Substance Control Act or the TSCA is a law written about 30 years ago to regulate toxic substances. It is one of the weakest environmental laws, mainly because it requires the EPA to prove guilt instead of the manufacturers. Basically, the chemical is innocent until proven guilty. The law is intended to protect our health and the environment, but here is a major gap in the law, it allows chemical manufacturers to hide the ingredients of their products!
I stopped using dryer sheets a long time ago because I felt it was making my skin break out in eczema. There is a study that was done by the University of Washington that found potentially dangerous toxins in top selling air fresheners and detergents when testing the air around it. We, as consumers, have no idea as to the presence of these chemicals and manufacturers continue to state that their products are completely safe when used as directed. If you read the labels on the dryer sheet box, you will find, “biodegradable cationic softeners and perfumes.” MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet, which contains chemical information intended to safeguard workers and emergency responders) lists “non-ionic and cationic fabric conditioning agents, a perfume carrier, and non-woven cloth.”
I was getting terrible headaches and could not figure out why. One of my friends mentioned that my plug in air fresheners might be part of my headache problem. I removed the plug in air fresheners and my headaches went away! Plug-in air fresheners do not list any ingredients on the labels. Some of the chemicals found in air freshers, but not limited to, are: Alpha-Pinene, ethanol, ethyl acetate, acetaldehyde, benzaldehyde, isopropyle alcohol, and acetone. MSDS lists, “ethanol, borax, ethanolamine.” Quite a few chemicals to have floating around your house!
We, as consumers, have a right to know what potential harmful ingredients and other materials are in the products we purchase. As a mother, I believe it is part of my responsibility to keep my child from these dangerous chemicals.