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How To Find Out Whether Your Cleaning Products are Healthy

I often get asked the question, “How can I tell if the house cleaning products I am using are bad for my family?”

It’s a very good question because, under current FDA rules, the manufacturers of house cleaning products are not required by law to disclose the ingredients on the label.  Without going into too much detail, the “recipes” are considered proprietary, in other words, trade secrets. It’s a little disconcerting that the government still allows this practice, in light of the existing and growing evidence that common chemicals are known or suspected to cause all sorts of health problems, from simple headaches to allergy and asthma attacks to memory loss, behavioral problems, mood swings, reproductive problems, kidney, liver and blood problems, even cancer.  BUt my point is not to rail on the government here.

My point is to help you find the information so that you can evaluate what’s under your kitchen sink, to help protect your family’s health. So….

There’s a great website called the Household Products Database, where you can go and look up either chemicals or household products (including but not limited to house cleaning products) and learn whether a particular product or chemical is safe for your family.  You can find out what chemicals are in a particular product by scrolling through the info about a certain product until you get to the ingredients, or click on the link for the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet, published by the manufacturer).  Once you’ve found the ingredients, you can click on them to follow links to Health Studies, Toxicity reports and other research that may help you decide about the potential or real health risks to your family for a chemical ingredient.  Here’s the link:

http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov

Many experts agree that the safest approach is to not buy products with ingredients you cannot pronounce.  It’s true, but very limiting and often impractical.  The Household Products Database is a great source of info, for house cleaning products but many other products you may have at home.

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