Regulators Push for Disclosure on Household Cleaner Ingredients

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Regulators in Albany have advanced a plan unpopular with some large corporations that would require manufacturers of common household cleaners like floor polish and dish soap to disclose the products’ ingredients.

For months, the Department of Environmental Conservation has been consulting quietly with the cleaning industry and environmental groups about making new rules. But this week, the DEC's draft plan was made public. It shows regulators want specific information about the chemicals used in cleaning products and possible links to cancer, asthma, and birth defects.

The effort amounts to an expansion of the department's responsibilities, even as state agencies trim budgets and staff.

The cleaning industry said it's already well regulated by the federal government, and many manufacturers provide ingredient information on their websites.

"The state ought to consider not undertaking this effort given the fiscal conditions of the state right now and let the voluntary programs of the companies provide the information that is intended," said Dennis Griesing, Vice President of Government Affairs at the American Cleaning Institute, an industry group.

ACI said Americans spend $30 billion a year on detergent, sprays and other cleaners.

Environmental groups see the matter differently. A few years ago, a lawyer with the group Earthjustice discovered a 35 year-old law empowering the DEC to require disclosure of cleaning products. Earthjustice sued to force Colgate-Palmolive, Church & Dwight and other manufacturers to share ingredient information. Earthjustice lost the suit, but the DEC began to consider how it could enforce this law, passed under former Governor Nelson Rockefeller.

Earthjustice this week praised the DEC for moving the process ahead, but said it needs to go further. For example, Earthjustice said the state should demand unique CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service) numbers for all ingredients.

A review process involving public feedback is expected to begin in the spring.

By requiring disclosure of chemicals, New York would effectively set a new nationwide standard. However, it’s not clear how accessible to the public regulators intend to make the information.

Read the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Draft Proposal for Household Cleansing Product Disclosure.

Read the comments from Earthjustice and 41 other environmental groups.

Read the comments from the American Cleaning Institute, a trade group.

Read comments from the Consumer Specialty Products Association, a trade group.


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Comments [2]

Jerry Smith

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Feb. 20 2012 07:35 PM

As a person who ended up at a multi organ near failure end stage (building fire and chemicals used illegally afterword during years of renovation) I know full well the impact of the damage these poisons do over time.

(and what is interesting is that so called experts aligned with the companies that make these products - think Bayor Asprin, Bayor pesticide - one is told it is all in one's head. I have internal bleeding, seeping through my pores, and all organs were near failure)

I utilized natural therapies over decades (background in science) or would not be here today to write this post.

Most of the same chemical poisons to our various systems that were in the industrial products - are found as well in common household products as well as so called fragrance products. These are not disclosed for a reason...

The industry would have all believe that there are tolerable levels - yet molecule by molecule the damage to delicate enzyme and other systems occurs until the body eventual collapses (or some various dis ease along the way occurs)...

Remember Bette Davis in "little foxes" and how she poisoned her husband bit by bit with cyanide? Same thing.

Industry is a major force and is aligned with government agencies to allow the public to be exposed to these highly toxic products.

Thanks for researching this topic and please look up multiple chemical sensitivity - that is a label given - we who were damaged call it chemical poisoning which is what it is... Many are homeless, destitute, living in cars, tents, and many commit suicide...(40% suicide rate and not because they are crazy, but living in "bubble with no outside life and deteriorating health, fighting government agencies for food stamps , or ssd causes one to just die slowly on top of a horrific illness due to chemical poisoning).

I have degrees in prevet sciences (mother was in medicine so I grew up reading medical texts) psychology, and decades of chemistry in the arts, as well, I was placed for a Masters in a health field which I lost when I collapsed.

I know - in other words, how to do my own research, own thinking and reach my own conclusions.

S.L.M in NYC

Mar. 03 2011 04:50 PM

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