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New York Set to Be First State to Require Cleaning Products to List Ingredients

Friday, September 10, 2010

There could soon be ingredient labels on floor polish and toilet bowl cleaner sold in New York. The state is set to become the first in the nation to require disclosure of the chemicals in common household cleaning products.

Unlike food labels, which tell you every ingredient on a box of crackers or a can of soda, there is no similar list on cleaning products.

That could soon change, now that the Department of Environmental Conservation in Albany has decided to enforce a 33-year old law empowering it to require disclosure of chemical ingredients.

Environmental and consumer groups are already declaring victory. They've long claimed a link between some chemicals and illnesses like asthma and breast cancer.

Brian Sansoni with The American Cleaning Institute strongly disputes the notion that there are health risks. He says there's no need for New York to require complete disclosure, as companies already welcome questions from consumers.

"They can pick up the phone and call the company today. They can go to the company Web site, nothing is stopping a consumer today from asking a question," Sansoni says.

There is no federal requirement for disclosure of ingredients in cleaning products.

Albany regulators say they will require disclosure from all companies that sell cleaning products in the state. The DEC will meet next month with industry and environmental groups to discuss its plans for enforcement.

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Comments [3]

Andrew B. Watt from Middletown, CT

Thank you for the use of my photograph. It brought me quite a lot of traffic to my <A HREF="http://www.flickr.com/photos/anselm23/">Flickr.com account</a>, and I appreciate the traffic.

I also keep a blog at <A HREF="http://andrewbwatt.wordpress.com">http://andrewbwatt.wordpress.com</A>. Mostly I write about education, and the issue of cleaning products in schools is problematic. Children's bodies are much more fragile than those of adults, and yet our schools use the cheapest (and often the most harsh) cleaning supplies, exposing our kids to potentially toxic chemicals. We should label cleaning products, and then we should design cleaning solutions for schools in order to minimize the risk of accidental genetic tampering from chemical exposure in school.

Feb. 10 2011 11:52 PM
Monona Rossol

I hate to rain on a parade, especially one I would like to see, but the 33 year old disclosure law only requires disclosure in the form of a list of ingredients sent to DEC every 6 months to be filed in Albany. It has nothing to do with labels. It will make it grand for activists like me, Earthjustice, EWG and others, who will now know what is really in the products. But consumer labels do not have to be changed.

Sep. 14 2010 08:25 AM
robert gold

Brian Sansoni states the consumers can ask questions. The real question is will you give an honest answer. There is absolutely no rationale for oppsing this, unless there is something to hide.

Sep. 13 2010 09:03 PM

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