Scientists are finally recognizing that chemicals found in a wide variety of the goods we use every day may be more toxic than previously thought. In part because of the array of chemicals used to manufacture things we use in our daily lives, the National Poison Data System estimates 4 million cases of poisoning in the United States each year [source: American Association of Poison Control Centers].
Chemical Policy Reform database (consumer products oriented) from the Environmental Working Group
Environmental Working Group Resources:
- EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning
- EWG’s Top Tips for Healthy Cleaning
- EWG’s Healthy Living: Home Guide
Non-Toxic Do-It-Yourself Recipes
Women’s Voices for The Earth presents non-toxic recipes for home products that are safe, healthy, and good for your wallet, too!
We've pulled together the latest research* for an overview of the information about common household products, their toxicity, alternatives to their use, and disposal suggestions. We hope you find this service of value.
Common Household Toxins
|Bleaches, Laundry||Oven Cleaners|
|Cleaners, General Household||Pesticides (insect, rodent & weed killers, fungicides)|
|Detergents, Dishwashing/Laundry||Polishes, Shoe|
|Drain Cleaners||Polishes/Cleaners, Metal|
If you wish to learn more about the health impacts of individual toxic chemicals found in household products, please go to ATSDR ToxFAQs (ATSDR = Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry). ToxFAQ's is a series of summaries about exposure to hazardous substances and the effects of exposure on human health developed by the ATSDR Division of Toxicology. Each fact sheet is searchable by chemical name and serves as a quick and easy-to-understand guide.
See also: Cleaning Your House May Be As Bad As Smoking 20 Cigarettes A Day (Forbes)
Over 5000 children’s products contain toxic chemicals linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and reproductive problems, according to reports filed with the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology). The reports were filed by manufacturers in compliance with the state's Children's Safe Products Act of 2008.
We analyzed these reports in Chemicals Revealed: 5,000 Kids’ Products Contain Toxic Chemicals and found that makers of kids’ products reported using a total of 41 chemicals identified by Ecology as a concern for children’s health, including toxic metals such as cadmium, mercury, and antimony, and organic compounds such as phthalates.
A new product lets consumers test their food and water sources at home for pesticide contamination, and it's only $10! | MORE>>
Also, see the book, "How Toxic Is Your Home?" by Debra Lynn Dadd.
* Special thanks to two Summer 2011 volunteers, Micaela Kaiser and Caitlin June Baird, for much of the background research to produce these pages!