Cleanliness May Be Next to Sickliness

Household products contain chemicals linked to asthma, infant growth defects
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 24, 2007 2:43 PM CDT
Gamble Co.'s Tide laundry detergent line the shelves of a Little Rock, Ark., Wal-Mart store. James Stengel, the marketing chief for the nation's leading advertiser, says it's crucial in today's marketing...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 5 more images

(Newser) – Common household products, including laundry detergents and floor cleaners, contain harmful chemicals that could induce health problems in adults and infants, a new report says. Five chemicals, present in popular brands like Pine-Sol, Formula 409, and Tide, may lead to asthma attacks, developmental problems, and infertility but often are not listed on packaging, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.

The law requires manufacturers to list only chemicals that are hazardous, a system an industry spokesman says isn’t perfect but helps protect trade secrets. Critics of the industry urge more testing and disclosure of chemicals used in cleaners. Concerned consumers can purchase “green” kits that allow them to make their own cleaners using nontoxic ingredients.