Health Watchdog Welcomes Bill Calling for Labels on Cleaning Products

Oakland, CA-The leading national health watchdog the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) welcomed the Cleaning Product Right-to-Know Act (SB 258), a bill introduced today by California State Senator Ricardo Lara (D-33rd district).The bills calls for labeling of all chemicals used in household cleaning products, air care products, automotive care products and polish or floor maintenance products.

“This bill gives California consumers vital information we need to make informed choices in the marketplace,” said Kathryn Alcantar, California Policy Director for CEH. “For more than twenty years, CEH’s work to enforce product warning laws has led to business innovations for safer products for children and families in California and throughout the country. With this bill, California will deepen our leadership in encouraging the most cutting-edge business practices to meet the global demand for safer products made without harmful chemicals.”

Today, hundreds of cleaning products contain chemicals that are poisonous, are linked to cancer and other serious health problems, and/or are chemicals that contribute to indoor air pollution. In many cases, cleaners are the most toxic products found in the home.

Cleaning products also pose increased health risks for certain workers. For example, janitorial staff and domestic cleaners, who are more often women and/or people of color, have higher rates of asthma and respiratory illness than other workers.

Yet currently consumers and workplaces often have no way to know what chemicals may be used in the products they buy to clean their homes and businesses. The Cleaning Products Right-to-Know Act resolves this problem with the first comprehensive state rules to require full ingredient disclosure on all cleaning products.

“It is past time for Californians to have the information we need about the hidden chemical health threats that lurk in cleaning products,” said Alcantar. “We urge the legislature and the Governor to act quickly to adopt these important, common-sense rules to protect our children’s and families’ health and encourage safe, sustainable business practices.”

The Center for Environmental Health has a 20year track record of protecting children and families from harmful chemicals in our air, water, food and in dozens of every day products. CEH also works with major industries and leaders in green business to promote healthier alternatives to toxic products and practices. In 2010, the San Francisco Business Times bestowed its annual “Green Champion” award to CEH for its work to improve health and the environment in the Bay Area and beyond.