• Environmental Working Group’s Toxic Hall of Shame

    by Dr. Susan Sklar
    on Jan 22nd, 2015

At the Sklar Center, with have a lot of trust in the Environmental Working Group.  It  is a non-profit organization that is committed to a safe and healthy environment.  They are financially independent and  do not receive funding from the companies whose products they evaluate.  This is a report on the most toxic household chemicals they evaluated.  If you are using these, get rid of them and find a substitute using the basics:  lemon juice, vinegar, salt (as an abrasive), and mild dishwashing liquid.  You can clean almost anything with a combination of these.  

Comet Disinfectant Cleanser Powder
This product emitted 146 different chemicals, including some thought to cause cancer, asthma and reproductive disorders. The most toxic chemicals detected – formaldehyde, benzene, chloroform and toluene – are not listed on the label. Little is known about the health risks of most of the contaminants found.

Ajax, Dynamo and Fab Ultra liquid laundry detergents (Phoenix Brands)
These contain formaldehyde, also known as formalin, classified as a known human carcinogen by the U.S. government and World Health Organization. Formaldehyde can cause asthma and allergies. The company divulges the presence of formaldehyde in the product only on technical disclosures for workers.

Drano Professional Strength Kitchen Crystals Clog Remover
The label says this product can severely burn eyes and skin and cause blindness or even death. Drano Kitchen Crystals may remain in the drain after use, creating an extreme hazard. Using a plunger could cause caustic splashback. Pouring any other product down the drain might trigger a dangerous chemical reaction. The label warns purchasers to “keep water out of can at all times to prevent contents from violently erupting or boiling out.” Yet unsuspecting consumers have been known to store it under the sink.

Walmart’s Great Value
This store brand does not list ingredients in its Heavy Duty Oven & Grill Cleaner and lemon-scented Furniture Polish, despite the company’s commitment “to sell products that sustain people and the environment.” Other items sold under the Great Value brand list few ingredients or use general terms for them.

LA’s Totally Awesome
This brand divulges few ingredients. It lists just one ingredient for its Orange All Purpose Degreaser & Spot Remover, the hazardous solvent 2-butoxyethanol.

Glade Air Freshener Sprays, Air Wick automatic air fresheners, and Old English furniture polish
These products warn that “intentional misuse by deliberately concentrating and inhaling the contents can be harmful or fatal.”

Target’s Up & Up
This brand’s Toilet Bowl Cleaner and Glass and Surface Wipes do not list any ingredients on the product packaging. Other products sold under the Up & Up label list only one or two ingredients or use vague terms.

Walmart Great Value Heavy Duty Oven & Grill Cleaner
The label warns: “Will burn skin and eyes. Avoid contact with skin, eyes, mucous membranes and clothing. Harmful if swallowed. Avoid inhaling spray mist. Wear long rubber gloves while using…”

Author Dr. Susan Sklar

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