Earth Day inspired me to take another look at all the "green" products I use in my home. Although I've long made my own non-toxic, eco-friendly glass and all-purpose cleaners (recipes here), I haven't yet started to make laundry detergent.
Often, I will grab a jug of Trader Joe's Liquid Laundry Detergent, which is marketed as "all natural" and "earth friendly," and labeled as having "no harsh or petro chemicals" and being "non-polluting," "environmentally safe and responsible" and "biodegradable."
Sounds like a winner, right?
Well, imagine my surprise (and horror!) when I discovered on the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) "Guide to Healthy Cleaning" online database that it scored a big fat F!
F = Highest Concern: Potentially significant hazards to health or the environment or poor ingredient disclosure.
Certain ingredients in this detergent may cause:
- developmental and reproductive toxicity
- respiratory effects, including asthma
- skin irritation, allergies or damage
- general systemic/organ effects
- acute aquatic toxicity
Yikes! I was majorly duped! From now on, I'm sticking with Planet laundry detergent, which scores an A (although, not all their products rank so well).
Be a Healthy, Savvy Shopper
According to the EWG, as with personal care products, U.S. law allows manufacturers of cleaning products to use almost any ingredient they wish, including those known to cause cancer, blindness, asthma and other serious conditions. And the government doesn't review the safety of products before they're sold.
Numerous studies are now showing that toxins in body and home products could also be causing weight challenges, as I wrote about here.
So, it's up to you and me to protect the health of our body and our planet by being savvy shoppers.
What Lurks Under Your Sink?
To check your products and select safer cleaners, click here for the EWG's "Guide to Healthy Cleaning" database, which rates everything from laundry detergent and all-purpose sprays to dishwasher soap and air fresheners.