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Our Right to Know What's in Cleaning Products

Household Products Labeling ActSome household cleaning products and paints are not that good for you—so kudos if your sharp nose has detected a funny smell.

Products like spray cleaner, furniture polish, mildew remover, house paint and wood stains can all contain chemicals linked to cancer, early puberty, birth defects and asthma. The ingredients are hardly ever labeled on the product because no law requires it, so they’re hard to avoid.

A 2011 study by Women’s Voices for the Earth tested top cleaning products and found chemicals linked to cancer and reproductive harm including toluene, 1,4-dioxane, phthalates, chloroform, a synthetic musk and several known allergens that were not listed on the ingredient label or a company website.

What Now?

The Breast Cancer Fund supports legislative efforts to require ingredient labeling of consumer and industrial cleaning products. A previous version of this bill was written to require full ingredient disclosure on the labels of both household and industrial cleaning products.

As Congress begins a new session in 2013, we urge U.S. Representatives to support future efforts to require ingredient labels on cleaning products.

Please personalize the email below before sending to your U.S. Representative. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Consumers deserve to know what chemicals they are being exposed to so they can avoid ingredients that may cause allergic reactions or more serious harm.
  • Manufacturers complain that they don’t have enough room on their products to label each ingredient. However, companies like Seventh Generation have convenient peel-back labels in order to include full ingredient listings.
  • Chemicals like phthalates and toluene are well-known chemicals of concern, but unless the chemical names appear on product labels, we have no way of avoiding them.


  • Your Representative


Dear [Decision Maker],

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]


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