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MT Group Works to Clean Up Cleaning Products

September 25, 2007

Missoula, MT - Housecleaning may be hazardous to your health. That claim, from a Montana group, is getting national attention. Women's Voices for the Earth in Missoula issued a report that blames some health problems on exposure to chemicals found in common household cleaning products. The group is asking people to let cleaning product manufacturers know they don't want to be exposed to these hazards -– or at least, that these potentially dangerous chemicals should be listed on the label. Ann Blake is among the researchers who prepared the report. She says there are all kinds of ingredients in cleaning products that can cause health problems.

"Long-term exposure to chemicals is being shown to increase the risks of asthma and allergy in young children, and potentially in women as well, who still do most of the cleaning in the home. (Things like) asthma and allergies to fragrances and perfumes, as well as skin and eye irritation, which anybody who uses cleaning chemicals knows happens quite a bit."

Blake believes so far, their educational campaign is working. A spokesman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission says there are indications companies would be willing to list all ingredients, much like cosmetic and food companies do. Chemicals linked to health concerns include monoethanolamine (MEA), glycol ethers, and benzalkonium chloride.

Read the full report online, at www.womenandtheenvironment.org.

Deborah Smith/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MT