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Montanans “Cleaning Up” at Parties Across the State

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May 5, 2008

Missoula, MT – Too many Montanans are getting sick of house cleaning, literally, so special "cleaning parties," are being held across the state, where people can share information about chemicals in commercial cleaning products that can affect health and environment. Partygoers are also sharing tips on safer alternatives.

Dori Gilels with Women's Voices for the Earth in Missoula says safer cleaning solution recipes can be mixed up using household basics.

"The recipes call for ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, olive oil, and glycerin soap - ingredients that we've been using in our homes for generations."

Gilels encourages mixing your own cleaning solutions because you'll know exactly what's in the bottle. When purchasing commercial products, there is no requirement that all ingredients be listed on the label.

"Consumers really have no idea what chemicals are in these products, and therefore they can't make decisions about what they want to avoid. This is particularly true if they're pregnant or if they have asthma and there are certain chemicals they know they must avoid."

Women's Voices for the Earth is coordinating the parties in Montana and across the country. Gilels says they've also talked with major cleaning product companies about switching to safer ingredients.

The declared mission of Women's Voices for the Earth is to reduce or eliminate harmful toxins in the environment while at the same time increasing the level of participation by women in the environmental decision-making process.

More information regarding cleaning alternatives is available online at
www.womenandenvironment.org.

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - MT