PNS Daily Newscast - March 20, 2019 

Joe Biden tells supporters he intends to run in the 2020 election for president. Also, on the Wednesday rundown: a landmark bill in California would ban toxic chemicals in cosmetics; and, groups sue to end disease-spreading elk feeding.

Daily Newscasts

Report: "Too Clean" May Be A Health Hazard

November 12, 2009

MISSOULA, Mont. - A new report links the overuse of disinfectant chemicals to a wide array of health problems, including chronic illnesses such as asthma, hormone imbalance and immune system problems. The report, Disinfectant Overkill: How Too Clean May Be Hazardous to Our Health, cites more than 40 peer-reviewed reports and scientific studies illustrating the health impacts of chemicals found in common household disinfectants.

Alexandra Scranton, director of science and research for Women's Voices for the Earth in Missoula, authored the report. She says the recent flu scare has put everyone's focus on killing germs with disinfectants, but she says there's a downside to that extra vigilance.

"The chemicals are really very strong, which is why they're effective at doing what they do - killing germs. We want users to be very cautious when they use them."

While chemical companies try to convince consumers they need to sterilize their homes every day to protect their families from illness, Scranton says plain soap and water can be just as effective. She advises that the stronger cleaners be used sparingly.

"You want to do sort of targeted disinfection. You don't need to do it every day; you want to focus on those surfaces that are frequently touched - door knobs or light switches; that kind of thing."

Research highlights ammonia and ammonium compounds, chlorine bleach and tricolsan as examples of common disinfectant ingredients linked to irritation, cancers, reproductive problems and respiratory issues, according to Scranton. Cleaning industry companies say their products are safe and effective when used as directed.

The full report, Disinfectant Overkill: How Too Clean May be Hazardous to Our Health, is at .

Deb Courson, Public News Service - MT