Many Scented Consumer Products Emit Toxic Chemicals:
FRIDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Scented consumer products
such as air fresheners, laundry detergents, deodorants and shampoos
give off many chemicals, including some that are classified as
toxic, but a new study finds that these chemicals often aren't
listed on the products' labels.
U.S. researchers analyzed 25 commonly used scented products, and
found that they emit an average of 17 chemicals each. Of the 133
chemicals detected in all the products, nearly one-quarter are
classified as toxic or hazardous under at least one federal
More than one-third of the products emitted at least one
chemical classified as a probable carcinogen by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency.
But only one of the 133 chemicals emitted by these items was
listed on a product label, and only two of the chemicals were
publicly disclosed elsewhere.
Federal law doesn't require companies to disclose ingredients
used in fragrances, even though a single fragrance can be a mixture
of several hundred ingredients, according to lead author Anne
Steinemann, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and
of public affairs at the University of Washington in Seattle.
"We analyzed best-selling products, and about half of them made some claim about being green, organic or natural," Steinemann said in a university news release. "Surprisingly, the green products' emissions of hazardous chemicals were not significantly different from the other products."
The study was published in the Oct. 26 online edition of the
Environmental Impact Assessment Review.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers a
household products database.
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