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Published on Sep 18, 2009 by Edgar Snyder

Household Cleaners Linked to Asthma, Birth Defects, and Fertility Problems

Household cleaning products linked to health risks

Many parents worry about their children's safety when they leave the confines of their home, but a recent finding has shown that parents may now have to be cautious about what they bring into their homes.

Manufacturers of detergents, household cleansers, and furniture polish are facing questions from consumers regarding the chemicals in their products. Although many of the chemicals are present only in small amounts, some have been associated with asthma, birth defects, and fertility problems in higher doses. Furthermore, even if the amounts are low, consumers are still concerned about the effects of using these products over the course of a lifetime.

A few manufacturers, like S. C. Johnson, which makes Windex, Shout stain remover, and Glade air fresheners, put all ingredients on product labels. Presently, the government requires only that ingredients posing an immediate danger be included. Some lawmakers argue, however, that consumers have a right to know exactly what is in their kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

Source: "Fight Grows Over Labels on Household Cleaners." By Leslie Wayne. The New York Times. September 17, 2009.
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