A Non-Neurotic Guide to Germs

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What's in Your Cleaning Products?

Even if you've checked the label, you're probably still wondering. Manufacturers aren't required to disclose all their ingredients. That's troubling, since studies have found that some household cleaners contain hazardous chemicals, including carcinogens, hormone disruptors, and volatile organic compounds, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

There's a bill pending in Congress, the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act, calling for fuller disclosure. In the meantime, many manufacturers are offering gentler alternatives and fragrance-free versions of cleaning products that are as effective as the originals. Opt for these when you can. It also makes sense to look for items that carry the EPA's Safer Products label, which says Design for the Environment (or DfE).

Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, November 2012.


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