In what has become the most unsettling political election season our country has ever faced, citizen engagement is needed now more than ever. Together, we must act upon critical issues—public health, climate change, family leave—that desperately need our attention.
Seventh Generation is committed to helping inspire positive change for a better, more sustainable world. In our 2016 Voters for the Next Generation blog post series, we're highlighting broken policies that must be transformed for the sake of our children and for future generations.
It may come as a surprise that companies producing household cleaning products are not required by law to print a full list of ingredients on their packaging. Manufacturers have been able to steer clear of revealing cleaning product ingredients by law under the guise of protecting trade secrets.
The fact is that some cleaning products may contain anything from allergens to potentially carcinogenic chemicals to "fragrance" mixtures which may include phthalates, linked to infertility and breast cancer.
Some cleaning products contain large amounts of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs from some cleaning products can induce asthma in otherwise healthy individuals and exacerbate asthma in people who already have the disease.
Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) introduced in May the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act in the 114th Congress. The act requires manufacturers of household and institutional cleaners to list all ingredients on the product label. Another provision in the bill requires manufacturers to disclose product ingredients online, and to identify adverse health effects of each ingredient.
What We Believe at Seventh Generation
Consumers should have the right to know which chemicals they are being exposed to, and how to avoid ingredients that may cause allergic reactions or more serious health effects.
Seventh Generation has championed ingredient disclosure for many years—we were the first company in the household products industry to clearly print the ingredients in plain language on each product’s packaging. We want consumers to know whats in the products they buy so they can make the best choice for themselves and their families. At Seventh Generation, we rigorously review the health and safety profile of our ingredients and list them on our labels (including frangrance ingredients) to empower the consumers right to know what they are using around their homes and families.
We believe all household cleaning product companies should do the same. We are working with the Breast Cancer Fund and other advocates to support federal legislation that would require manufacturers of household cleaners to disclose ingredients on packaging.
Learn More from Our Partners Who Advocate Tirelessly for Ingredient Disclosure:
- Women's Voices for the Earth
Women's Voices for the Earth (WVE) defines the environment as the places people live, work, and play. WVE is calling on Congress to pass the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act to require cleaning product manufacturers to disclose all the ingredients they use in their products directly on the product label.
Take action by showing your support for the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act
- Breast Cancer Fund
The Breast Cancer Fund works to connect the dots between breast cancer and exposures to chemicals and radiation in our everyday environments. The organization helps transform how our society thinks about and uses chemicals and radiation, with the goal of preventing breast cancer and sustaining health and life.
Demand to know what's in your cleaning products
Where does your candidate stand?
Before you vote, find out where your Congressional Representative stands on this issue. Ask them to support the Cleaning Products Right to Know Act.
Be a voter this November 8.
Commit to voting this year. Make a plan right now for getting to the polling booth. Set an appointment reminder on your phone. Your vote matters.