Many manufacturers of cleaning products are capitalizing on the “green” movement by marketing their products as being eco-friendly. The reality is that many of these products could contain chemicals and be harmful for building occupants.
The industry term for this phenomenon is “greenwashing.”
A new study from the University of Melbourne recently exposed the truth behind 37 unnamed but common household products – including 17 that claim to be green, organic or non-toxic. The report found that the products contained more than 150 volatile organic compounds. Of these, 42 are classified as toxic or hazardous under laws in the U.S.
In addition, this recent GOOD article, highlighted the issue behind the disclosures of chemicals in fragrances:
Fragrance is the big, untold story here. Companies are exempt from revealing what chemicals compose their fragrance. Ingredient disclosure has long been an issue for major companies in the business of selling cleaning products: “Fragrance” is often made up of several dozen to several hundred chemicals, most of them synthetic. And their use is almost entirely unregulated.
Fresh Wave IAQ believes in full disclosure when it comes to letting the world know about its ingredients. The products are engineered from a proprietary blend of natural ingredients including water, lime, pine needles, aniseed, clove and cedarwood, which is environmentally friendly and safe to use.
For many facility managers and cleaning professionals, this report reinforces the need to take a critical look at all of the solutions they are using on a daily basis. In addition, from an odor-management perspective, it is even more vital to ensure that they are not using solutions that are harmful to their building occupants.
Although many of these products are marketed as being safe, they reality is that they may be harmful to the environment and to people’s health. Be sure to carefully read the ingredient labels with a very critical eye. What you read may not always be the truth.