Keeping your kitchen clean is important for the health and safety of your home. But is your quest actually doing more harm than good? Only 6% of household kitchen cleaners are rated “A” by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Read on for how you can find out if yours is one of them.
Thoroughly cleaning the kitchen is a vital part of food safety. After all, it is the place where we prepare the foods that we ingest. In fact, it’s the preparation that adds to the importance of thorough cleaning. Our utensils and surfaces come in contact with potential microbial hotbeds such as raw meat and soil from vegetables that can lead to foodborne illnesses and food poisoning.
Disinfecting in the kitchen is important. But somewhere along the line, our focus on sanitation lead us towards products that could cause more harm than what we were trying to remove.
The EWG is an independent body (non-profit, non-partisan) that is dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. Their aim is to provide research and reports to help consumers make safer, more environmentally friendly choices.
As part of their ‘Guide to Healthy Cleaning’, the EWG inspects more than 2000 cleaning supplies on the American market and found that many contain ingredients linked to serious health problems. Salmonella and E-coli can be serious issues for many people; but in eradicating those we may be using chemicals associated with cancers, asthma and developmental and reproductive toxicity.
Unfortunately, safe home cleaning is a challenge in North America. This is because the laws that govern cleaning product labelling don’t require companies to disclose anything more than the product identity, product net quantity and the dealer’s name and principal place of business.
This means that the ingredients do not have to be listed. So the first step to cleaning safer is to check for a full ingredients list. If you can’t find one, then it’s likely that the product has something to hide.
While conducting investigations, the EWG even states that finding full ingredients lists was a challenge for them, so for consumers who are time-poor and have limited resources that challenge is magnified.
One thing you can look for is the seal of a third-party, such as Ecocert, that requires full ingredients disclosure. This will make it easier to use resources like the EWG’s ‘Guide to Healthy Cleaning’, United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website and Women’s Voices reports to learn how safe your cleaning products are.
In the kitchen cleaning category, only 6% of products investigated received an A rating, and 32% of products were rated with an F. This means that the available information for 32% of kitchen cleaning products indicates a health hazard.
What is also alarming is the number of products rated with a C or lower that use the words “fume free”, “Natural” or “Green” in their branding. These messages aren’t regulated and can mislead consumers into thinking that these products are safer.
This is why it is so important to use this guide to check your own products.
Visit the EWG Guide To Healthy Cleaning Online
Search for your product in the search bar
See what Rating the product gets!
If you’re less than impressed with the score, click on the ‘Kitchen Cleaners’ section of the guide, and look at which products get an A.
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