Worst Cleaners: EWG's List Of Most Harmful Cleaning Products For Your Home

09/10/2012 09:44 pm ET

The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization focused on environment and public health, recently came out with their Cleaners Hall of Shame list. With products containing carcinogens, asthma instigators, and poisons, some sparkly cleaners might come at a high price.

According to the press release:

Just 7 percent of cleaning products adequately disclosed their contents. To uncover what’s in common household cleaners, EWG’s staff scientists spent 14 months scouring product labels and digging through company websites and technical documents. EWG staff reviewed each ingredient against 15 U.S. and international toxicity databases and numerous scientific and medical journals.

According to the EWG study, 53 percent of cleaning products under review contained lung-harming ingredients. In addition, well-known carcinogens like formaldehyde and chloroform were found in several cleaners.

However, EWG does suggest some cleaners that are better for your health and the environment, such as Green Shield Organic and Whole Foods’ Green Mission brand. Don’t be fooled by "green" labels though, since other eco-friendly products can be misleading with their claims.

In an effort to minimize the negative effects of some chemical cleaners, common household items can often be great substitutes, Real Simple Magazine suggests. Lemon, cooking oil, vinegar and baking soda are just a few multipurpose cleaning items you may find in your closet.

If you opt to use store-bought cleaners, know your products. Below is a portion of EWG’s list of cleaners that found a place in the Cleaners Hall of Shame. Some products are potentially fatal if inhaled or swallowed, some are reportedly made with knowingly high-hazard ingredients, and others utilize materials that have actually been banned in other countries.

To learn more about the impacts of chemical cleaners and to view the full lists, visit the EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning.

List and photos courtesy of EWG.

EWG's List Of Cleaners Hall Of Shame

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