Sustainable You

Sustainability and the Built Environment

Wk 13: IAQ and Cleaning Products

Response due at the beginning of class 4/12.

In continuing to deal with our Indoor Air Quality, let’s each look at the ingredients in our cleaning products. As seen in the Greenwashing report, cleaning products are one of the 3 main products we are greenwashed on as consumers.

(1) Please visit Household Products.nlm.nih.gov website and locate a minimum of (2) two Inside the Home products you use and examine them more closely.  Look at the MSDS documents and report what you find out about your products.

(2) What are the Pros, if any, of using this website to gain information about your cleaning products? You will need to formulate your opinion based on some additional research to answer this.

(3) What are the Cons, if any,  of using this website to gain information about your cleaning products?  You will need to formulate your opinion based on some additional research to answer this.

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Filed under: Sustainable Design

19 Responses

  1. Megan Greene says:

    1. Product: Clorox 2 Color Safe Bleach- This product is an eye irritant. If this bleach gets in your eyes you are supposed to flush eyes with water for at least 15 minutes. If this product is swallowed, you need to drink a glassful of water and call a physician. Prolonged contact with the skin can also produce irritation. Avoiding inhaling dust will prevent an allergenic response from occurring. No medical conditions are known to be aggravated by exposure to this product. This product is not expected to create adverse health effects, under directed consumer use conditions. The ingredients in this bleach are subtilisin, sodium perborate tetrahydrate, and benzenesulfonic acid. However, these ingredients are not classified as carcinogens or potential carcinogens.
    2. Product: Nature’s Miracle Pet Wipes- This product may cause irritation and severe overexposure may cause liver and kidney damage. If you happen to ingest these wipes, do not induce vomiting. Instead, stay at rest and have someone get immediate medical attention. If you inhale, get fresh air and receive artificial respiration. If the product gets in your eyes or on your skin, flush with water for 15 minutes. Keep this product away from light and heat. The ingredients in these wipes are ethanol/SD alcohol 40, vitamin E, water, aloe extract, jojoba wax, wheat germ oil, and citrus extract.
    3. I think the pro of this website is just that it allows scientists and consumers to research products based on the chemical ingredients. The database lists the chemical ingredients and their percentages in specific brands, the manufacturer and contact information, the acute and chronic effects of chemical ingredients in a brand, and other information about chemicals. Information in the database is publically available and helpful for those that want to look up information on a specific product. However, they should use other sources to verify the information on this database because of the few issues it has.
    4. There are a couple cons regarding this database. For one, NLM and its Contractor do not test products nor do they investigate to determine if this information is complete or accurate, so ultimately this website could have false information. This website only goes by what the manufacturers provide, so I do not think it is trustworthy. Also, although the Database Providers do their best to record the information as it appears on labels, manufacturers often change formulations. Because of this, there my be a lag period between the time when a manufacturer changes a label and the time a change appears on the database.

  2. Katherine Holland says:

    1.) PRODUCT 1: LYSOL BRAND DISINFECTANT ALL PURPOSE CLEANER. If this product gets in a persons eye, wash for 15 minutes and contact a physician if irritation persists. If this product is ingested, contact a physician or poison control. This product can cause eye irritation and may cause skin damage. This product contains Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, which is not considered to be a carcinogen.
    PRODUCT 2: WINDEX AEROSOL. This product can cause eye irritation. Since this product contains isopropanol and ammonium hydroxide, avoid contact with eyes, skin, and clothing. Wash skin thoroughly after handling, and do not mix this product with bleach or other household cleaners. This product can cause irritation to the nose, throat, and respiratory tract. If this product is ingested it could cause irritation to mucous membranes. This product should not be exposed to heat because the contents of this product are under pressure. Ingredients in this product include: isopropanol, isobutene, 2-butoxyethanol, and water. All of the ingredients are highly toxic and hazardous with possible human health effects.

    2.) This website has both pros and cons. I believe on the positive side, this site is great for research on products based on the chemical ingredients. The information on this website are free and open for public access. The information is very scientific and specific for those who are interested in the breakdown of every ingredient in a product. This website contains an entire database of consumer brands linking health effects from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) provided by manufacturers. The website database is helpful for answering questions such as; “Which products contain specific chemical ingredients?” Overall I believe this website contains useful and specific information open for public use.
    3.) This website has both pros and cons. I believe on the negative side, this site does not test products or properly investigates to determine if the information is complete or accurate. Since manufacturers frequently change formulas, a lag period may occur in between the time of the change and when the information appears in the database. Not all of the information provided is 100% accurate.

  3. ashley Walker says:

    1. Febreze Noticeables, Calypso Breeze: This product is an Eye irritant, and one should avoid contact with eyes, skin, and clothing. This product may have the potential to burn skin if product is kept on the skin for a long period of time. Dont block air flow and keep a clearance of at least 3o cm to avoid discoloration of surrounding surfaces. the contents are very harmful if they are swallowed and may cause nausea and vomitting. high levels of exposure may cause slight drowsiness, headache and mild respiratory tract irritation.
    Lysol brand mildew remover: this is a eye and skin irritant. hazerd to humans and animals. use only in well ventilated areas. not recommended for people with heart conditions or chronic respiratory problems like asthma, emphysema or lung disease. It contains bleach so it is to not be mixed with other household products. Has a health rating of 3 which is moderate.
    2. pros to this website is it gives the chemical background of the peoduct and gives a breakdown of the product.
    3. the con is that there is no gaurantee that the information on this website is accurate because a lot of the information on this website is dated. for example the information for the Lysol mildew product is from 2006.

  4. Katie Jones says:

    1. a. Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Bowl Cleaner Gel with Action Scrubber- This product advises consumers to avoid contact with eyes. If such contact occurs, flush immediately with plenty of water for at least 15 to 20 minutes. If irritation persists, seek medical aid. If the product comes in contact with the skin rinse with water. Ingestion contact nearest Poison control center or physician to determine whether to induce vomiting. If your skin comes in continued contact with the cleaner it can cause drying/defatting of the skin. This product contains unspecified surfactants,citric acid, and water.

    1. b. Clorox Disinfecting Wipes- This product is hazardous to humans and domestic animals. The wipes are an eye irritant and if they come in contact with the eyes then you should thoroughly wash them with water for at least 15 minutes. If this product comes in contact with the skin it causes serious irritation. If ingested then call physician and if breathing is affected then go outside or change location. This product con taints n-Alkyl(C14, 60%; C16, 30%; C12, 5%; C18, 5%) dimethylbenzyl ammonium chloride ,n-Alkyl(C12, 68%, C14, 32%) dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chloride,Isopropanol.

    2. This website is great if you want to get more in-depth information about your products. It greater educates consumers on the specific chemicals inside the products and how they may adversely affect you. I like how it provides the information in a very clear and concise manner so that all consumers, no matter their age or educational background, can clearly understand what is in their products. Furthermore, the website contains information on numerous products so the likelihood that you wouldn’t be able to find something is slim.

    3. The cons of the website are that most of the information seems outdated/ not entirely detailed. When I was looking up my above products, both said that the products were from “old products.” Therefore, although it is the same name as the products I own, their formulas have probably changed over the years. This means that although the products may still contain chemicals that are similar to the current formulas, they aren’t exact and the information was probably inaccurate.

  5. Karen Cotton says:

    1. Renuzit LongLast Adjustable Air Freshener, Raspberry is a colored, fragrance gel. While this product is not considered to be hazardous under OSHAs Hazardous Communication Standard; however, it needs to be handled properly. It must be kept out of the reach of children. Direct contact with eyes may cause irritation. Ingestion of large quantities may be harmful.

    2. Comet Bathroom Heavy Duty Cleaner may result in gastrointestinal irritation with nausea, vomitting, or diarrhea if swallowed. The MSDS states that this product must be in a well ventilated, cool and dry place and it must be kept away from heat/sparks and open flames.

    3. As I was just looking up several products, this websites seems to be a little “cookie cutter” to me. The con is definitely that MSDS Material Safety Data Sheet is taking information from the product label. How do we know the the product label information is accurrate. Also, alot of the product information is dated and I am sure because of the economy, some ingredients have changed. A pro is that with this website it stated to keep the Comet away from heat. I got the can of Comet off my bathroom floor which was located just a couple of feet away from the vent which was blowing heat. For that reason alone, I will refer back to the website because that was great information to know. I have since moved that product to another location.

  6. Brittany Biggers says:

    1. Clorox Greenworks Natural All Purpose Cleaner: It states that it can cause skin irritation, but no medical problems are known to be worsened by exposure to it. It contains Ethanol/SD Alcohol 40 and D-Glucopyranose.

    Clorox Liquid Toilet Bowl Cleaner: It is an eye and skin irritant. Accute affects of exposure include a low risk of “sensitization upon exaggerated exposure to sodium hypochlorite if skin damage (e.g., irritation) occurs during exposure.” It also states that it is important to wash your hands after handling the product.

    2. One pro of using this website is that it helps you to become a more informed consumer. It works as a tool to help you decide what products and chemicals you want to allow in your home and which ones you will not. It is also nice that the website works as a large database for thousands of different products. This makes it easier to locate the information necessary without having to visit various websites and do extensive research.

    3. The cons of this website deal with the reliability of the information. Their website says that they update their information about two times a year, but it also admits to being having information that might be out of date. Another con is that although their are thousands of different products on the site, it does not have all of the products listed.

  7. Hannah Greenberg says:

    (1) Please visit Household Products.nlm.nih.gov website and locate a minimum of (2) two Inside the Home products you use and examine them more closely. Look at the MSDS documents and report what you find out about your products.
    The first product I chose that I use is Windex Multi-Surface Cleaner with vinegar. From the MSDS, I learned that this product does not have any known health effects from contact with skin or inhalation. I was shocked that they did not list any effects after these. I also learned that this product is shipped as “non-regulated.” This product is highly combustible when exposed to fire.
    The second product I chose was Lysol Brand Disinfectant Toilet Bowl Cleaner Plus Bleach. After reading the MSDS, the most important thing that they stress about this product is seeking immediate help. Whether the issue is skin irritation or digestion, you are supposed to reach a physician within 15 minutes. Another interesting fact that I learned is that it violates federal law to use this product inconsistent with its labeling. They also recommend wearing protective clothing, such as gloves, if using the product for a long period of time.
    (2) What are the Pros, if any, of using this website to gain information about your cleaning products? You will need to formulate your opinion based on some additional research to answer this.
    I looked up some other websites that had different facts about these products. I came across a few sites: True Knowledge, Wikipedia, and Answers.com. I searched for Lysol facts, Windex facts, and home cleaning products facts. There were not many legitimate sites. In fact, most sites provided links to other sites. I think the pros of this site are that the MSDS is required by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. It is also geared towards workers that may come across the listed chemicals in their daily work, meaning that they are listing extreme precautions which I think is helpful. This website is also good because it is updated twice a year, and this includes the MSDS being updated.
    (3) What are the Cons, if any, of using this website to gain information about your cleaning products? You will need to formulate your opinion based on some additional research to answer this.
    I think one con about this website is that it does not go into full detail about the different uses of the product. If you look on the manufacturer’s websites, they go into detail about specific uses, and outline when you should use each product. Other than minor details, such as this, I could not find many cons. In fact, the manufacturers’’ websites provide links to the MSDS.

  8. JoAnn M says:

    1. The first product I researched was Miracle Gro Multipurpose plant feeder, This product recieved a health rating of 2, which means that there is only a slight health risk when using this. It was also listed as a non-carcinogenic
    supported by three reputable organizations OSHA, IARC, and NTP. The only real symptoms listed were minor and with direct contact such as skin or eye irritation, and nausea, diarreaha, or vomitting if ingested. If over exposure to the skin has happened, mild skin irritation can happen. The second product I chose to research was Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, Bleach Free, Lemon Scented. This product was given an N as it’s health rating, which means there is not enough research on this product to be conclusive to it’s effects. This product seem to have minor health effects, such as the obvious skin irritation to frequent exposure to skin. The one comment that I found VERY questionable though was the one that stated, ” If liquid should be practically non toxic if ingested.”…….seriously? That to me was a terrible conclusion.

    2. The pros to using this website is that they answer the basic questions that consumers should know about the [products they’re using, such as, what chemicals are in this product, and what are the health hazards to using this product. I also like how they provide care instructions if a product has a reaction with your body. I also found it vbery comforting that they had reputable companies supporting their data such as OSHA.

    3. Some of the cons to this website are things that should very much be concerning. When reseaching about NLM I found these alarming statements.

    “NLM and its Contractor (the Database Providers) do not test products nor investigate to determine if this information is complete or accurate. The Database Providers do their best to record the information as it appears on labels and other sources. Manufacturers frequently change formulations and although the Database Providers strive to keep information current, a lag period may occur between the time when a manufacturer makes a change to a label or a Material Safety Data Sheet, and the time a change appears in the database.”

    If people do not further take what they learn from this resource and verify it elsewhere, they could be getting false information, that could serve them or others very potential health risks. When providing information to the public a more blatent warning should be posted that all information being listed could have been changed and has not been tested by NLM.

  9. Mary Alice Jasperse says:

    1. Method all-purpose cleaner, grapefruit scent: This was a very interesting product because there was almost no information provided by the manufacturer to make an educated decision about the product. The health rating was a N, standing for “no information provided.” I have looked up this product on other websites and it is a good product, with few toxic ingredients. However, it is a bit disconcerting that the manufacturer would not want to advertise this positive product on the website. If you have a good product, it seems like you would want more transparency in your product not less. There were risks of irritation if the product got in your eyes or was ingested.
    2. Arm and Hammer laundry detergent: this product got a health rating of a 2: for moderate health risk. When I buy laundry detergent next, I will buy the product advised by Kelsey, the in-house mythbuster of products. This product did not seem to bad from the risks, but I did notice that one of the ingredients was sodium laureth sulfate, which is a big no-no in shampoos. If it is bad for your shampoo, it’s probably bad for your laundry detergent. I think this is some kind of sudzing agent. Overall, there was not too much information on the risks associated with this product.
    3. The pros of this website are that there is information available about a number of products and consumers are able to look at ingredients with a more wary eye.
    4. The cons of this website are that the manufacturer provides all the information about their own products. Therefore, no one is going behind them to make sure the products are tested correctly for safety, or if they report their information truthfully. This is problematic in terms of an unbiased third party. However, many federal agencies rely on self-reporting in industries. Maybe it is supposed to be embarrassing to report an especially toxic product? Is embarrassment an adequate deterrent? The main downside is that no one is checking up on the reported information.

  10. samantha morton says:

    The first product I researched was my Tide detergent and it was suprosingly tame on the hazard list. It ranked a 1 out of 4 of the health risk section, 1 being slight. There were no acute or chronic health effects and it is not a carcinogen. Good news overall. The only issue arises if one were to ingest the detergent, but I would like to assume I’ll never be sampling some Tide. The first aid for ingestion is “drink a glassful of water.”
    The second product I examined was super glue. It may sound strange but since I was working in and around water all summer my coworkers and I used super glue to hold together cuts. The intense bond held our skin together to give it an opportunity to heal, otherwise the constant water exposure would allow our cuts to reopen day after day. I was curious to see if their were any reported carcinogens or other health concerns because the glue was coming in contact with a deeper layer of our skin and potential bloodstream. The website gave a lot of information on removal from different body parts (eyes, skin, mouth) and information on the glue’s flammability. However I had to do some deeper digging for the MSDS. I could not come to a good conclusion because the documents gave conflicting information. Avoid skin contact- skin irritant, but at the same time it said “cured adhesive does not present a health hazard once bonded to skin.”

    The pros to this database are that it is a centralized spot to access all the information surrounding consumer products. All the information is public, therefore this website is not some revolutionary unveiling of top secret information. Still, it is nice to have the public data compiled.

    The cons to using this website are its breadth and reliability of the most current data. Neither of my products were the exact match. This website seems to have a good amount of category of household products, however once you get in the smaller categories they do not have as many brands as some of the other websites we have used in the past. For example they only provided one brand of super glue-ten different variations, but still one brand. Also the information I used for Tide laundry detergent had not been updated since 2009. That is not too long ago, but how do I know Tide has not recalled the product for a newly discovered harm. It is unclear how often this website updated its information. I took this quote from their “About me” page “NLM and its Contractor (the Database Providers) do not test products nor investigate to determine if this information is complete or accurate. The Database Providers do their best to record the information as it appears on labels and other sources.” It speaks for itself

  11. Briana Martinez says:

    The first product I looked at was Lysol disinfectant spray from the msds I found that it had a slight risk and overall was advised as safe if use as directed. Nothing I read on this product was unexpected nor did I read anything that would prevent me from further use. The second product I looked up was Electrasol automatic dishwashing detergent. It was rated a 2 on the overall health concern scale. Once again the information on the msds was information I have grown up all of my life knowing such as not to mix the product with other chemical based products especially ammonia. Not to breathe in the product, taste, or let it come into contact with skin without immediately washing, and of course as always keep out of the reach of children. The pros of using this website it that it complies all the information that is partially spelled out on some products and makes it easy to understand as well as easy to find the product one is looking for. The con of this site is that they do not do any of the testing themselves. It is just more of a compiling of information already out there therefore to trust this site one must trust the authority that actually tested the product which is not the same as the ones who created this site. In other words most of this knowledge about the product is obtained by the manufacture or what the manufacture had to have prepared such as the msds.

  12. Melissa Worth says:

    (1)
    Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Bowl Cleaner Gel, Fresh Mountain Morning-08/11/2009
    No information available on toxicology or ecotoxicology of this product, but it is listed as having acute health effects. It is recommended that you keep the product away from your skin, eyes, and clothing, which I thought was strange since it’s a product that’s used in your toilet, but I was surprised to find that, in regards to inhalation, “no adverse effects [are] expected when used as directed.” The scent is very strong, especially when I first insert it into the toilet, so I wonder how accurate this information really is. Also, there is no data available on the carcinogenicity or chronic health affects related to this product.

    Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner, Refreshing Spa-09/09/2008
    Again, there is no data available on the MSDS documents relating to the carcinogenicity or chronic health affects related to this product, which kind of concerns me. It says that the odor is “pleasant,” which I don’t necessarily find to be the case, but it doesn’t smell quite as strong as some other cleaning products I’ve encountered. Also, it says that this product should not be mixed with other household products because it may release dangerous gases (i.e., chlorine), but since it’s used in the shower, it’s likely to mix with shampoo, conditioner, etc. Again, this product may cause acute health affects if it comes into contact with the skin or eyes, but considering you spray this in your shower, presumably with the shower curtain closed, this shouldn’t really be an issue.

    (2) As a consumer, I thought that the information was easily accessible. All of the products are listed, alphabetically, by the product name. It’s was quick and easy to research the two products listed above, and I found it helpful that they listed the ingredients, as well as their percentages, included in each product—although, to be honest, I don’t have enough knowledge about the potential health effects of these ingredients. Also listed on the MSDS documents is the product’s health rating on a scale of 0-4, with 0 being minimal and 4 being severe, as well as information related to its chronic health effects, how to properly dispose of the product, and specific first aid procedures.

    (3) The biggest problem I have with this website is that all of the information is reported by the manufacturer. NLM and its contractor do not test these products, and obviously the manufacturers have an incentive to underreport the related health effects since they’re in the business of selling these products. The information could be inaccurate or incomplete. For example: when I was looking at the MSDS documents on the two products listed above, a lot of the fields said, “No data available.” Also, the most recent information available from the two products I listed above was from 2009 and 2008. This may not be an issue if the manufacturer has not changed the label or the formula of the product, but in many instances they have. I did notice that some products were listed as “old,” but I wonder how big of a time lag there was between when the product was outdated to when the information was updated on the website. Overall, I think that this website could be a very valuable tool, but I think it’s important to verify the information with other sources when possible.

  13. Aubrey says:

    1.A-
    The first product I looked at was Febreze new Zealand Springs scent. I didn’t find out much I didn’t already assume, mostly information thats on the can. Oh ya except for the ever popular list of chemicals. I never really thought about the fact that these products don’t have an ingredient list. I though even the ingredient list was very vague:
    Ingredients/Chemical Name: Water, alcohol, odor eliminator derived from corn, fragrance, non-flammable natural propellant, quality control ingredients. Contents under pressure with nitrogen. Hazardous Ingredients as defined by OSHA, 29 CFR 1910.1200. and/or WHMIS under the HPA: (what does that mean??)
    There are six pages of and studies for one scent of one product. We have production and hazard identification, composition, first aid, firefighting information, a small ecological section stating that the chemicals are safe if used in the right proportions. We even have one sentence instructing: “For Non – Household Setting: Avoid puncturing or otherwise damaging aerosol containers and packaging when using forklifts or other material handling equipment.”
    Oh boy, There is something really ironic to me that we go through such great lengths to ensure our superficial safety with these products, while we neglect the bigger picture, which is that the chemicals and waste that go into making these products, and the contact they have with our skin and the air we breath are all negative effects of such a product existing. So we can turn our smelly air into air that smells like New Zealand Springs? What the heck does a New Zealand Spring smell like anyway? Well I guess that depends on how much New Zealand thinks its ok to pollute their water.

    B-
    One other interesting thing I found while browsing is that there was a section labeled Regulatory Information, and on it a chart showing the states which had a Right To Know policy about certain chemicals, in this case ethanol I think, which Georgia was not on. Shocking.

    The second product I looked at was comet bathroom heavy duty cleaner. Agains some confusion on the product list. (whats quality control agents?) Often than that new information I found that I didn’t know: They say do not mix this product with mildew or stain remover because “irritating fumes may result” I wasn’t aware and I usually clean my tub with both products so it was good to find out. There was no information provided by the manufacturer for the health,flammability, or reactionary effect of the product. I don’t really understand that because I assumed a manufacturer had to roved that information. Lastly I was shocked to read that they suggest for disposal, “… Do not landfill. Small (household) quantities may be disposed of via sewer.”
    What!? I don’t get it. why would you advise that. ok.

    2. Pros of this site: It was nice to be able to see an actual ingredients list since most products for cleaning or use in the house are lacking. I also thought the site was helpful in sifting through and laying out in a concise way all the information the manufacturer gives in a report about its product.

    3. The cons are that on this site, the above discussed is all that’s done. Its not a site designed for a consumer. As a consumer most of us don’t understand a lot of the rhetoric used in these reports, so while the website breaks it down and summarizes it, we’re still left pretty confused. I would have liked to see a little research to fill in the gaps where the manufacturer either does not include information or states it in a way that is not clear.

  14. Danielle McDaniel says:

    1. Gain Laundry Detergent: This product, if ingested, can cause transient gastrointestinal irritation and can cause eye irritation. It doesn’t have any chronic health effects and has a health rating of 1, which is minimal.
    Glade Sense and Spray Automatic Spray- Hawaiian Breeze: This product can also cause eye irritation and if is left on the skin for a prolonged period of time can also cause irritation. This scored a 2 on the health rating which is considered slight.
    2. I think sites like this are a good thing. As a consumer, I think knowing what goes into everyday products is beneficial and makes you an overall smarter consumer.
    3. I had the same problem with this website as I did with the one last week. Some of the products listed are older and newer products aren’t listed.

  15. Clair McClure says:

    (1)P1: Pledge Clean and Dust Multi-Surface Lavender Fresh – The immediate concerns for this product are, that the contents under pressure. Because this is an aerosol it is important to note that the container may in fact burst. The health effects include mild eye irritation and dry skin or irritation of skin with repeated use and contact with the skin. There is no known health risk from inhalation or indigestion. The health rating is a 1 which indicates a slight health rating.
    P2: Lysol Bathroom Cleaner 4 in 1 Disinfectant – This product can cause moderate eye irritation. It is recommended to avoid contact with skin, eye, and clothing. It is also noted to keep out of reach of children. It is recommended to avoid contact with skin and eyes. There is no known inhalation or ingestion issue when the product is used under normal conditions. This product is not listed as a known carcinogen and the health rating is a 2 indicating moderate.

    (2) This website offers a quick spot to check for product information of cleaning products which are prevalent in one’s home. I feel that it allows me to fully research a current product I’m using in my home as well as use this website to research a new product I might be inclined to switch to using. I searched through several of the sections under the “inside the home” tab and it was clear that this is a very large database of products. This makes it very convenient for a consumer to go to one place, this website to get all of the information needed to know about a particular product. I did a search for health and product information of these two products in a google search and I really did not come up with anything at all. It is clear that instead of searching around for this pertinent information the Household Products website is a good place to go if one has questions about household products.
    (3) A con specifically for me, was the actual information on the MSDS page about these two household products. I did not feel that the health information told me anything I did not already known about these products. There is a certain assumption which comes along with using cleaning products, such as there may be eye irritation and skin irritation during prolonged use. I did do some more searches through this website to see the information present about other types of products. For instance, I use at hair home color by L’oreal. So I did a search for that product and there was a lot of information about how this product can severely affect the mucous membranes if swallowed. It also indicated that if ingested signs of alcohol intoxication may occur, I found that very interesting. So, the con I felt about my two household products may in fact be due to the nature of those products. As with other products noted on this website like the hair color there is a lot of useful and helpful information.

  16. Heather B. says:

    Static Guard- If overexposed to the product, you might experience eye and mucous membrane irritation, but it is determined to be non-carcinogenic. Also, this appears to be a product that kids could possibly abuse since high vapor concentrations can cause CNS depression; giddiness, headache, dizziness. If you have preexisting eye, skin, liver function or respiratory problems these could be further irritated through prolonged exposure. The ethyl alcohol present in the ingredients caused fertility/reproductive and mutagenic issues in rats.
    Febreze Air Effects Air Refresher, Linen and Sky- This product is not known to irritate skin or respiratory function if only subjected to normal exposure, though it may mildly bother your eyes, though rinsing with water is said to alleviate irritation. If you were to ingest it, you might experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. As far as inhalation is concerned, it only gets truly dangerous if misused, in which case, “deliberately concentrating and inhaling pressurized product may be harmful or fatal”. The ethanol vapor within the ingredients can cause drowsiness or fatigue along with eye/respiratory irritation, however there are no known medical conditions aggravated by exposure to non-carcinogenic Febreze.
    Pros to this website are that the consumer has a long list of popular items to research in order to make a more informed purchasing decision. Each page gives information about the effects of exposure to the product and what allergies or medical conditions could be further irritated by its use. It lists the chemical ingredients and what testing has shown in relation to certain harmful chemicals. The cons of the U.S. department of health and human services website as far as I can tell, seem to be that the information may be out of date. I assume that Static Guard hasn’t changed since 2004, but if it has, what is the point of researching this and raising concern when it may no longer be an issue? Also, some of the items are extremely specific with pages of choices of scent or packaging within brand within brand, while others have one non-specific choice. Another problem I see is that the amount of research varies from product to product, which could make one look safer or more hypo-allergenic than another when in reality the known information just varies. With that in mind, it is easy to see how a consumer could take this information too far with assumptions that using one will cause genetic defects while the other is completely safe.

  17. Kelsey Savell says:

    1. Green Works Cleaning Wipes: This site emphasizes that the manufacturer does not provide an adequate list of the ingredients in this product. This is important to my investigation because I have been relying only on the information available to me about the product. Though I have learned to look for what a product label does not claim or may leave out, it is impossible to determine how much information I may have missed. All other information about this product is consistent with my investigation. The health rating for this product was “N” because the manufacturer does not provide enough information for the site to determine the safety of the product.

    Simple Green Cleaning Spray: This site is much more tolerant of the spray than my investigation led me to predict it would be. It rates the health risk as 1, slight. It also sites that the spray has been used extensively in federal prisons without any known adverse effects. I rated this product as the loser for that week because of its misleading claims about alcohol.

    2. Manufacturers are required to develop a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for any potentially hazardous products. A manufacturer has the right to maintain the privacy of the document, but many will provide copies upon request. An MSDS is a concise list of all the properties for a particular product including toxicity, health concerns, and appropriate storage and disposal techniques. The site is easily accessible and searchable; a user may search by category, manufacturer, or brand name.

    3. The site is mainly concerned with health effects and neglects to address environmental concerns. Also, as already mentioned, a manufacturer may choose to keep its MSDS report private. The scale is subjective; there are not clear meanings for the risk levels “slight,” “serious,” etc. and so they may be interpreted differently than intended.

  18. Danielle Ruble says:

    1. Clorox disinfectant wipes fresh scent-
    If this product comes into contact with the eyes it can cause moderate eye irritation. Liquid should be practically non-toxic if ingested.Prolonged skin contact may produce minor irritation. Under normal consumer use conditions the likelihood of any adverse health effects are low. There are no known carcinogens.
    Windex Original-
    Avoid contact with skin, eyes and clothing.
    Routes of exposure : Eye, Skin, Inhalation, Ingestion.
    The hazards associated with eyes, skin, inhalation and ingested are all categorized as “None known.”
    2. Pros with this website are that there is an extensive list of products to choose from. There are pages and pages of different Windex products, for example.
    3. Cons are that the information is not easy to understand to me, and I imagine not for the average consumer. Another problem is that there are extensive lists for some products and not for others. Windex, which is a very common product seemed to have very information listed. I didnt really learn anything about the product. Also I’m not sure if I learned anything I couldn’t find out from the bottle.

  19. Ari Strickland says:

    (1) #1-Shout Action Gel, laundry stain remover:
    This product is an eye and skin irritant, both body parts must be immediately flushed if affected. It scored an overall 1 on the health score, meaning the product has slight health hazards.
    #2-Gain Liquid Laundry Detergent:
    This product causes eye, skin, and gastrointestinal irritation if contacted. It scored an overall 1 on the health safety rating, meaning it proves to be slightly hazardous. It also scored a 1 on the flammability scale.
    (2) What are the Pros, if any, of using this website to gain information about your cleaning products?
    This website gives you the same amount of information that comes on the bottle. The only pro is that this website gives you the ability to compare multiple product facts more easily and quickly.
    (3) What are the Cons, if any, of using this website to gain information about your cleaning products?
    The website derives the information from the label or the Material Safety Data Sheet provided by the manufacturer. The cons to this website are clearly the limited amount of information the government provides for consumers. There are several chemicals that have been deemed “most likely harmful” through research performed by multiple scientists, there just isn’t enough conclusive data to ban them. These potentially very harmful chemicals are not included on the labels or in the Material Safety Data Sheet.

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