Survey Says Mothers Know Cleaning Products Are Toxic!


A 2008 National Poll Finds 95% of American Mothers Believe Household Cleaning Products can be Toxic, yet only half believe their kids are being exposed to household toxins.


The EPA says that the average household generates over 20 lbs of hazardous waste each year. That’s 1.6 million tons or 3.2 million pounds. 176, 000 tons of which comes from cleaning products. 

Lovely. Hazardous Waste. AND large volumes of it are going into our landfill.

My company – the #1 Nutritional Company in the US, recently enlisted Harris Interactive to do a poll. 

…a telephone survey of 1,108 moms across the U.S. with children under the age of 18 living in their households, were asked about home cleaners and safety.

The poll results revealing misconceptions, contradictions and a HUGE need for more education. 

The need for more education is an understatement.

Our company urges Americans to look at what’s under their own kitchen sinks.

“Many people seeking cleaner, greener lifestyles consider the impact of climate change, but very few think about the chemicals we are exposing ourselves to every day in our own homes,” says Roger Barnett, Owner and CEO.

Following are some key contradicting poll results and some expert implications:

Almost all moms — 95% — agreed that household cleaning products can be toxic.

88% agreed that home cleaning products can be harmful to their health and their families’ health.

61% agreed that the fumes from cleaning products bothered them.

However, two-thirds of moms (70%) also agreed that home cleaning products are safe to use around their family, and only 49% agreed that their children may be exposed to household toxins.

SAFE? Excuse me?

95% of moms agree that cleaning products are toxic yet only 1/2 think that their kids are being exposed to those toxins ? Does that make ANY sense to you?

“Moms already know household cleaners can be hazardous if swallowed or spilled directly on your skin,” said Jane Houlihan, VP for Research at Environmental Working Group in Washington, D.C. “But most don’t make the connection that when these products are used as directed on floors, sinks and tubs, their families are exposed to them 24 hours a day.”

Acute Asthma Awareness: 81% of the respondents agreed that household cleaning products may trigger asthma in children and adults, reflecting high awareness of the suspected link between chemicals and what many call an epidemic. “Unfortunately asthma has become a common serious disease of childhood,” says John Spengler, Akira Yamaguchi Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation, Department of Environmental Health at Harvard University. “When reviewing the rapid increases of asthma rates in America, it is critical to recognize the link between pollution and human health, including chemical and biological pollutants in indoor environments.” In 1998, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that asthma increased 75% from 1980-1994(2) and in 2007, the EPA reported that an average of one out of every 13 school-age children suffers from asthma.(3)

Murky on Indoor vs. Outdoor Air Pollution: Only a little more than one-third (38%) of respondents agreed that the air inside their homes is more toxic than the air outside their homes, despite the proven fact. A five-year study by the EPA found that the organic pollutants inside the typical American home are two-to-five times higher than the air outdoors, caused by pollutants from common household products, including cleaners such as solvents, wood preservatives, aerosol sprays, cleansers and disinfectants, air fresheners and more. According to the EPA, health effects of organic pollutants include eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, loss of coordination, nausea, liver, kidney and central nervous system damage. The fumes given off by carpet cleaners can cause cancer and liver damage.(4) Additionally, many cleaning agents yield high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including glycol ethers, which are regulated toxic air containments, and terpenes that can react with ozone to form secondary pollutants including formaldehyde and ultra-fine particles.(5)

Kidding Themselves about the Kids: Only half (49%) are concerned about their children coming in contact with the chemicals they use to clean their floors, and only about one-third (35%) believe that some rashes on their children’s skin are reactions to chemicals in the products they use. Only a small fraction of the more than 80,000 registered chemicals have been tested for human health concerns.(6) “We are conducting a vast toxicologic experiment in our society, in which our children and our children’s children are the experimental subjects,” says Dr. Herbert L. Needleman, University of Pittsburgh pediatrician and co-author with Philip Landrigan, MD MSc, Ethel H. Wise Professor of Pediatrics — Chair of Community and Preventative Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Healthy Child Healthy World Board of Directors Member, of Raising Children Toxic Free: How to Keep Your Child Safe from Lead, Asbestos, Pesticides, and Other Environmental Hazards.

Seeking a Safe Clean: “94% of moms said they would stop using their favorite cleaning product if they found out it may be harmful to their families’ health,” notes Barnett. “To become educated, go to the National Institute of Health Household Products Database to search by chemical, find out which brands contain it, and uncover its links to health effects.”

Full article and references.
Toxic Household Chemical Facts and Statistics
32 Green Advocacy Posts April 2009

Why are people still buying and using the same toxic stuff? 

The other part that completely baffles me is why are these horrific products still being manufactured?  

I just don’t understand.

stickers to label toxins flickr image credit

Karen Hanrahan ~ Wellness Educator/Nutritional Consultant/Blog Publisher
708.482.0678 ~ Websites:
Nutrition Weight Loss, and Green Clean

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One Response to Survey Says Mothers Know Cleaning Products Are Toxic!

  1. Kelly Bayer says:

    Agree fully with your article. Did you know there was a study done that found over 200 chemicals in a babies umbilical cord? WOWGREEN is a new NON CHEMICAL Cleaner that would be a wonderful switch for everyone! Humans and animals will benefit from throwing out all the old cleaners and switching over. Check out the company when you have a free moment. Thanks so much.

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