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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Maybe its not really "green" afterall

I'm not referring to Kermit, and in that sense, it might not be so easy to be green if you market fragranced consumer products.

About 20 or so years ago when I was just starting to teach and write about Green Living around the Puget Sound area I made a point, as I have since then, about home care products.  One in particular, with the word 'green' in the product name, really wasn't so.

Lately, since corporate America is on the 'green' bandwagon for profit sake, it isn't so.

Not much has changed.

Learn More Here and find one original green product here.

In the abstract of an interesting 2008 project report a group of University of Washington investigators found -

Fragranced consumer products are pervasive in society. Relatively little is known about the composition of these products, due to lack of prior study, complexity of formulations, and limitations and protections on ingredient disclosure in the U.S. We investigated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from 25 common fragranced consumer products—laundry products, personal care products, cleaning supplies, and air fresheners—using headspace analysis with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Our analysis found 133 different VOCs emitted from the 25 products, with an average of 17 VOCs per product. Of these 133 VOCs, 24 are classified as toxic or hazardous under U.S. federal laws, and each product emitted at least one of these compounds. For “green” products, emissions of these compounds were not significantly different from the other products. Of all VOCs identified across the products, only 1 was listed on any product label, and only 2 were listed on any material safety data sheet (MSDS). While virtually none of the chemicals identified were listed, this nonetheless accords with U.S. regulations, which do not require disclosure of all ingredients in a consumer product, or of any ingredients in a mixture called “fragrance.” Because the analysis focused on compounds emitted and listed, rather than exposures and effects, it makes no claims regarding possible risks from product use. Results of this study contribute to understanding emissions from common products, and their links with labeling and legislation.
To me, their finding about 'green' products is no surprise.

You may be interested in reading the complete article here.
Journal article
from Natural Health News

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